Don’t afraid to succeed, you won’t be lonely
In everything I do, I focus on these things. How I can help someone. What value did I add to their life. And if I fail to deliver, what did I learn.
But everyone does these things right? After all, if we don’t talk about how awesome and self-aware we are, then we’re ridiculed as entrepreneurs — at least behind closed doors.
I wish I could erase my memory about some conversations I had with some of my peers. The amount of animosity, apathy, and envy about other entrepreneurs success is obvious — and distatseful. It comes up in conversations as jealous banter.
Somehow, along the way, these successful entrepreneurs and business owners seem to lose more friends as they thrive. Coincidence? Maybe not. Anecdotal survey has shown that the size of circle of friends is inversely proportional to your level of success.
What’s that saying…ah yes. Misery loves company.
That’s just not cool.
You have heard the saying “It’s Lonely At The Top.”
I say it doesn’t have to be lonely. In fact, I truly believe that you can have thriving relationships at the top.
Don’t be afraid to succeed
I know this sounds strange. But many solopreneurs and entrepreneurs have a phobia to be successful. Not because they don’t want to. But they treasure their friendships and relationships so much that it stands in their way to thrive.
This is where you roll your eyes at me and say “You’re crazy Derek. Who on earth doesn’t want to be successful?”
And you would be right. Nobody. What’s the point of starting any business if you don’t want strive for success. Why settle for mediocre performance? I prefer the saying of “In it to win it.”
If you ever think that you are not deserving of success, I implore you to immediately stop that mindset.
I cannot stress enough that your success has ABSOLUTELY NO impact on your circle.
In this post, I’ll give you many reasons why being at the top doesn’t have to be lonely.
Your circle gets better over time like wine
If you are afraid your circle shrinks as you climb higher to the top, I offer you a different perspective.
Your circle is like a fine bottle of wine. (I was going for steak, but I want to be respectful to the non-meat eaters).
The people you surround yourself with might dwindle, but the quality of people increases.
Back to my wine example. You can either choose to drink mass produced wine, which is perfectly fine.
Or, you could open that bottle of Château Lafite Rothschild Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend 2000 you have been saving to enjoy.
I’m not asking you to be a snob. Your circle will self-correct and re-calibrate itself. There’s really nothing you can do. It’s self-selection process at its best.
I covered how my circle of friends dropped like flies in this article on LinkedIn. When this changes, you will realize how much more productive you will become as an entrepreneur, leader, and individual.
When you decide to go all in and chase your north star, you will need all the positive vibe and motivation you can get. And you will find that the right circle form around you.
These are 8 reasons why being at the top shouldn’t feel lonely
#1. It’s the best view you will ever get
There’s not a single person I know who doesn’t like the view at the mountain top or from a hotel suite on the 60th floor.
The vision of soaring like an eagle, a phrased often used, depicts a wondrous view beyond imagination.
This is what it should feel like when you are at the top. Instead of focusing on the notion of loneliness, you have access to a coveted view that others are working towards.
As an entrepreneur, before you get to the top, whatever that means for you, start telling yourself that you will enjoy it when you arrive. And yes, few or no one might be there with you. But savor the accomplishments and soak in the beauty of what lies ahead of you.
For many years, you have hustled and worked hard. And yes, you are still working harder than ever. Don’t let anyone take this from you — and most importantly, don’t sabotage yourself.
Enjoy the view.
#2. Remember who you stepped on the way to the top
You may not like to hear this. But at some point in your career, you stepped on someone’s toes. Knowingly or not.
If you take a minute and reflect on your journey, and be honest with yourself, you might see a time or two when you rubbed someone the wrong way.
Here’s a moment of redemption. When you are at the top, you hold the key to rekindle strained relationships. Your opportunity to reach out to a long-lost friend, a business partner that you had a falling out with, or ex-employees.
It really doesn’t matter.
At the top, you have the influence to make things better. Leverage your powers for good.
#3. What was your reason to want to be there
Your reason for starting your journey is different than the next entrepreneur.
It’s like a snowflake or fingerprint. Every one’s source of inspiration and motivation is unique.
The road will be long and hard, but when you get to the top, remember why you started in the first place.
Along the way, you may lose track of your why you started in the first place. Of course, I’m hoping that your reason to want to be at the top is a noble one.
