A client’s oldest friend called her at home and the phone was answered by her daughter who said, "Sorry, mum’s not here at the moment, she’s out with her property adviser".

"Property adviser, what do you mean?" asked the friend, somewhat confused.

"Well, mum’s buying an apartment in Bulgaria and a house in Manchester, erm no, actually a couple of houses in Manchester I think".

Later, during our coaching session, my client said "you know, when I spoke to my friend later, she seemed a bit cool with me – but maybe I was imagining it".

I wonder… was it her imagination or had she just encountered one of the emotional obstacles we have to deal with when we decide to take control of our lives and start making changes?

I distinctly remember at the Wealth Creation conference in November 2005…

I distinctly remember at the Wealth Creation conference in November 2005 we had three days immersed in networking with like-minded wealth creators and listening to some top speakers sharing their knowledge around the four lanes of the ‘wealth highway’: property, the stock market, the internet and building a business to love.

Greg Ballard of Passive Investments, Nicola and Judith of the Money Gym, Alan Forrest Smith of Orange Beetle, Peter Thompson… one after another, they taught, showed, modelled, inspired and motivated the audience.

During lunch on the first day someone admitted a bit shamefully "I’ve not told my family exactly where I was going today, they just wouldn’t understand…"  This was met by sympathetic smiles and then others started opening up:

"I told my partner it’s something to do with my work" and

"My husband laughed when I told him my plans so I kept quiet after that…" and

"My friends wouldn’t understand …"

And on the admissions went.  For many of us it felt as if we had set out on this journey to financial freedom, like solo sailors embarking on a transatlantic crossing in a dinghy.  And now here we were, discovering a whole community of like-minded skippers and a clubhouse filled with expert guides and how-to manuals and nifty little tools that would give us our sea legs and upgrade our sailing vessels.

We had arrived looking like Popeye and were transforming into a bunch of Ellen MacArthur lookalikes.  I mean, still crazy in the eyes of the average man but now increasingly looking like visionaries, big thinkers, possibility-mongers, women and men of action.

Some of us would decide we liked our dinghy actually but now we wanted ten of them, all on automatic pilot please.  Others would continue to have their sights on the transatlantic crossing but now they would set sail in a state-of-the-art catamaran with a joint venture partner and a crew of five.  Others would discover the Atlantic just didn’t do it for them any more, they were looking at the luxury cruiser and it would be an around-the-world trip or nothing…

Sadly, as we grow and develop, looking in new directions, seeing different horizons, we can hope but not assume our friends and family will share our excitement and give their support as we prepare for our journey.  As my client has discovered, old friends love us and want us to be happy – but not necessarily at all costs!

There might be all sorts of reasons why we don’t get their support:

  • They fear we’ll fail – get hurt, be disappointed
  • They fear we’ll succeed – become happier or wealthier than them
  • They fear they’ll get left behind
  • They are used to being ‘one up’ and they’re in danger of being ‘one down’
  • They fear we’ll lose interest in them
  • They fear our relationships with them and others will be damaged or at least changed
  • They fear they’ll be forced to confront their own lives and not like what they see

For those friends who don’t understand where we are heading then we must go forward – for now – without them for they are just one of the emotional obstacles we’ll encounter en route to financial freedom.  We must gently but firmly let them go a little and hang out with the people who share our dreams.   

Some, like my client, choose to work with a business coach or mentor or gain support from an online forum.  For now she has decided she won’t try to discuss her investment plans with her friend but is confident that once her friend has come to terms with how she is evolving, their relationship will continue, dare I say it, on an even keel.  She might even be encouraged herself to broaden her sights and step out beyond where she’s currently comfortable, seeking financial freedom for herself.

"Ships In harbour are safe but that’s not what ships are built for"

William Shedd

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