Your soul

The 4 Kinds of F***ed Up People You Meet On Your Way To Success.

By December 28, 2015 0
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Welcome to Entrepreneur-Land.

When I first embarked on the much storied “road to success”, I had zero idea what I was in store for. Yes of course I expected to be working hard, teetering thinly between the emotions of a paralyzing fear and utter ecstasy, but I never dreamed that so early on I would come across so many different kinds of f***ed up people.

That’s the part they never tell you about in their autobiographies; They mention the risk, the occasional upset, the eventual reward, but they never present the layers within the f**** up sandwich of success you are going to have to gnaw through, long before you can even utter the word “kickstarter”.

I’ll throw in an early disclaimer that I’m not exactly Steve Jobs just yet. I’m still working toward my goal here as the founder of Degree180.com and I expect we have a few years of hard work up ahead of us before we can chuck the deuces at life, and retire somewhere sunny where it’s always 5 o’clock. It is actually due to this fact, this nacent phase of development, that I feel  so well-positioned to write this article. So whether you are a businessperson who’s already made it and just taking a trip here down memory lane, the friend to someone who has just taken the entrepreneurial plunge, or if it’s you that is in the crazy midst of pursuing your dreams and  looking for something to relate to, here are the different types of f***ed up people you will definitively come across on your journey to the top:

1. The “supportive friends”:

Off the bat, get ready to filter through all of your friendships, very quickly. I’ve decided that when I have children some day I will force them to start their own businesses in grade school, which will spare them a lot of time de-tagging and unfollowing their “best friends” down the line. I’ve deduced this rapid shedding to one basic fact; People hate being around greatness. It unintentionally shrinks them, forcing them to take a more critical look at their own lives. Their thought process goes a little something like this:

“I am so proud of my good friend ____ for starting her own company. Wow I love what’s she’s doing, this is something that could be amazing. Man, I really hate my job, working 9-6 for a company I don’t even believe in. I’m not even getting paid enough to dedicate all of these hours to this shit. Gosh, I don’t know why I never had the courage to start that fashion line I was working on in college. I blame my parents, for pressuring me to stay on this path. It makes no sense, but I’m feeling sort of angry at my good friend ____ for this. She’s arrogant.

That’s the abridged version, but yes, expect a lot of illogical shade when you find the courage to do what others never dared. My advice: ignore it, stay focused. These will be same schmucks selling the “I knew her when” stories when you wind up with every single thing you deserve.

2. “But wait a minute, isn’t this our idea?” 

STOP. DROP. And duck under a sturdy surface, because there is bound to be flying debris when you hear this hot-mess of an explosion coming from someone’s mouth. There’s that Frank Underwood made for TV famous expression, “proximity to power deludes some into thinking they yield it”. That’s an elegant way of saying “what are you smoking? No, seriously. I want to know what you’re smoking”.

Because the people who have never been there before don’t know what it takes, (the hours, the approximate 400 e-mails you are rapid firing off and responding to daily, the copious cups of coffee, ineffectively battling the zero sleep your getting) they genuinely believe that anything they do for you, any idea they nod their heads in accordance with because “oh yeah, that would be great”, somehow then warrants them a slot on your E! True Hollywood Story documentary.  My advice: treat these people like overtired toddlers. They are delirious, nonsense-screaming critters, that need to be put to bed, like now. Shut. It. Down.

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3. “The Vultures” Ca-caw! Oh shit, their circling. 

It is NEVER, I repeat NEVER a good sign when you see vultures circling overhead. The Discovery channel has revealed to me that their presence is indicative of only two possibilities:

  • Prey. Somebody is about to DIE.
  • (oddly enough), a gas leak, the chemicals of which are the same in rotting carcasses.

Vultures are opportunistic scavengers. In the entrepreneurial world, these people are the businessmen that have already made it in one capacity or another, and are looking for their next big move. They no longer have the energy or the time that it takes to hustle and make it on their own, so they are looking swoop up the little guys. They want you to work, work, work until it’s absolutely perfect and then they will make you an offer you can’t resist. They pop in with an occasional “how’s it going”, just enough to keep the machine well-oiled for it’s next departure: Takeover-land. My advice: Goliath, meet David. Do not let the same people that told you you’d never, delude you into believing they are somehow your supporters. With that said, play the game. As long as you aren’t naive and you understand their end goal, you too can stand to benefit by keeping them around. There’s nothing wrong with circling, they just won’t be feasting today.

4. Your real friends, and the occasional family member.

Here’s the thing: starting your own company requires complete and utter selfishness. This means that you quite literally have zero time for anything or anyone that doesn’t benefit your company. It is an extremely crucial time in your life, where your focus and attention is undivided. It is incredibly hard for an outsider to understand this. This means that friends and family will no longer feel that they are a priority to you– and the honest truth is that they are not. There isn’t a single “made it in America” story where the entrepreneur divided his/her time between various charities, family, friends, and exercise while building their company. You are not going to be any exception. Selfishness is a frowned upon trait, but it is entirely necessary on the pursuit of your dreams. Yes, it sucks to see so many meaningful relationships suffer, but you have to remain steadfast on the tomorrow, not the today. My advice: this is what it means to be completely locked within your own vision. To be tuned, to the umpteenth power, right into your own soul. It is you, regardless of anyone or anyone else. It’s lonely, dark, beautiful and light all at once. Enjoy it. The fractured friendships will repair themselves when the time is right; the time is not right, right now.

Starting your own business is a delicate process of chasing your own dreams. It is an extremely emotional period of time, where tremors are felt and experienced on a lot of different levels. On the flip side, by no means is it an entirely negative experience, in fact it’s mostly positive. There are actually 4 incredible kinds of people that you meet when you start your own company as well, which I will detail for you all in an article next week.

In the meantime, stay busy.

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