As a busy entrepreneur, you should be very strategic about who you surround yourself with, since those people will have a strong influence on your day-to-day life. One of the best decisions a female entrepreneur can make is to spend more time with positive people and less time with people who bring a lot of negativity. When asked what choices I’ve made that have made a huge impact on my career, choosing to surround myself with positive people is at the top of the list. I personally saw a huge turning point in my business and in my overall happiness and satisfaction in life when i intentionally decided to spend more time with positive, uplifting, empowering women and less time with negative women.
Sometimes you’ll hear these negative people referred to as “crabs,” referring to the fact that they keep pulling others down with their negativity. If you put a single crab in a barrel, it has the ability to climb out of the barrel and easily makes its way out. However, if you put many crabs in a barrel, when one starts to climb and escape, others will pull it back down into the barrel as they work to climb out, despite each crab being capable of escaping. The potential of the single crab is never realized because of the energy expended by the other crabs bringing each other back to the bottom of the barrel.
We female entrepreneurs should work to surround ourselves with positive people and to spend less time with friends, family, or colleagues who are crabs. Negative people often only see or focus on faults in others, while positive people will focus on strengths, helping you live up to your full potential, even if you can’t see that potential yourself. If you have negative people in your life, work to distance yourself from those people and their issues. Understand that it’s not about you and that stepping back from the relationship with this person will ultimately make your happier.
Take time to cultivate relationships with positive people who truly help you move forward in life. You need someone in your life who you can talk to about your business and your life, someone who shares your values. If you don’t have someone who you know you can go to to confide in, or learn from them, or be uplifted by them, you need to seek those people out. This person doesn’t have to be someone local; try video conferencing if you don’t live in close proximity. You can still have those close relationships and connections with people if they don’t live in your community.
It can be particularly difficult when the negative person in your life is a family member. When a family member isn’t supportive of you, it can be incredibly hurtful. Understand that you can’t change that family member, and that it doesn’t help to be constantly upset about their actions or words. Instead, work to accept the reality of who they are. It may help to have another family member to act as a buffer when you get together, someone who can balance the family dynamic and helps keep the mood more positive when you spend time together.
Letting go of negativity is incredibly important for your business, too. Your ability to stay optimistic is truly one of the biggest predictors of how successful your business will be. Negative entrepreneurs often like to focus on everything that’s going wrong in their life. These people often make themselves into the victim, complaining about everything that goes wrong in their lives on social media or other places.
Here’s the truth: your clients don’t want to work with someone who’s dramatic or negative. Your clients and prospects want to work with someone who is positive and uplifting. Just like you should minimize your interaction with negative people, potential clients can sense your negativity and may avoid working with you if you don’t have the right attitude. When you start to feel or think negative, do something that helps put you in a better mindset, like focusing on professional development, reading through thank yous from past clients, or simply thinking through all of the things that you’re thankful for. Focus on being positive yourself and you’ll start to see your business grow.
Prioritize spending time with positive people. Focusing on cultivating relationships with people who lift you up doesn’t mean that you don’t love a negative person. It simply means that you intentionally spend less time with that person and more time with those who challenge you to become a better person. Deciding to surround yourself with positive people will help you lead a happier life, and that optimism will help you be more positive in return, attracting more people to you and your business.