“When I walk off stage, I make sure to have a person standing right there to tell me I did a good job.” As my friend Annie Downs talked about the scary vulnerability of public speaking in our women’s leadership small group at church, we laughed and understood all too well what that feeling is like. We often talk about plans, steps and processes for speaking in public, building a brand, or launching a business. It’s easy to overlook the value of key relationships to help you. If you want to be successful in anything new you’re working on, you’re going to need these four types of friends to help you on your journey.
1. The Connected Friend You know this person. When you guys meet up to grab coffee, they know the barista, the janitor and ten people that come in while y’all are there. They are the one that knows someone who knows someone who knows someone. This is my friend Jenny. She has endless connections that have helped me through the years, and that’s what your Connected Friend will do for you too. Their connections open up a world of options, resources and opportunities for your idea or project.
2. The Creative Friend This would be me. I have no less than 100 ideas a day, and the more ideas I have, the more that come to me. I love it when I coach clients that are stuck, and I can shoot out five new ideas on the fly that may help. Even though I’m usually the Creative Friend to many people, I also need friends to bounce ideas off of. For example, Ken Coleman and Chris Hogan have given me great ideas to help make our Business Boutique event even better. Creative Friends help make projects stand out, your ideas more interesting, and the whole process more fun!
3. The Cautious Friend This is my husband Matt. Matt is insanely (and maddeningly) detailed. He drives me crazy—and I need him like crazy. Your Cautious Friend is the one that makes sure the Creative Friend’s ideas can actually happen. They shoot holes (painful holes!) in your idea, but they help make it stronger so that it can work. They also save you from mistakes down the road that you may not have thought about or planned for (Not that I know anything about that).
4. The Cheerleader Friend This is the friend that Annie was talking about in our women’s group. They’re the person gifted with words and generous with encouragement. This is the friend that makes you feel like you can conquer your problems, your messy house and the world all at the same time. She is everyone’s #1 fan, and she will keep you motivated, encouraged and confident all along the vulnerable and scary process of putting yourself out there. This is my friend Ashley. Every time I talk to Ashley, I leave feeling great about myself. Thank God for friends like Ashley!
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Even if the only person that works in your business is you, you still don’t have to go it alone. You’ll be set up for success, reduce your stress, and have a lot more fun if you have these four types of friends with you along the way!