|At age 15 Gladys developed a travel service that would prosper for more than 30 years. She is a national award winning entrepreneur, keynote speaker, author and columnist. Visit her at www.gladysedmunds.com|
This week's Information
Recently, a friend whom I will call Henry was raving about how great his software business was doing. He said he had finally hit the million-dollar mark, his employees were doing a great job, his clients were happy and he was debt free.
But he seemed to be having a bit of trouble with his friends. He noticed his buddies weren’t calling him for golf or to grab a few beers and play basketball as much as they used to. He had hoped his friends would be happy for him, but instead they seemed to be avoiding him. He was baffled by their behavior.
Henry went on to say that on several occasions when he called one of his longtime friends to meet for lunch his friend claimed to be too busy.
I asked him if he could think of a time or two when he was not available when one of them called him for an outing. He said that he could recall a few times.
Often we don’t realize that the amount of time it takes to build a business can take a toll on our relationships to others.
If your friends are working in 9-to-5 careers and you are working 12 to 14 hours a day, this can cause a bit of friction. If you value the relationship and you can’t meet your friends every Friday for Happy Hour, let them know that you value both their friendship and also your business and try to make arrangements to meet at least once a month.
On the other hand sometimes our lives change and we start moving in a different direction than our friends. This can happen through all of the various stages of developing your business.
When I started my business I was still in high school and my friends wanted to discuss makeup, fashion and the guys on the football team. My interests, though, were in the things that it took to build a business.
As the years have passed things haven’t changed much. Last week I was having lunch with an old friend from high school and I pulled out my smartphone to add her e-mail address into it. She quickly let me know that she knew nothing about technology nor did she want to know. Considering that I live a part of my life connected to technology, especially for business. I knew that if we were going to have a good conversation I would have to find a topic she could relate to. So we spent our time together talking about fashion, makeup, and the men in our lives.
And then there is that demon called jealously. Not all friendships are built to last a lifetime and if you find that jealously is involved then it’s best to part ways. Sometimes it’s hard to recognize the green-eyed monster and sometimes it’s very obvious.
If you find your friends are making sarcastic comments or taking advantage of you in some way then it’s best to move on.
I can recall having a couple of buddies who it seemed would always suggest that the waiter put charges on one tab and when the time came to pay up they would wait for me to pick up the bill. And thinking that I was being nice to my friends, I would pay.
One day one of the women asked me to loan her money that she would pay back at a certain time. A year after the due date, I asked her when she would pay me. She said, “You’re the one who’s a business owner, you have more than I have and therefore can afford to be without the money. I didn’t argue with her. But our friendship was over.
Sometimes we get so excited about the success of our business it can come across as bragging. This is especially true if we are talking to folks who are still struggling in their careers or businesses. I also suggested that Henry revisit how he speaks of his business when with his friends.
It’s a good idea from time to time for all of us to revisit our relationships with friends. All in all, friendships are a two-way street. Take a closer look and make certain that you are not doing or saying anything to provoke animosity in your friendship. If you and your friends have a true relationship then you can talk candidly about your feeling. A true friendship can handle just about anything.
Read other business articles by Gladys Edmunds