soul proprietor

Picture this: living on a remote, inhabitable environment with twelve strangers for forty days…with no clothes and scarce resources for food. Sound exciting and challenging? It might be.

In fact, it started out feeling just like that for the participants of the reality show “Naked and Afraid XL”. (I’m obsessed with this show.) As expected, things got tough pretty fast and some participants dropped out. Surviving in the wild without the bare necessities (and Starbucks) is no walk in the park.

But one person left the show for an entirely different reason: her group had became hostile and negative. How did this happen? Did she do something terrible? Not that I could see. Mind you, these reality shows are highly edited but they couldn’t edit out one factor: one of the participants was a bit of a “Mean Girl” and she infected the vibe of the whole tribe.

One by one, even the most jovial members began to act just like her. Rueful. Bitchy. Lazy.

Misery loves company and sadly, when one person is a bummer, it often brings even the best group down.

You don’t have to be naked and afraid to see this happen. I’ve experienced this in business, both online and off: a group starts out with a positive agenda, only to be overtaken by the Debbie Downers who begin to use these groups as a dumping ground. Suddenly, you’re no longer talking business, you’re doing group therapy – and no business is getting done. No one gets inspired in a gripefest.

For example, I found myself hanging with a group of fellow entrepreneurs. The mission: talk business and mastermind. In other words, my kinda shindig. We went around the table, sharing our recent business experiences. There were a few bright moments at the start but soon, things took a turn towards Sad Sackville.

Out of a group of fifteen, only about three of us seemed to be happy in our work. Everyone else…not so much. Instead of masterminding, it devolved into a tragic pity party with a side of the bitters.

Each story got worse as if there was a competition for who had the hardest time. One woman grabbed the chance to launch into a sour hate-my-business speech (complete with tears) that seemed to have no end (this was not the first time she did this by the way – these meetings seemed to be some sort of “open mic happy hour therapy” for her).

By the time she was done with her latest rant, I was done.

I couldn’t get out of there fast enough. All of that negativity left me feeling depressed…and guilty for having a business that I loved.

A mastermind should be a place where people share frustrations but also solutions and inspiration (mainly the latter). That wasn’t happening there, so I left, never to return.

I’ve learned that negative people will only see the glass as half full – and that mindset is a powerful one. You can’t lift those boats, no matter how high you splash that tide. They will always sink everyone else down to the lowest common denominator. They seem to want that too.

Misery is not good company, especially in business. Miserable people will make you miserable and this will taint your success. Surround yourself with positive, proactive people and you’re more likely to succeed because what we focus on grows.

As Jim Rohn says: “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” That goes for business as well as personal.

Clear out the Negative Nellys in your biz world and surround yourself with uplifting allies that inspire you. Better yet: be an inspiration. Get rid of your sob stories. Be the kind of business person that successful people want to be around. Word.


© Theresa Reed | The Tarot Lady 2015

Soul Proprietor Monday Memos

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