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WARNING - To start your own successful business could be dangerous for your friendships with other people

Want to test your friends' real loyalty? Want to see if the people you consider to be your friends actually carry a creepy little monster in their hearts? Then just follow this recipe:
• Take a poor person (you).
• Let the person start a business and eventually succeed financially.
• Make sure the person's friends knows that he/she has succeeded economically.

Mix the ingredients and let some time pass - soon you will get to see which ones of your friends are hiding a jealous monster within him/her.

I'm not exaggerating. Lots of business owners tell the same sad story and just because you know what might happen now, I'll tell you a bit more about what happened to me.

Throughout my entire career I have always made less money than half of everyone I know. That's true. I've written novels and struggled with underpaid jobs to cover the costs for food and rent. My surroundings never had any problems with this.

The problems began five years ago when I started making some real money writing. I started getting sneers, heard malice disguised as jokes and it was all about money. If people were stingy with offering encouragement before, all of a sudden there was no encouragement whatsoever. Sure, it sounds sad, but in business it's all about your own motivations and what is important to do for me or you. For me, a big part of my life concerns making our customers happy and to grow as a person by helping others become richer and more successful. That's what I like doing and when people in my immediate environment are jealous that I make a lot of money by doing this, I really don't care. I've never been particularly sentimental and I have always surrounded myself with a small group of people who all support each other.

Over to you and what it could be like:

Let's say you had a regular job before. You have earned a regular salary and you were able to do normal things - like your buddies. And then you start a business. You don't do very well to begin with. You work more than before. You toil and struggle every day to make ends meet. But things will change.
  You will soon have more customers. Suddenly one day you discover that you can award yourself a decent salary. And new customers keep coming in. You become more established and soon business is even better - and even better. You buy a new car, your dream car. You buy new things, new clothes, eat out more, travel more - yes, you are doing everything that other people who can afford it do - and that lots of other people merely dream about doing. That's when it happens. In the middle of a dinner party with your best friends, envy suddenly shows its ugly face; ”Well sure, that’s what people who can afford it might do”, someone quips. The first few times you might react with some pride because you have put years of poverty behind you due to hard work. But soon, you start to feel that the words are not meant as a compliment for your struggles and hard work, for your 80-hour weeks. You suddenly realize that those words are full of poison.

It's all about the money ...

Whenever money is mentioned the monster shows up. Suddenly your old friends seems to have forgotten the risks you've taken - and take every day (something none of your friends ever do). Suddenly, they have forgotten that you work a lot more than they do. They see you through a green filter of envy.

This is an experience that will sort your real friends from the others. The worst thing is that you may discover that the closer someone is to you, the greater is the monster. You can find the monster in your siblings, your family and the people you've been friends with for a very long time. Money creates a distance between you that they can't handle. It doesn't have to be much money, it's enough that you are doing something that you have created yourself. Yikes! “It's horrible to see what a snob he/she has turned into”, someone may whisper behind your back.

So what should you do?

Well, there isn't much you can do if you want to avoid this dilemma. You can keep your old car, your old clothes, stay in your old house and cancel that trip to the Bahamas. You can pretend that business is bad and hide the rewards you give yourself for all the hard work. This is the safe way.

The other solution is to dare to take the consequences of this and challenge your friends, relatives and other people to find out who your true friends really are. But I warn you - it can be dangerous, tedious and you might get to experience some very sad things along the way.

You decide ...

For me the choice is easy. I enjoy my success. I like to travel and I don't care what people say. I now drive the cool car that I always wanted. I buy what I want and eat what I want, wherever I want. I work eighty hours a week, doing everything I possibly can for our customers every day and our customers are saving lots of money by reading our books. You deserve your success like everyone who takes a risk for creating something better. I wish everyone good luck, whatever they want to do, and I refuse to associate with whiners and gripers. If you lose contact with people just because you become successful, it's their loss – not yours. Embrace this even if it shakes your world up a bit at first. Life is too short to be wasted on jealousy – your own and others.

You're not alone - I talk to successful entrepreneurs in my job every day and this syndrome is the same for everyone. Presumably, the behavior and reactions to success is universal and I want to quote one of my favorite authors, the legendary Swedish writer Sture Dahlström:

“As soon as a person tends to surpass others in this country, there's immediately a group of volunteers who show up with a hammer, ready to beat her down to the ground again”.

About the author

Stefan Ekberg has worked in marketing for small business for 20 years and has written around 30 books on how small business owners can market themselves with limited resources. . In 2012 Stefan was nominated as Entrepreneur of the Year in Stockholm.

230 000 prescribes to his free newsletter "The 5 minute marketer"
Every week some 230,000 prescribers gets his free newsletter about 5 minute marketing.

"The 5 minute marketer" - the book
You run a small business and you want to get ahead of the competition, but how can you give resources to marketing when you're short on time and the budget is tight? The solution is here! The 5-Minute Marketer is packed with 395 tried-and-tested ways to market your business in 5 minutes or less.