Nothing is worse than setting some New Year’s goals and then being laughed at or shot down by people around you. It’s hard. The people that know us the most, doubt us the most. Your close friends and family can often be the first ones to shoot down your ideas, enthusiasm and energy. My pal, Larry Lee, brought this up in our Sales Talk With Sales Pro group, and it’s a touchy subject.
A lot of the negativity comes from the people closest to you choosing to stay where they are. Since they have chosen to stay the same and do the same things, their thinking is that you will remain the same, too. People who refuse to change, refuse to believe others can change. I know. People didn’t think I would change. They assumed I’d always be on drugs, doing thug sh*t, running the streets.
Turns out, I was able to change. And in a major way.
We all face the same crossroads in life. It’s the path we choose that sets the course of our destiny. Many choose the path of least resistance. The easy path that leads to an easy life. Nothing easy is ever respected. If you have an easy life, you’re being selfish and lazy.
It’s in our DNA to seek constant improvement. To go against this natural inclination is to live unnaturally. We were intended to live uncomfortably and to grow as a direct result of that discomfort. If you choose to stay in a comfort zone, you’re living an unnatural and unfulfilling life. In other words, you’re being a lazy f*ck.
Here’s the thing, though: those of us who’ve chosen the hard path, which, if survived, leads to fulfillment, riches, happiness and more, are misunderstood and called “dreamers.” When you choose to take the hard path and blaze your own trail in the world, many people will doubt you, hate on you and do their best to crush your dreams.
“Sometimes, you get to the top and then your family hates. I don’t give a damn what them haters say.” – Kevin Gates
I remember in 2005, I read this book called Think and Grow Rich. I’m sure you’ve either read it or heard about it. After I finished the book, I made a decision to make a change. No more crystal meth and partying. I would clean up my life and make a friggin’ difference in the world. That book inspired me.
Yet, when I told my wife, mom, dad and friends that I was going to change my thinking and change my life, they laughed. They told me I’d better get a real job and stop pretending like I was anything other than a drug addict convict. That sh*t hurt, man. Here I was, all pumped up and ready to get my sh*t together, and they were doubting. Which led me to self-doubt.
After all, I was a constant failure. I’d failed at selling drugs. Failed at starting my own business. And failed at a business partnership which led to a lawsuit. Maybe I wasn’t supposed to change. Maybe it was my destiny to stay a dirtbag. No one around me was successful.
They were like crabs in a bucket, pulling me back to their level.
It pushed me to a point where I stopped discussing my goals with anyone I knew. I decided I wasn’t getting anything from the relationships I had, so I went out looking for better connections. People I could share my dreams with, who would get me. Those who did not know my past and would not judge my future by anything but who I am.
Back in 2005, social media was not on the scene yet. I had to do things a little differently. I got on the Internet and used Google to find a local church run by a motivational speaker dude. On the church’s homepage was a list of the biggest donors in the congregation. I got the email address of the top guy and reached out.
I told him I had never been to church and I was thinking about changing my ways and submitting to God. He agreed to meet me for lunch. From that point on, we clicked and as we got to know each other, I told my new friend about my dreams and he helped me make them a reality.
As I got closer and closer to my new friend and started attending the church, I met more people. This church was FULL of entrepreneurs. It was almost like this was the Church of the Entrepreneur or something. I got involved with several other business owners and they ended up sending me hundreds of thousands of dollars in business over the course of three years.
When I was released from prison in 2008, my old friends and family started in on me again. When my mortgage license expired and wasn’t able to be renewed in 2010, they got down on me and said things like, ” I told you. Easy come. Easy go. You weren’t meant to be running no fancy banking business.”
Every entrepreneur’s business path has lots of pivots. The path to success is not a straight line. Most people can’t blaze that path, therefore they don’t understand when we blaze the trail and run into obstacles.
Most people poke you on the pivots and doubt you when you win. It’s just part of life. Get used to it and get over it.
In 2012, I made the final decision. I was no longer going to deal with any doubters and haters in my close circle. I had to clean house. I haven’t spoken to my family, my old friends or any of those folks since then.
I blazed my own trail, doubter free, with no help, from scratch, against all odds. Had I continued to let my family and old friends stay involved in my life, their negative BS would have deterred me from my mission. I’m focused, and in order to keep my ADD in check, I had to get rid of all distractions. The main distraction I face—and you do, too—are those close to us, who are trying to keep us from changing.
Has it been hard for me? Yes. I miss the people I spent the majority of my life with, but every time I miss them, I remember how far I’ve come without them and how they’ve held me back.
People in my circle now know not to bring me the BS. We talk big things and how we are going to achieve them, not how things don’t go our way and that we can’t win. That’s loser talk. We don’t make excuses; we make progress toward our goals. When you get with the right people at the right time and in the right place, the right things happen. Do the opposite and receive the opposite.
It’s not speculation; it’s the law of the universe.
If you’re tired of the same old people and you’re looking for a group of people to surround yourself with who get it, you need to check out our Break Free Academy Entourage club. I’ve spent the last seven years creating a clique of winners, who want to help each other succeed, and you owe it yourself to check it out.
If you’re scared to give up on those who hold you back and you have Stockholm syndrome, I suggest you take a look inside and ask yourself how badly you really want to do what you dream of. If you want it badly enough, you’ll do whatever it takes. If you don’t want it, you’ll do what it takes to ensure you don’t get it. Funny how that works.
Bottom line, even if you don’t rid your life completely of negative people, shy away from situations and scenarios where you are likely to have to deal with negative doubters. For example, when people call you to complain, don’t join in. Instead, just tell them you are busy. You can’t talk. Control what you hear, just like you control what you say.
Then, watch your life change.
Opinions expressed here by Contributors are their own.
Published January 16, 2017