Friday, October 21, 2011

How Do You Make New Friends?

Recently I've worked with a few adults and children on the process of making new friends.

Feeling lonely is hard. Making a new friend can be harder. Actually, most of the time it's quite impossible. What I mean is that when people go about trying to make a friend they often end up being awkward by being too forward and overbearing. And who wants to be a friend with someone acting desperate?

Think about a close friend of yours. How did you make that friend? It's likely that you didn't make a plan one morning to go make a friend and that same day you actually caught him/her. Most people don't make friends. Most people become friends. In fact I would never recommend anyone to go and make a friend because at the end of the day if you didn't make a friend you have failed... or at least you feel like a failure. As the days without making a friend string together discouragement sets in and your focus turns inward with thoughts like, "Why doesn't anyone like me?" or "What's wrong with me?" At this point you've become your worst enemy in the process of trying to develop new friends because you're even less attractive to others as you wallow in negativity and self-pity. Walking into a room with negative expectations often is a self-fulfilling prophecy. You expect the worse, the worse happens. So suck it up and cheer up because I want to give you the simple tools that will dramatically increase your chance of developing new friendships.

The process of making friends is the same whether you're seven or forty-seven years old.

Instead of making a friend you should simply focus on being a friend. To be a friend is to simply express loving kindness to people around you and patiently wait. Then get up the next day and repeat. Get up the next day and... you guessed it, REPEAT!

K + P = > chance of 1 + 1
Kindness + Patience = a greater chance of making a friend.

Becoming friends with someone is never guaranteed. It's still a risk and not easy. Sometimes when you think you've become friends the other person shuts you out. That hurts. You cannot force someone to be a committed friend. God is the one who knits hearts together. That's God's department alone. So if you didn't make a friend today GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK. That's not your job! But what you are responsible for is being friendly. Being kind and serving the people God has placed around you at your job, in your neighborhood, at the grocery store, hair salon, etc...

So quit playing God by trying to make friends.
Simply love others, be kind and have patience.

It's worth the wait.

"Love is patient. Love is kind."
2 Corinthians 13:4

Thursday, October 13, 2011

To Start or Not to Start

I just had a great conversation with a friend who is considering starting a business. Starting takes guts. Starting means stepping into the unknown and taking a risk. It also means taking initiative to make new friends. A lot of them. And providing something that adds value to their lives. So much value that they keep coming back to pay for your service. A key to starting well is having a coach. Someone who has been there and done that. A warm body is ideal but ink and paper is also valuable because you can't underline and highlight a warm body. And you can't pick their brain at 3am when you're anxiously seeking wisdom on what to do next.

Having trouble starting? Always dreaming?
I like Pastor Steven's post about about always dreaming but never starting.

Here are a few good coaches you can learn from any hour of the day. You'll want them in your corner:

1. Next Generation Leader: The heart of this book and your business should be character out of which flows courage, competence, clarity and coach-ability. A must read for any potential leader.
2. The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: There is so much leadership goodness in this book you'll refer back to it for years.
3. EntreLeadership: I am halfway done with this new gem from Dave Ramsey. Practical wisdom from a guy who built a national brand from a card table at home.
4. Good to Great: You'll be surprised at what qualities in a leader can cause a business to go from just being good to becoming great and sustaining greatness for the long haul.
5. Quitter: How do you make the leap from being an employee to running your own business without dragging you and your family through poverty in the process? Acuff has the experience and wisdom to get you through.
6. Guerrilla Marketing: Need to get the word out about you and your company? Get this book, do what it says and repeat.
7. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: A classic book on personal leadership that will define all your daily habits. Knowing how to define your habits will light a fire in you to align them to leverage the years you have left in life.