It’s not what you think.
I love my friends. I actually have the best friends in the world. They are my biggest supporters and such a joy to be around. They are smart. They are kind. They are funny. They are thoughtful and considerate.
The problem isn’t their personalities. The problem is that they challenge me.
My friends ask the tough questions. They expect more from me because they know I can deliver. They care about me and want me to succeed. They want me to be the best I can be.
Because of that, I love them. But my head hurts sometimes after one of these loving encounters. And I am glad it does.
When I returned to Aspen in early July to launch HireMeAspen, one of my sweetest friends asked some tough questions about my new business and my marketing approach. Unbeknownst to her, I was extremely tired from a long drive from Minnesota and was having other personal issues. Mostly, I was just scared shitless because the time had come to put all my hard work these past two years out on the table for all to see.
I imagine I was like one of those moms who had just birthed a baby ~ she thinks her newborn is the most beautiful baby in the world, and the baby is beautiful even though outward appearances indicate otherwise. In other words, the baby’s head is a tiny bit squooshed.
I was in no mood to hear about reality from her. Instead, I took her constructive criticism wrong, acted poorly, tried to apologize, and ended up with a headache. My head hurt not because of what she suggested, but it hurt because I didn’t rise to my best self.
Last night, I had the pleasure of having dinner with one of my longtime friends from NYC. I wrote about our friendship three years ago in an old blog post here. He’s now renting a place in Snowmass for the month with his lovely, pregnant wife, and it was great catching up.
Charles always challenges me, and I value his opinion a lot. At the end of the evening, our conversation continued as he walked with me to my car. He asked some pointed questions about my business plan. My business model. My budget. My marketing approach. My financing options.
He had ideas I hadn’t even thought of yet!
So my head starts spinning.
There I stood, after 18 months of living and breathing HireMeAspen nonstop, listening to Charles with my jaw wide open and a glazed-over stare. I was dumbfounded. In one casual conversation, my good friend not only thinks of a brand new approach, but this approach is a great biz-dev idea that is kind of obvious and really brilliant! I must be an idiot.
My head hurts.
Now that I’ve birthed my baby with the squooshed head, the hard work continues: raising this beautifully ugly newborn. Motherhood’s hard work, but I wouldn’t change a thing.
It takes a village to raise a child. And aspirin!