There are some important lessons that I learned about success, particularly in the last 5 years. The fundamental law of success, I have learned, is giving. Yes, GIVING. It is more blessed to give than to receive. But another that I have learned that is very critical to one’s success is one’s network of friends.
Yes, the kind of friends you have are linked to the level of success you will have. And, this is not to say that your friends must be RICH. However, they must be able to believe in your vision for your life and support you and connect you to their network (because Net Worth is in NETWORK).
Over the past five years, I have heard comments like, “You have changed.” or “You get rich and switch.” Those comments sometimes leave us feeling guilty and like we are not genuine. I want you to begin to disabuse yourself of that thought. It is okay to grow and in so doing outgrow relationships that are no longer serving you where you are at and where you are going. If your relationships are not going in the direction of your growth, it is time to abandon those relationships. It is a difficult but necessary step to make.
We all have those people in our lives who are takers. They sap you. They need your time, effort, energy, expertise and sometimes money but they are never in a position to return the favour. Those are not friendships. Friendships like any other relationship is about building each other and growing together. The minute I began to prune those friendships was the minute my eyes began to open up to my own needs and the people who were in my life, pushing me towards success. They were the ones who were cheering and offering useful suggestions to my ideas; setting me up with their networks; opening doors for me and patronizing my services.
As recent as yesterday, I woke up and made USD$350 just because one of my friends knew someone who got a shoddy business plan done and said I know someone who can get it done for you. Friendships and even romantic relationships cannot survive merely on love (how the presence of the person makes you feel). While that is important, friendships and relationships are sustained by how much their serve our highest good and our success, personal, professional or financial depends on the quality of our relationships.
Do an audit of your friends’ list (Are those relationships serving you or simply taking from you). This requires you to tell yourself the truth about the decisions you have made in choosing friends. Remember, this has nothing to do with the other person but you and your choices.
Trim off the dead weight. We make the error of holding on to relationships/friendships for sentimental reasons and mostly for fear of what people may say about us. So what if they call you “hype” or “brand new”? Remember, farmers trim branches of trees, not because they thing it has too many branches but because they know it will give them greater yield. Apply the principle of pruning to your relationships and watch your life flourish.
Build strong relationships with those friends you can trust with your vision and who will support you. Some people a just dream killers. Every idea that you give, they will tell you a MILLION reasons why it will not work. Find that friend who will give you one reason why it will and can work and build with him or her. If none of your friends offer you that, you may need to close for new stock.
Maintain those relationships with mutual support. You must choose friends slowly, drop quickly but nurture the healthy ones. Beware of those friends who rather discuss people rather than ideas. They are going nowhere pretty fast. You cannot afford to be unequally yoked. Remember to find those friends who give more to than they take from the friendship and you do the same.
The right connection is what will lead you down the right path towards success!!