“You are who you associate with. Look around at your five closest friends and that’s who you are. If you don’t want to be that person, you know what you gotta do.”
– Will Smith
Your tribe, or the people you spend a majority of your time with, are important. So are the people and information you search for online. The voices and opinions of people close to you shape your reality. They either lift you up or bring you down. And the information you seek out and surround yourself with can easily bring you into a negative place if you’re not careful.
Do you find yourself doing any of the following things?
- Do you spend time with people who drain your energy – either through negative language, sarcasm or criticism of you or others?
- Do your friends support you, no matter what?
- Have you surrounded yourself with people who have limited thinking?
- Do you spend time reading negative news or participating in gossip online?
All of these behaviors above show that you may be associating with the wrong people or you aren’t fully supported by your tribe.
And as a new business owner, you need even more support from your community. I feel that it’s important to associate with like-minded people when you’re building a business. If you’re just talking to people who don’t have a business, it will be hard for you to feel fully supported.
Your friends who don’t have a business will not really understand what you’re going through, especially when things are tough. They may be able to empathize with you, but they’re not going to truly understand what it takes to build a business––the hours you’ve already put in, the struggle, the feelings that you’ve felt. And some of what you do may just be a bit over their heads. I know this, because I’ve talked about my business to friends and family. And while I know they do want to support me, many of them just don’t “get it” or don’t really know how to help me if I need advice. Nothing against them, but it’s okay to find support elsewhere.
Go find yourself some business buddies or an in-person or virtual group where you can feel supported, share your ideas and get feedback and celebrate your wins! It’s best to talk to a mix of people, some who are at the same stage of business you’re in, some who are a bit ahead, and also some who have been doing it for a while. This way, you can hear different perspectives. You can also look for a mentor who can guide you, if you feel that would be helpful. Just be careful to still stay aware of who you’re interacting with––unfortunately, there are toxic people everywhere. So choose your communities wisely and stay away from the people who bring you down.