So when you get there, don’t beat yourself back down because you don’t see anyone when you turn around to look.
Practice patience. Others will join you eventually.
#4. You can help someone else get there
When you get to the top, the next chapter of your journey begins — if you choose to.
Yes, it’s a choice for you to help mentor someone else get where they want to be.
Unfortunately, not every successful entrepreneur will extend a helping hand to others. Yes, there are self-absorbed entrepreneurs in our midst. You can’t blame them, nor should you cast judgment.
Instead, invest your energy into helping others. Here’s the kicker — success is relative.
So while you may not have sold your company, or made tens of millions of dollars, or published best-sellers, don’t diminish the importance and relevance of yours.
#5. It’s lonely at the middle and bottom too
This might stir up some controversy. But I see loneliness as a disease.
I’d like to think it’s a choice. Just like choosing to be negative or procrastinate. Being lonely can happen no matter where you are — bottom, middle, or top.
Being at the top makes you no different than someone who’s just starting out in their career or business.
As long as your heart pumps red blood, your socioeconomic status means squat.
You won’t get a medal for claiming to be lonely at the top. Nobody will empathize with you either.
Let’s face it. When was the last time you felt bad for a millionaire? And have you ever felt sorry that a multimillionaire has to pay a fine? Of course not.
So cut the crap. Your at the top. There’s every reason to celebrate and give back in ways bigger than ever.
#6. Don’t forget who helped you get there
When you started your journey, you were inexperienced. You were stubborn. There was a lot of things you didn’t know and had to learn.
Most you learn through trial and error. But there will be one or two things that someone wiser with more experience will teach you. Whether a passing comment from a friend, a mentor, your teacher, or your boss.
And then there is that one advice or favor that changed your life forever. It’s the defining one that put your on the map.
Be grateful for everything, but especially remember that person or people who helped you get there.
If you ever ever ever feel lonely at the top, reach out and thank them. Then you will realize there’s no reason to be lonely at all.
#7. You have resources to drive change
Being at the top has freed up your resources to be more flexible, resourceful, and free to choose what you want to do (to a certain degree).
When it comes to entrepreneurs who have achieve their goals, this can present a unique opportunity, and a unique challenge.
How can you continue to grow your operation, while at the same time help others?
It can feel like your standing on a seesaw when it comes to balancing your own priorities. But the reality is you have resources to drive change. Giving back to your community or align your business with a charitable organization are two ways to get involved.
It’s also important that you don’t think your involvement is a one-way relationship. Whichever cause you choose to support will also provide you with the information you need and resources to complement your efforts.
By aligning yourself with a purpose, you will find our fulfillment in your life at the top than you will can ever imagine.
#8. Surround yourself with the ultimate knights at your round table
As you ascend, you must surround yourself with strong allies. To those who think this sounds elitist, well, that’s because it is. But not in the snobbish self-absorbed narcissistic way you might think.
If your basketball team is on its way to the new successes, would you not want to recruit strong players who complement your team? It’s natural for you to be selective of who and what you give your time to.
I’m not asking you to shy away from all your social life and be a hermit. Locked up in your fortified office while thinking of your next strategy to conquer the world. No. Absolutely not.
You still need to find time to have a normal life. But your overall life (I don’t separate work from life — it’s all you, the same person) will be supercharged and be more effective and efficient. Your brain can reach it’s maximum potential and function at the highest capacity.
Why? Not because you are suddenly enlightened and have reached nirvana. Although, if that happened, it would be amazing.
It’s because you found strengths in others to fill the gaps of what you’re missing.
Remember this. No matter how you feel at the top, it still takes a village to achieve great success.
Whether you are already at the top, on the way to the top, or at the bottom or middle trying to figure it out, you must realize that the world wants you to think you’ll be lonely at the top because many of our leaders are lonely and have not found a greater purpose for being at the top.
They have forgotten why they wanted to get there in the first place. Many successful entrepreneurs have allowed the noise around them to sidetrack their focus.
You don’t have to be lonely at the top. You can thrive as a human and help others get there. Invite them to your party. There’s plenty of room at the table at the top. There’s an abundance of opportunities and successes to go around.
By implementing some or all of these ideas, you will help you scale your business, attract like-minded individuals, and thrive together.