Losing friends

by Dave Peniuk

I struggle.  I really really struggle.  I struggle with the fact that I need to change. Not just who I am and what I have done over the years, but also with who I hang out with. Who I call or email on a daily or weekly basis.  You see, I have heard many times from all the really successful entrepreneurs and business people out there that if you take the 5 or 6 people that you spend the MOST time with, you basically add up to the average of those 6 people.

Now, think about that.  Just take a second and really think about those 6 people.  And I don’t suggest you count your closest family (spouse, kids, family pet) members. Think beyond that. Also don’t include your co-workers because, really, they probably don’t count all that much in your “grand scheme of life”.  But, if you think about the 6 people beyond those parameters, you probably do add up to their average. Is that a good thing? Is it a bad thing? Well, let’s not judge whether or not it’s a good or bad thing, but let’s just think whether it is helping or hindering where we want to be in our own life. After Julie and I spent quite a bit of time at several conferences/seminars we asked ourselves this very question. Now, I am the one that “hangs onto my friends” a little more than Julie does. Why? Probably because I am okay with talking on the phone. Julie, on the other hand, would rather take a small mallet and repeatedly hit her kneecap than talk on the phone ( yes, it’s THAT bad). So, it was I that had to figure out whether I would hold myself back by mostly continuing my association with ol’ time friends that really had little to do with what I want to do with my life.

So, where am I? Well, so far I am working towards focusing on spending more time with people/mentors/friends that I want to be more like. I am spending more of my time following real estate investors that have like-minded strategies and that I appreciate and can relate to. It’s not to say that I will stop hanging with my friends that are going in an opposite direction than me. But rather, I will make a more concerted effort to spend more time with people that are moving in the direction that I am moving.

Why? Because if I want to be the “best that I can be” (to steal a line from the army/navy), I have to surround myself with friends/people that are moving in the same direction. This is the absolutely the BEST way to help you achieve your ideal me.

Fishing trip with Dad

Beautiful sunset north Vancouver Island - on fishing trip with my Dad


Filed under Personal Development, real estate

12 responses to “Losing friends

  1. I have personally found this to be true as well. My husband used to think I was being snobby and as our lives have grown, a gap began to form.

    It is not fun to be around people who wallow in their own lives, complaining about how powerless they are and taking comfort that “everyone else” is in the same boat.

    In contrast to people who are content and loving their life no matter how different their paths may seem, I like their energies much better. It is not always about money.

  2. Dave, this is a great post.

    I think its really easy (at least for me) to avoid the murmuring and complaining folks.

    I think the challenge is with dividing time between those friends/acquaintances who are generally positive people but just not headed in the same direction and those who you really connect with who are either on a similar path (or already wildly successful).

    There’s a balance required in that….I haven’t quite figured that out 🙂

  3. Dave,

    I think you hit the nail on the head when you talked about “energy”. We definitely pick up on the energy of the people we hang around with. Try not feeling happy at a comedy club, or feeling sad at a funeral (doesn’t matter who’s). Same goes for hanging around people who are successful. There is an energy they give off that we can absorb.

    As Shae mentions, it’s a balancing act and it’s not easy to figure out. I say it’s as simple as who you spend more time with and where your thoughts are at. If you feel yourself slipping, call up an investor friend and talk. Or listen to Tony Robins…:)

    Just my 2cents

  4. Middle Way, Shae, and Scott,

    Thanks for your comments. And yes, I agree with all of you and all great suggestions (“call an investor or listen to TR”, “There’s a balance required “, and “It is not always about money.”).

    I believe my biggest challenge is letting go of those people (in my case good longterm friends), or at least spending a lot less time and effort trying to hang out with them, that have been such an important part of my life. And that’s not to say that they wallow in self pity or complain all the time, but rather “don’t get” what Julie and I are trying to do. Or say the always annoying “it must be nice for you two” and “you guys are soooo lucky to live like you do”. Yeah, like we bought a lottery ticket and lucked out by winning this life we have created!

    Thanks again all, we appreciate you because YOU have made an effort and YOU are the type of people I look forward to spending more time with! 🙂

  5. Dave,

    What I’ve realized lately is I can more easily spot those “excuse” people from those who are focused and will achieve their goals. I think the book “Millionaire Mind” illustrates the differences very well. I’ve got the audio version if you are interested, I’ll send it your way. Shoot me an email at sjcostello AT gmail DOT com

  6. Thanks for the offer Scott. I would gladly take you up on it except we already have a couple of copies of Millionaire Mind (the book and audio). But I will re-listen to it again as clearly I need to! 🙂



  7. Great post, Dave.

    When I quit the bar business, I pretty much left all of my friends behind. Not because they were bad people, but because they were on an entirely different path, and I knew if I wanted to become a successful entrepreneur I was going to have to drastically change my lifestyle, including the people that I was hanging around with.

    It sounds harsh, but as you know, when you are surrounded with people who are constantly complaining about their situation, yet doing nothing to improve it, it starts to wear on you after awhile..

    Steph 🙂

    It also drives me up the wall when people comment about how “lucky” I am to live the lifestyle I live. The truth is- I’ve busted my butt for the last 3 years to get to the point that I’m at today (and I still have a looooooong way to go). There is no luck involved, just a lot of blood sweat and tears.

  8. Thanks for your comments Steph. And I am happy to hear that you (and many of our other blog comment contributors) have had some similar challenges both in the “changing” friends space and in the “you’re so lucky” space as Julie and I. It gives me hope that we’re not alone!


  9. Goldie

    Penny, I hope our special relationship isn’t in jeopardy, I will try to minimize my personal obfuscation.

    TTFN, Goldie

    • Oh my goodness Goldie – you made me laugh and laugh and laugh. And then, when I stopped laughing, I had to go and look up the word obfuscation… which for the other readers out there means:
      Obfuscation is the concealment of intended meaning in communication, making communication confusing, intentionally ambiguous, and more difficult to interpret.

      According to wikipedia… which is always right.

      Now… I am confused but still think your comment is funny.

  10. I gotta admit I struggle a little with this one.

    Personally I don’t want to hang around with folks who complain all the time, have negative energy oozing all around them, and are generally depressed.

    But on the other side of the coin, what if all “positive” energy people kicked all the “negative” energy people to the curb…then what hope would they have?

    Don’t most conversions happen due to someone “seeing the light” in another?

    I’m not saying we should all take on the world of negative naysayers as our personal charity cases…but if someone’s struggling with depression, for example, I’d have to consider first whether they deserve a heaping of compassion before I elect to kick them out of my life because I don’t like their vibe.

    I don’t know…even as I type those words, I’m not sure I agree with them. So as you can see, I’m wavering. It’s aligning yourself exclusively with people who emanate who you want to be versus showing love and compassion to the screwed up people around you by being in relationship with them and modeling a healthy life.

    Just my unsettled thoughts. Thanks for posting and commenting, guys.


  11. JP,

    I didn’t know you were so “deep”! 🙂 Thanks for your comments. I too waver back and forth all the time.

    But, I think you’re right, it’s not that we should exclude or avoid all the naysayers out there, but rather we should help those who clearly need help. That being said, if they don’t accept our help or aren’t willing to help themselves (even when we are helping), then there is only so much we can do.

    Man, I opened a big can of worms on this blogpost. But, hopefully it got everyone thinking about their lives, their friends, their associates, and just people in general.

    If you have any other thoughts, please share!


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