A video I was in got featured on a popular Facebook page, and it got a lot of attention. I was stoked to have this happen, so I shared it on my my own Facebook profile.
What proceeded to happen was pretty telling about the life of an entrepreneur, and I’ll explain in a moment how my story could be your story, or the story of just about anyone trying to make a go of their passion.
Over the next several hours, between the original post, and my shared post, they got dozens of comments, multiple shares, and hundreds of “likes”, but very few of them were from people I will refer to as IRL (in real life) friends or family.
Of the IRL folks, three people gave me a “like” and only one person commented. The one person that commented just happens to be an aspiring entrepreneur. Honestly, the number of people who like and comment isn’t that important to me, but it is interesting to me that people from my “former” life have little interest in interacting with me about things from my current life.
As serious as cancer
I’m sure there are many of you that can relate to this scenario—you’re on a journey to make something cool with your life and you hope that your loved ones will have your back, but then they don’t, at least not like you were hoping. The problem is that despite their feelings or intentions, the idea of our friends and family not supporting us can eat away at our self esteem like a cancer, and like cancer, that disease will end up attacking other parts of our life including our business.
There really is only one way to fight the disease, and that’s to let it go. Dwelling on the hope that people will come around and rally up behind us is a lost cause. They aren’t supporting you because they don’t want to back you up. They aren’t supporting you because they don’t understand you.
You’ve changed. As much as some will tell you otherwise, people who have known you for years don’t want to see you change. They like you just the way you are.
You’ve grown. Somewhere inside you, you’ve felt a shift, a maturity, and a more acute vision toward the future. If you’ve ever been a parent, you probably said something to your child like, “you’re getting too big. I want you to stay my little one.” I admit it, I’ve done it to my son as well. We don’t mean to hold them back, but we’re compelled to deny their growth. Does it mean I love him any less now that he’s now bigger
This is how your loved ones feel about you, consciously or subconsciously. They want what’s best for you, but they look at you, see you growing, and as they proud of that growth, somewhere inside them, they want you to stay right where you were stood. Maybe it’s jealousy, or fear you’ll leave them behind. Perhaps they believe that if you stick around, you will be happier because they are perfectly happy in their stasis.
It’s time to let go
You cannot change them, anymore than they can change you. Holding onto a relationship that holds you back will only stifle that voice inside you. It will not be snuffed out, but temporarily squelched. That voice that speaks to you about what you should be doing will continue to beat in your head until you do something about it. Let the world hold you back because they don’t want to see you change, and you will end up with a throbbing headache from the pressure of not fulfilling your true purpose.
I’m not saying you should bail on them, kick them to the curb while you’re flinging the middle finger as they fly off your foot. What I suggest is you kindly let them fall to the back of the crowd. Surround yourself with people that appreciate you, encourage you, and believe in what you are doing. You don’t have to fill your entire posse with nothing but yes-men, a little dissenting opinion never hurt anyone, but the more like-minded individuals you have in your corner, the better your outlook will be.
When it came to my Facebook post, I may not have gotten a lot of support from IRL family and friends, but I still got lots of support—literally dozens of people shared their thoughts. I brought this whole idea up in a private Facebook group that I participate in. When I shared my thoughts, I had over 150 responses from people who had very similar feelings and experiences. They thanked me for sharing my thoughts, commiserated with me, and lent me their perspectives.
These relative strangers rallied behind the idea that despite the naysayers, we were all meant to do something more profound than sitting in an office helping someone else fulfill their destiny. They liked my post, shared my post, and reposted their own obstacles because they were inspired by me sharing my story.
THAT is B-School!
I’m not going to go on and on about this, but THAT is the power of a strong community. I’ve said it before, I wouldn’t be here if I hadn’t been there, and if given the chance to do it all over again, I would still join, but make sure to take full advantage of the course and the community.
You don’t have to join B-School for community. There are plenty of training programs out there that have solid communities, and you should go with what resonates with you. B-School worked wonders for me, and I think it would do the same for many of you, but you have to walk your own path.
Whatever path you take, the only way you’re going to get that holy grail of success is if you start surrounding yourself with people that help you grow and foster your passions and purpose. Holding onto family and friends with the idea that you can inspire them to become the cheerleaders you always needed is a fruitless effort. Instead of pushing that rock up that hill again, Sisyphus, how about reaching out to folks who thrive on being a positive force in your life. You’re part way there already. You wouldn’t be here if you weren’t.
I got your back. Now go find some others.
Also, a big shout out to all the B-School folks who helped inspire this post. I am deeply appreciative of all of you.