Jealousy is a strange thing. I find myself becoming quite jealous of people for the strangest reasons.
One of the annoying things I do is compare myself against others based on my age. You see I am perfectly happy to see someone much more successful than me that’s older, because I think in my head this means I still have time to beat them by the time I am there age, but if they are younger than me then I feel like some sort of failure.
The important thing to the above is that I recognise it. Because I recognise such a stupid feeling, I deal with it and make sure that particular emotion doesn’t affect how I operate. Yet most people fail to recognise such basic reactions and let their judgement be clouded because of it.
Yet there is a type of jealousy that you can’t readily deal with. Your friends.
You see as your success grows and you being to live the life that you dreamt of, there will be people out there that you class as friends who aren’t quite as happy for you as you would expect.
I have a great example of this, and I have to admit nothing really prepares you for it when it happens.
When I was growing up I had a best friend that was pretty forthright about their own chances of success. As time went on we drifted apart because we grew up to be very different people, with different views on the world but none the less I felt that we would be good friends whenever we met up.
One day out of the blue I received a message from this friend, with all of our school friends copied in, that detailed screen shots of my first companies accounts (the one that didn’t do very well). They accused me of being a fool and not knowing what I was doing, and then proceeded to attack other angles of my life such as the type of people I followed on my Instagram.
Now it came to light that this “attack” had been motivated because I had recently bought a new house and this friend didn’t like that. They felt that my failure in my first business meant that I would never succeed and the hint of success meant I was somehow shamefully forgetting my past.
As anyone reading this will know I am pretty open about my failings and how I believe my failures were at the very least an extremely expensive education in the real world.
My response to this was to tell the friend that I wished them well but that I wasn’t going to debate anything, in public view or private. I didn’t need to justify myself.
I think that dealing with jealousy from friends is one of the hardest things you will have to do because as an entrepreneur you already feel isolated in some way from everyone else.
When you’re down the pub (if you get there) you’re less bothered about the football results as you are with how to meet the next wage bill and that really does mean that you start to drift away from long term friends through a lack of real world connection.
Over time I’ve learnt to separate the public face from the private one in order to make this a little bit more bearable. I still worry about bills, but I do it under the surface so that my normal friends don’t even notice.
You could call me fake but it’s actually just my way of maintaining a normal life rather than becoming all consumed by your work.
Keeping your work and private life separate will help with jealousy because it will stop people like my friend waiting to pounce on you when you’re down or on your way back up. You don’t need negativity in your life and as such that separation helps to build a wall that prevents it.
• Stop competing with everyone else and compete against yourself
• People will always be jealous of your success while being jealous of other success is natural
• You have to learn when you are being subjected to and experiencing jealousy
• Ask yourself why you need others to know what you’re doing and try to separate your private life from your work one.
Read our next blog post “Success in spite not because”.