5 Strategies Entrepreneurs Can Leverage When They Have to Let Friends Go

If you’re older than 5, you’ve likely lost a friend or two over the years.  And it’s likely because the season or reason for the friend’s existence in your life has ended.  You know, it was time to go to middle school and their address sent them to a different school.  Or perhaps because your vision shifted and meanwhile they are content working a job and making excuses as to why it’s someone else’s fault that they are the way that they are.

If you are a business owner who has dreams and goals, you may have lost a friend or two because they no longer get you.  We are a rare breed — entrepreneurially minded people, I mean.  We see an obstacle and come up with a solution; we don’t make excuses, we make things happen.  And sometimes our ambition costs us those who knew us when we were at Point A. (psst: “friends”)

I have definitely lost my share of friends over the years.  Some entirely gone from my life and some that shifted and now we are more like acquaintances, but one thing I am clear on is this…

The truth is, birds of a feather have to flock together and if your friends are not of the same mind as you, they will likely not last as you shift and change to become the person you desire to be. Trust me, I get it.  It’s hard.  Whenever a relationship ends regardless of the reason, we mourn a little, even when we know it’s for our good.  That is exactly why I’m excited to answer Stephanie’s question in this week’s episode of Incredible Factor TV:

“Hi Darnyelle.  I love Incredible Factor TV and I have to admit my question is not a typical question you’re likely to answer but I’m going to ask it anyway.  Without going into a full blown story, my question is simply, what do you do when your goals, dreams and desires as well as the actions you are willing to take outgrow those of your friends?”

Watch the episode here:

As I share in the episode and as a person who has lost several friends over the years, I immediately think of the sad but true cliché– reason, season or lifetime.  You have to know that not everyone who enters your life will be with you for the long haul.  Some people come just to be a bridge during a rough season in your life – and while it may seem like they will be lifers, they won’t be.  And there’s nothing wrong with that. And as you evolve, your friendships evolve too.  Being an entrepreneur and business owner demands a level of attention that others just don’t get and as a result you’ll move into different circles and connect with different people.  As you experience a transition in your friendships, I would like to share with you some tips that will help you keep it moving – after all, your best days are ahead of you!

Here are five strategies for leveraging a friendship that is no longer serving your best interests as you endeavor to grow your business.

  1. Spend less time with the “friend.”  Once you come into the realization that they are not what’s best for your future, start to distance yourself from them.  When you are clear that they are not adding value, consider making the change.  One ritual that I follow every quarter is a review of my greatest influences.  If they are adding value they get a plus, if not they get a minus and I start to phase the minuses out slowly but surely and make more room for the pluses.
  2. Establish clear boundaries.  As you begin to phase out the friendship, clarify the boundaries and set appropriate expectations.  You can do this without compromising your integrity or creating unnecessary drama.  Be honest.  Be fair and be firm.
  3. Take personal responsibility.  When severing an unproductive friendship, we always want to blame others.  But you have a role that you played as well.  You must take responsibility for your role so that you can both move on effectively.  The sooner you acknowledge the role you have played, the easier it will be to move forward.
  4. Open yourself up to new friends and therefore opportunities.  Out with the old and in with the new.  As you start moving in productive circles, be open to the possibilities that exist.  Be open to why they may be entering your life and journey and welcome them with the knowledge that their presence isn’t to replace the old friend but to fill a role currently left unoccupied. Be sure to check in with your gut and spirit to ensure that you are not acting out of fear and instead are focused on productive relationships.
  5. Mourn the friendship by releasing fear, anxiety, doubt and guilt. It will be hard, especially if the friendship in question was a bridge and got you through many tough times.  But release everything and remember the best times with that person and express gratitude for the opportunity to have known them.  Celebrate who you were together and who you are now becoming as a result of stepping into what’s next and best for you.

Bonus: Know that your destiny is not tied to those who walk away from you.  And yes, you can tweet that!

Now I want to hear from you, what’s your two cents?:   Have you ever seen a relationship sever as your goals and dreams took center stage in your life?  What did you do?  How did you deal with the loss?

©2014 by Darnyelle A. Jervey. All Rights Reserved. Darnyelle A. Jervey, MBA, The Incredible Factor Business Optimization Coach and Mentor, is the founder of Incredible One Enterprises®, Incredible Factor University® and the Leverage Your Incredible Factor System®, a proven step-by-step program so you experience financial and spiritual abundance in your life because of your business. For more information and a FREE audio CD “7 Critical Mistakes Even Smart Entrepreneurs Must Avoid for Clients, Connection and Cash Flow!” just fill out the form below.

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