Are Your Friends and Family Keeping You Broke?
Have you ever heard the saying: “Misery loves company”? It basically alludes to the fact that many times unhappy people like other people to be unhappy too.
But did you know that mediocrity loves company too?
God knows, we love our friends and family ‘til death, but some of them can be a hazard to our financial health. Have you ever taken the time to consider the impact these people have on your finances? It’s possible you might not have noticed the negative impact the people in your life are having on your wallet and your net worth.
You might need to have some tough conversations or use your wits to deal with these assaults on your budding wealth. But no one ever said becoming wealthy was easy!
When it comes to shielding yourself from the negative effects of friends and family, there are two areas that you need to guard yourself in: 1) the influence to unwisely part with your money and 2) the temptation to settle for less than what you desire and can accomplish.
“The less you associate with some people, the more your life will improve. Any time you tolerate mediocrity in others, it increases your mediocrity. An important attribute in successful people is their impatience with negative thinking and negative acting people. As you grow, your associates will change. Some of your friends will not want you to go on. They will want you to stay where they are. Friends that don’t help you climb will want you to crawl. Your friends will stretch your vision or choke your dream. Those that don’t increase you will eventually decrease you.” Colin Powell
The law of association says you’ll become the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. You’ll earn what they earn, think how they think, and eat what they eat. If that’s true (and it is), you need to pay close attention to the people you’re hanging out with. It matters.
We all resemble the people we spend most of our time with. If the majority of that time is with negative people who have no vision you’ll most like find yourself being negative and without vision. But, if you spend time with excellent, successful people, you’re chances for success goes through the roof!
To do this, you must be both proactive and selective with how much time you invest into certain relationships and how much mindshare you give to people. To help you do this, I’ve come up with two lists of people that you should either spend more time with or love from a distance.
Be on the lookout for these folks and do what you must to get closer to them:
- Surround yourself with people that inspire you. Get around people that are actually doing inspirational things with their life. One thing I’ve learned about those who inspire others: they are strategic and generous givers and not takers.
- Keep in step with people that challenge you to be better. One of the phenomenons that I have always found most fascinating is the fact that we call “friends” the people that accept us for who we are. It is a noble quality of character. After all, no one likes to be judged. However, I want my friends to be people that love me enough not to allow me to stay where I’m at. I want my friends to challenge me to reach for bigger, better things. I appreciate it greatly when my friends hold me accountable to the things that I have either said I want to accomplish or the higher level to which they know I can reach.
- Associate with doers and winners; performance oriented people. Many people have a desire to do great things; very few are the ones who put in the work to do them.
- Surround Yourself with Passionate People. Successful people win because they love what they do. All of them have a very strong desire to succeed. They have passion for their field, their business. Passion is the single fastest way to spur yourself to massive success. It is something you love. Something you’re excited about. Something you get up early to work on or to stay up late. When you surround yourself with people that live like that, your life is juiced with a power that is unmeasurable!
Ok great! So now you know some of the things to look for in people you should surround yourself with. Let’s talk about who you should avoid, especially if you want to keep more of your money in your pocket!
- The struggling businessman or woman. This person is full of great ideas that seem worthy of a small investment. Unfortunately, having great ideas and executing them are different skills. Avoid investing money that you’re unlikely to see again.
- Solution: Let the future Donald Trump know that you’re uncomfortable investing in a business that isn’t even off the ground yet.
- The partier. The partier barely needs an excuse to celebrate. Cleaning out the closet is a good enough reason to head out on the town and drag you along for the ride.
- Solution: Show up for the celebration, but keep your expenditure limited to a soft drink. Most places will provide free refills. Another alternative is to say, “Thanks, but no thanks.”
- The charity case. This person is constantly collecting money for worthy causes. He’s climbing Mount Everest to save the antelope and needs $1 for every vertical foot of ascent.
- Solution: If you don’t have money for the cause, assist with your time or let them know that you can’t contribute to every cause. Support charities that are close to your own heart and decline the rest.
- The fancy gift giver. Most of us exchange presents of moderate value with our friends and family. This person goes overboard and spends way too much money. By way of guilt, you’re forced to reciprocate and blow your gift-giving budget.
- Solution: Suggest a dollar amount limit or let them know you’re uncomfortable with such extravagant gifts.
- The encourager. Have you ever been torn between the option of spending a lot of money on an item and keeping the money in your bank account? The encourager always seems to talk you into buying that item you want, but don’t need. All the while, they think they’re doing you a big favor.
- Solution: Keep your shopping dilemmas to yourself.
- The wealthy friend. Your budget might call for a movie rental and a frozen pizza, but the wealthy friend doesn’t want any part of frugality. She likes to go to the expensive wine bar and eat the fancy sushi that runs $200 per pound. It’s embarrassing to say “no” all the time.
- Solution: Be honest and let your friend know her tastes are simply out of your budget.
- The moocher. This person eats the food out of your refrigerator, borrows your tools and never brings them back, and always needs $5 for a variety of reasons.
- Solution: Just say no.
The key to dealing with all of these people is communication. In every instance, you can choose to let the person know that you either don’t have the money to spend or that you’d prefer to keep your money in your bank account. The conversation might be awkward, but the awkwardness is over quickly.
Avoid allowing your friends and family to drag down your finances, your goals and your dreams. Stick up for yourself and be back in charge of your money and your quality of life.
If you want to surround yourself with a group of people that are totally dedicated to helping you live a life of significance, then you should consider contacting me. I’m not looking for everybody, only for those that are serious and are committed to wining for themselves and their loved ones. If that’s you, let’s talk!