On Wednesday I woke up after four hours sleep with a new lease of life. Granted I was grumpy due to a late night but I woke knowing what I had to do to make the future look better. For quite some time I had been spinning around spending lots of time doing things for no reward. Working with people who just take, take, take and never give, spending time with people who do the same. But I woke and realised that I need something to change. And that something was me.
You see, I’d realised that to find success and happiness, I needed to do something different and I knew that morning what that was. I just had to stop hanging around with and doing things for people, well…..people I generally don’t like.
Be better than average
I’d recalled a quote from Jim Rohn (the famous American entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker) that said “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with’ and this made me think. Firstly, I never want to be average (and that goes without saying) but moreover I found myself spending more and more time with people who just take too much effort to work with.
In work these are ‘difficult customers’ that take a lot of handholding but provide little profit, these are awkward suppliers with which everything is just, well, ‘hard work’ and then in life there are the people that just say one thing to you and then do something completely different. The point that I’m trying to make is that there are just too many occasions of non-congruent behaviour. And when this is demonstrated more than once. Then you know that something has to change.
Use a wooden stake
That change was to rid myself of the people who only ‘take’ from you, the “energy vampires” in life.
Energy vampires can be your customers, your suppliers, your employees, family, friends, clients, colleagues, teachers, neighbours, lovers, or even strangers. And they come in all types…
- There is the blamer, who lays blame on everyone else without ever taking any responsibility.
- The guilt trippers use shame to get what they want.
- Jealous individuals can never genuinely feel happiness for anyone else.
- Then there are the insecure ones, who pull others down to their level of low self-esteem.
- The fun haters seem unable to embrace joy.
- The downers, the whiners, the gossipers, the drama queens, and the list goes on and on and one and on…
Whatever form they take, energy vampires have one thing in common: They cannot create or sustain their wellbeing in any positive manner. So they latch on and feed off others, slowly sucking the life out of them.
They are closer than you think
No doubt you know people like this. They may be your biggest customers or a key supplier or a key employee and this makes it hard to get away from these energy-sucking relationships. But on Wednesday I did.
- I ranked my customers on 1-5,
- I ranked my suppliers on 1-5,
- I ranked my employees on 1-5,
It was a very simple system, 1 is good, 5 is bad. If any of them scored a 4 or 5, I know that they need to be changed. Any 4’s or 5’s were eating into my own precious energy. On Wednesday I sacked some customers, I also sacked a few suppliers and frankly I’m glad I did. Remember though, if you get rid of a 5 or 4, ensure you call a 1 or 2. Do it now, especially if it’s been a while since you touched base with them.
The thing is, in business we create relationships and relationships are always an exchange of energy, they can uplift us, or get us down. And in recent months I am surprised how affected I was by the energy vampires in my life. These 4’s and 5’s were just taking up too much time and energy. Time meant low profit and energy meant when you finished dealing with them, you felt ‘all blah’.
So to continue to do my best in my businesses, it became apparent that I’d need to do something drastic. I needed to rid my businesses of the 4’s and 5’s. At all costs!
And the same goes for you.
Who do you hang out with?
To be super successful, to live a healthy, happy, and positive life, it is absolutely vital that you surround yourself with people who promote the same way of living.
So ask yourself: Who is draining my life energy? Is is Richard or Darren, or Jane who’s a pain? The point is, identify them and rid yourself of them. Be ruthless.
Scared? Don’t be, just try it. At its absolute worst, it’s very cathartic.
Have fun, go mad…
Remember what Jim Rohn said “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with”…..So go and find 5 people that you can have fun with.