When I started my first business six years ago, I thought it was a good idea to hang out with broke people who worked traditional jobs.
I was wrong. Very wrong.
This article could actually be filed under “All the stupid shit I did in the beginning.” It’s a rather large file.
Back to the people, before y’all grab your pitch forks and come at me for hating on hard working broke folk. Because I am not. At all. I’m super thankful people seek to work traditional jobs. Every time I go to the hospital or a restaurant, BOOM, there’s people showing up everyday to work so I can get stitches or a burger.
It was easy for me to hang out with people who were struggling financially, because I understood that world. I knew what to do, how to act, and what to say. But for all the comfort I had, I was bound to stay broke like the rest of them because no one knew how to get rich.
And, I want to be rich. Filthy rich. Even though people constantly tell me how wrong it is to seek wealth and what I terrible person I will become when I get it, I am after it. When I am ridiculously wealthy, I won’t even hate on the bitter broke people who have defunct moral compasses. I won’t help them, but I won’t hate on them either. Because here’s the thing, I do keep score and I have a long memory for such things — that skill came out of being poor and isn’t likely to go away when I’m rich.
Anyway, I digress.
After a few years of spinning my wheels and not going anywhere fast, I hired my first business coach. Early on in our training she told me, “you have to find people who are what you want to be.”
I want to be rich, so I had to find people who knew how to make and manage money, and more importantly, weren’t afraid to do so. I had to find these people so I could challenge my existing mindset that told me things like I have to work hard for my money, and that I have to do certain things to deserve it, and if I get too much I will become a bad person, and the only way I can get fat stacks of cash is by winning the lottery. I had to surround myself with people who knew I was completely capable of making and managing such wealth, and would encourage me along the way.
I also wanted to be a successful business owner, and at the time I hired my coach, the chances of that were looking pretty bleak. I had to find people who understood the hunger of the entrepreneur. Who knew how to take risks and were strong enough to fight off the haters and perpetual self-doubt. I had to find people that were not afraid to find their own healthcare and secure their own retirement. People who knew how to get this without anyone giving it to them.
I needed to find people who were not only going in the same direction as I was, but were ahead of me by many measures. I needed to see how to grow into what I wanted to be. I needed new people.
There were many of the old people who I really hoped would stick around and come along with me. But as things do, we drifted apart because as much as I needed someone to show me where I was going, they needed someone to stay with them where they were — and I couldn’t stay. There are a few left, which I am grateful for, but even with them it becomes harder and harder to make conversation because we are speaking different languages. They don’t get me and what I am doing.
And, I don’t really get them anymore either.
True to life itself, I have new people and they are good people. Not better, just new and good. There will come a time where more will fall away and more will find me, depending on which direction I choose to go. No matter how many come and go, I will always heed that lesson — find people who are what I want to be. When you surround yourself with people who are striving as hard and in the same direction as you, you get caught up in a wave of accomplishment and opportunity, and shit just starts to happen. Doors fly open, business falls in your lap, and everyone knows someone who can either help you or needs your help. And, best of all for me right now? They get me. When I dream big and plan even bigger, they don’t sneer or laugh or look confused.
They say, “Yes girl, go get it.”