When does success change you, or does success change others? A question that has been perplexing my thoughts lately.
While in the midst of creating a small business, I had the opportunity to attend a business seminar in Los Angeles for my industry. One of the speakers offered some good advice. Once you start to build your business and on the road to becoming successful, you will lose old friends and create new ones along the way. But most of all you will find out what true friends will remain in your life. A true friend will come along for your ride, whereas your fair weather friends will not be happy for you will swim in jealously and envy and will even turn their back on you. The speaker's advice was to let them go, they will only hold you down. At the end of the seminar it was suggested to read the book Gift From the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh -- an inspirational book published in 1955 and a number one best seller focusing on the life changes of American women.
Some childhood friends will forget about you during your journey but will resurface with wedding invites and baby shower invites for their children after 25 years of disappearing from your life. Why is this? Because you write for the local newspaper? Because you have a local business in the city? What happen to the time in between when you're building your business and struggling and when you need a real friend to stand beside you during your ups and downs? And how do they know you're not still struggling? Just because you own a business you're looked at as if your are rich or doing very well.
Why is it that one becomes successful in a field of business? Negativity is always one reason for the driven force of continuing on a passion's journey. Being told that your idea will never work and no one will pay you to provide certain services. Working hard at something you are good at and turning it into a business that supports not only yourself but others as well is another reason. One day you'll look back and realize that your hobby has turned into a thriving business. Others will frown upon your business creation and judge without knowing or understanding how years of hard work and determination prevails.
Along with your success comes business competition envy. Don't be afraid to continue on your path of building your business. There are certain business models out there that one can follow to assist in your journey. However, don't follow them word for word. Let your own creativity shine. Your business must be working for a reason. Copy-cat followers that don't have the same creativity and ideas as you will become envious. Take this envy as a form of flattery. Do not become negative when someone steels your idea or design or when someone obviously wants to ride your coattails. Turn negativity into something positive. Negativity of others can fuel the drive of your success.
So again I ask does business success change you? Yes I do think being in business for yourself changes you. Learning how to deal with all types of people in a creative service company opens your eyes to the world of unique personalities. Learn what is important to others and mainly to you. Why will people stay with you in your employment verses the ones who won't? Life changes everyone and the older we get the wiser we become. Seeing struggling and hardworking small business neighbors every day makes me understand the small business owner even more. Something some friends who work nine to five daily receiving a 40 hour a week paycheck will never understand.