There’s a woman who—for several weeks—has been talking smack about my work as a life coach, particularly how much I charge for my programs and retreats. She thinks my business model is ridiculous. She’s been yapping (mostly in private conversations, but of course, word always gets back to me eventually.)
The worst part of it is… I know this woman personally and I thought she was my friend.
Look: she’s entitled to her opinions. Not everyone has to like me, love me, get me, and certainly not everyone has to hire me or attend one of my international retreats. But don’t you dare call yourself my “friend” (and pretend to be “friendly” to my face) if you don’t actually support me.
The definition of a “friend” is “a person with whom one has a bond of mutual affection.”
If the affection is not mutual, it’s not a friendship.
It’s that simple.
Also, if someone feels threatened when you decide to change your life, take your business in a new direction, dress differently than you used to, express yourself differently, or double / triple / quadruple your income, that’s not a true friendship either.
It’s time to dissolve that person out of your life.
To quote Beyoncé (with a noun change): “Girl, bye.”
– Applaud when you take risks.
– Cheer when you reach your goals.
– Bring Kleenex when you’re struggling.
– Open you up to new experiences and opportunities.
– Show you what is possible (for you to do, make, earn) by leading by example.
When you’re hanging in a room with five or ten women, and you realize, “Every single one of these ladies possesses a quality—or has achieved something in her life—that I deeply admire,” that’s when you know that your friend-circle is on point.
How do you find those kinds of friends?
Let me count the ways:
– Look close to home.
That lady unrolling her yoga mat two feet away from you—what’s her story? Say, “Hey, I see you here almost every week but I’ve never introduced myself. Hi.” Ask her out for a latte after class. You never know. She might be the BFF you’ve always dreamed about, and you might be hers too.
– Look far away from home.
When you jet off to a retreat, or take an international trip, you tend to form special, unlikely friendships with people you might not meet any other way. Sharing an intense, out-of-the-ordinary experience—like trekking through the rain across Ireland, or racing to catch a train to Munich, or brainstorming side-by-side at a beach villa in Barcelona—these are the types of experiences that bond people together in a powerful way. Travel-friends often become tight-knit friends for life.
– Look online.
Here’s a simple exercise: scroll through your Facebook feed, inbox, or the contact list on your phone and quietly ask yourself, “Is there anyone here that I would really love to spend more time with—or get to know better?” Make a short list. Your greatest friends might already “be” your friends—you just need to put a bit more time and attention into those relationships and nurture them in a deeper way.
– Take a risk.
A friend of mine once stumbled upon a blog and felt a strong “ping” inside of her body. She just knew, “I must email this blogger. I think we’re supposed to be friends.” She wrote to her and said, “I know this might be odd, but we share so many things in common (we’re both Americans, but we both went to college in New Zealand, we both work at non-profits, etc.) and I’d love to take you out for coffee.” They met. It was instant friend-chemistry. Since then, they’ve taken girl-trips to Vegas together, they’ve seen each other through business launches, cross-country moves, break-ups, and marriages. It all started because she felt that “ping”—and decided to take a risk and reach out.
– Use your imagination.
Michelle Obama is my imaginary friend. So is Tina Fey. So is Malala. You can give yourself the benefits of friendship—inspiration, motivation, activation, encouragement, hope, faith—by reading true stories about women you adore. Reading Tina Fey’s book, for example, makes me “feel” like I’m curled up on her couch with a cup of tea, and makes me “feel” like she’s my real friend—even if she doesn’t know I exist. (Imaginary friends can still shape your life!)
– Be a friend.
There’s a common saying, “To get friends, first, be a friend.” Word to yo mama. You can’t expect to magnetize powerful, inspiring, generous lady-boss friends into your life if you’re unwilling to give just as much as you receive. Start now. Text a woman you love and give her a sincere compliment—no strings attached, no response required—simply to elevate her day. Be a friend, first, and your #fempire will grow.
PS. I have to ask… we’re friends on Facebook, right? If not, you’re missing out on my daily rants, hilarious photos, and special content (like Facebook Live videos) that aren’t posted anywhere else. See you there!
PPS. Want to spend a week with me and some of the coolest, kindest women you’ll ever meet? Seriously consider joining me for one of my upcoming retreats. Maybe you want to sail across the Atlantic Ocean on a legendary cruise ship and then bounce around London, visiting historic places where Downton Abbey gets filmed (omg!)… or sunbathe on the coast of Barcelona, Spain with a chilled glass of Prosecco by your side? There are very few open spaces for my 2016-17 retreats (most retreats are already full—a few have a handful of spots remaining) so if this type of experience is calling to you, make your deposit now to lock it down. And as always: you can email email@example.com if you have any questions about any of my programs. See you in NYC, London, Spain, and all around this amazing world…