I’ve been thinking a lot about business and friendships lately. Specifically, the shifts and conflict that sometimes occur in our friendships when we go on a personal soul journey and build a heart centered business. Here’s what sparked this train of thought …
A dear old friend I’ve known for 14 years got upset with me recently. With beautiful brutal honesty, she told me that she felt like I’d come to value my new business friends more than our 14 year friendship. (As a sidenote, let me be clear that some of my biz friends have been in my life for 5 years).
No, I don’t value my ‘new’ friends, more than my ‘old’ friends. But I do appreciate the sh!t out of them and don’t know where I’d be today, personally and professionally, without them. I also encourage many of my mentoring clients to seek out new relationships – particularly with heart centered babes in biz – when they’re starting out.
But why? Why do I place such high value on these kinds of relationships?
Here’s what my reflections helped me realise …
Very often, women with heart centered businesses have gone through, and are continuing to go through, huge shifts in their personal lives. Many of them start their businesses because of this – because their whole life has been turned on its head (hello divorce, child rearing, solo travel, mid 20’s crisis, etc.!) and they no longer look at life in the same way.
When you start questioning things and looking at life differently, you stop fitting into the ‘boxes’ that society has inadvertently imposed on you your whole life. The boxes that tell you that you should do x, y and z by a certain age. That you should bust your arse to earn money. That being in a job that doesn’t light you up is the sacrifice you make for financial security. That material things will make you happy. That a woman’s role is ‘this’ and a man’s role is ‘that’.
And with this questioning comes confusion and often, isolation, because you start questioning everything you’ve believed and built your whole life around.
Often, around this time, you too see that the lifestyles, values and beliefs of your old friends are sometimes incongruent with your new lifestyle, values and beliefs. This doesn’t make them bad people, or you better than them, it simply makes you different. And as good as it is to have people in our lives who are different to us, we also need people who are similar.
In recent years, I’ve come to value the following things …
Heart centered living over financial security
Personal growth and accountability
Clean and toxin free living
Challenging gender roles
Questioning social ‘norms’
Living a kind lifestyle – volunteering, not eating meat, embracing forgiveness.
These things are a far cry to what I valued when I was under 25 which is when most of my old friends were already in my life. Some of these things are also in stark contrast to what my old friends value. And although this is perfectly fine, I’ll be honest and say that it can sometimes get tiring feeling like people are constantly questioning your lifestyle and decision making.
Yes, it’s important to be challenged but we need people in our lives who are similar to us because ...
It’s important to be affirmed and feel understood. I truly believe that Mummas need Mum friends, heart centered biz babes need heart centered biz friends, creatives need creative friends, spiritual peeps need spiritual friends, and so on
It helps us stay on path. I don’t care what anyone says, it’s freakin’ challenging to live a life that goes against the grain of what society says is ‘normal’ – when the choices you make are looked down on and when you’re thought of as ‘different’. Sometimes you just need someone beside you saying something as simple as, ‘you got this girl, you’re not going mad’. On this note, just the other day I messaged some new friends telling them about this intense spiritual opening I was experiencing. I apologised for sounding crazy (hello, old conditioning and socially normal patterns of thinking). What one of them said back to me was so beautiful … ‘Che, you’ve never sounded more sane to me in the whole time I’ve known you’. And you know what, she was right and in that moment I felt the deep understanding I didn’t even realise I was needing.
In regards to business (because most of y’all are babes in biz!) and why we specifically need biz babes in our lives …
Rarely do my old friends ask me about my work – at least in any great detail. They aren’t the ones who message me well wishes before I run events, or call me afterwards to check in and see how I went. Nor are they the ones who cheer me on when a new coaching client lands in my calendar. They’re not the ones who can understand that my business is a literal extension of me – that it is my Souls work – and all the love/excitement/fear/anxiety this brings with it. They can’t empathise with the fear I feel when I put myself and my work out there, open to judgement and scrutiny. They’re not the ones who provide me with the brainstorming power I need when I’m nutting out a new offering or event idea.
I know it’s not because they don’t care – they just don’t understand.
Just as I couldn’t possibly understand what it’s like to have a child without having one. Or what it’s like to navigate a 10 year relationship or a marriage. I can empathise, but I can never truly profess to understand.
We need people in our lives who truly do understand us because it helps us continue to live our truth, challenge our fears, and stay on path.
So the moral of the tale is this – embrace diversity, love with an open heart, let people leave your life if and when that time comes and stay true to yourself. This is where happiness lies.
If you’re a biz babe who is seeking new like minded friends – I truly believe that the women we’re seeking to connect with can be found in our businesses. My own experience has shown me that when we start living life authentically, and creating businesses that are an extension of our most true selves, the connections we’re seeking flow in to our lives naturally and with grace. Just keep doing your thing girl. You’ve got this.