Let me begin by addressing my current batch of friends – Facebook Friends, Work Friends, and Friends For Life: I am not breaking up with you or suggesting you are, in your current state, “not good enough”. You are fabulous, just the way you are.
“Better” friends are people who have had a vision of success in a field or subject you are interested in, and have been a winner in their endeavour. When you reach out to someone on LinkedIn, for example, and ask them to connect with you, you are asking them for permission to admire them appropriately. Your agenda is transparent (and it should be).
If you can blend in seamlessly with a new orbit of friends who are, on the surface only, more accomplished than you in life, you will get better at being you and better at reaching your goals. This is not to say that the current version of you is necessarily “below them” (see previous post on authenticity), it simply means that it can never be a negative to be exposed to new ideas, fresh notions, and a bunch of new contacts.
Nobody likes a phony social climber – I can see those plastic, fraudulent schemers coming at me from a mile away; you are responsible for bringing something to the table, to return some knowledge in your “relationship”. This is because you have some really good stuff in your head, and you bring value. It’s not a one-way street.
If you yearn to be a CEO and all of your friends are janitors (severe example), you should continue to love the janitors with all your heart (because you are authentic), and also make an effort to make friends with a CEO or two, so that you can be better at being the YOU you want to be.
I wrote a gentleman this week who is a wildly successful entrepreneur. I told him in my email that I admire how well he has done for himself, and would he have any interest in taking on an eager student to mentor via email…
He said yes.
Sometimes you just have to ask. You’ll never know until you do. I bet I can help Mr. Successful craft some better stories about his business. All he will have to do is….ask.