Ah, junior high school. It was actually 30 years ago come this September, but it feels like just yesterday that I sat on the bench in the park of the Ronald Edmonds Learning Center. It was the first day of school, the weather was cool and Guess jeans & Coca-Cola sweatshirts were in vogue. I know this because that’s exactly what I was wearing. Sitting on the bench adjacent to mine was a group of girls who were freshmen just like me. A short girl with a Jheri curl and hazel eyes came over and invited me to sit with them. The girl’s name was Hope, and she had been sent over by Felicia, and the rest, as they say, is history. I haven’t the faintest idea what happened to Hope, but Felicia and I remain close friends to this day.
We’re not best friends like Twitter pals or Facebook fam. Best friends like “I would leave my daughter in her care should I drop dead on Tuesday” type friends. It’s bigger than friendship, as Felicia is more family to me than some of the relatives who share my last name. So, it’s no surprise that she has been one of my most vocal cheerleaders as I navigate the choppy waters of entrepreneurship.
When I was a very young girl, my grandmother impressed upon me the importance of knowing the difference between a friend and an associate. If you don’t know this distinction, attempt to up-level your life in any way, shape, or form, and watch as every veil around you begins to lift.
Is it Strange? Maybe. True? Absolutely.
Here are 3 reasons why you’ll definitely lose a few friends along the way:
- They’re envious: Yes, it happens. Doing good is one thing, but doing too good is out of the question. You’re doing what most people don’t do or won’t do. You’re not only dreaming, but you’re executing that dream. You’ve not just wishing, you’re doing the damn thing. Envy will do one of two Your example will either inspire those around you, or their hate will be too real to conceal. Don’t worry about cutting ties. That will happen naturally. As my grandfather used to say “water seeks its own level.”
- They don’t get “it.” Your heart is on fire for your business, as it should be. You’re living and breathing what you’re doing and it’s going to take all of that and more to get where you’re trying to go. Whether you’ve had friendships for 5 years or 5 minutes, there are going to be one or two in your crew for sure who just won’t get it. Ambition is a difficult concept for those who don’t have it. This “thing” that you have isn’t something that can be bought on the sale rack at Zara. Know that you either have it or you don’t, and many people just don’t. Also, people don’t support what they can’t see and that’s okay, but you will have to leave this friend behind. Why? Because there’s no room on the bus for those who don’t get it. You’ve got to fill those seats with those who do, because those are the people who are going to help you push the bus to your destination should it break down.
- You’re not accessible: Even though you’re working full-time, you’re busy with your man and kids, and just life in general, you’re still able to fit in a cocktail and a But when you start your side hustle and become fully focused on making it successful, you won’t have nearly as much time as you used to. Billy Dee Williams said it best, “success is nothing without someone to share it with” and that’s so true. But on the flip side, you will never be successful if you don’t invest the time. Suddenly phone calls and texts will go unanswered, you’re going to miss a few events here and there, and you won’t be able to participate in those retail therapy sessions. Your side hustle is going to make demands of you that you must rise up to meet, and the biggest one is going to be your time.
As we evolve and grow into who we are truly meant to be, our relationships will shift. Tell me, how have those around you changed as your side hustle has taken a more prominent role in your life?
Tanea Smith is the Owner & Creative Director of She’s Got Papers, a lifestyle greeting card & gift company with designs that are as powerful as they are witty and life-affirming. But that’s only half the story.
As New York City’s Side Hustle Expert & an Inspirational Business Speaker she teaches women how to launch their own businesses while working full time. The “juggle” as she calls it is not for the faint of heart but Tanea believes that with passion, the right mindset and the proper tools it is possible for every woman to build the business of her dreams. Easy? No. Worth it? Absolutely.
Her mantra: There is life beyond your current gig!
Tanea has been featured in Essence, More, About.com, American Express Forum & The Wendy Williams Show.
Tanea has spoken at St. John’s University, City College of New York, New York University as well as a host of churches & women’s groups. She has a PhD. in thriving despite the odds. She is an honorary member of Alpha Kappa Psi Fraternity.
See her stationery collection at: www.shesgotpapers.com
Take the journey with her & get inspired to begin yours at www.taneasmith.com