You can’t have friends when you run a business. Not new ones anyway. It’s like being famous; once you start your business the friends who have been there since the beginning are the only ones you can continue with. Anyone new infringing into your space must, undoubtedly, be looking for something from you. They want your services for free. They secretly want you to fail. They want to get close to you to watch what you’re doing, then steal your ideas for themselves. There’s no way around it… once you start a business, there’s no new friends.
Do I have your attention yet?
I’m only partially kidding. Of course you can have new friends! Of course not EVERYONE is out to get something for nothing from you, but the truth of the matter is… a lot of people are. And will. Even if it’s just your time. The kicker? A lot of these people aren’t even new; they’re the friends and family you’ve grown up with. The bestie you’ve had since college; maybe even your parents or your spouse. Even sadder? Not everyone has ill intentions. Some are curious. Some admire you. Some want to “help” you succeed. At the end of the day, however, not everyone can.
That 1.5 hours you spend on the phone with your mom or bestie during the day gushing about your business and what’s happening…
That project you help a peer on because they’ve pressured you or you feel obligated….
You can still have the conversations. You can still help a peer IF (and only IF) that’s what you would like to do. The difference? Timing.
The moment you decide to pursue your goals, the only thing holding you back is time and effort. Money, experience, resources… all of that comes with time. Once the time is gone, however, you can’t get it back.
So the next time you feel obligated to answer your phone in the middle of working on a project because you feel “bad” or you’re scared someone might be upset, don’t. The next time someone is pressuring you into a project or something that mainly benefits THEM or THEIR dreams…say no. You don’t have to offer an excuse. You don’t have to apologize. You deserve the right to protect YOUR time. And anyone that is truly for you understands that and wants you to succeed. They’re not the owner of your business though. You are. And it’s up to you to set the boundaries, goals, and process it will take to make it successful.
So remember… no new friends, or old ones, in business. Only AFTER you’ve completed your business for the day. And then…. be friendly