Guilty by Association: Why your closest friends are killing your freelance business

Assets and Liabilities. The people around you are one or the other & there’s no middle ground to stand on. Harsh? Maybe. True? Yes.

The sooner you realize this hard truth, the sooner you can start to surround yourself with people who are going to be a positive influence on you & your freelance business.

Cutting out the bullshit in your life might seem hard at first, but I assure you that it can only lead to positive results.

If you’re anything like me, and most other human beings on this earth, you have a few family members who you just don’t like.

But they’re my family, right? Wrong. They’re blood relatives, but you never got the chance to choose who those blood relatives were growing up. As an adult, you have the choice now. Choose wisely. You are guilty by association and if you choose to hang around people who complain and are generally lazy, guess what? The odds of you sitting around kicking rocks are MUCH higher than the person who is surrounded by positive influences.

So, if you want to spend your life doing a whole lot of nothing, partying and living care free, then by all means go for it. But for the rest of us, the ones who are strapped in and ready to push it to the limit, that’s just not going to cut it. We need to be stronger, faster, smarter & meaner.

In business, not everybody wins.

The sooner you check yourself in the mirror and remind yourself that this is a war that you just cannot afford to lose, the sooner you’ll be giving everything you have to make sure you succeed. And you know what?

You will succeed.

You will succeed because 90% of the world won’t. They will give up before the end of the race, walking away from the finish line even when it’s in plain site. Those are the people you want to steer clear from.

They’ll suck you down into their pit of sorrow and never feel bad about it.

Misery loves company…

A mini-story You’ve heard that before, right? I know I have and for the longest time I never got it. Maybe because I was revolving my life around miserable people.

But when I did start to get it, I realized that my life would be as horrible as the people who I surrounded myself with, if I didn’t change who I associated with. So I started to weed out friends & family.

Today, I don’t talk to any of my immediate family and only a handful of the extended family I have, through Facebook.

At first they thought I was crazy and mean, but at that point I didn’t care. I had to look out for #1 – me.

Just like you’ve got to look out for your own personal #1 – you.

I cut out all of my friends. I mean ALL of my friends. I live with my girlfriend and we stopped hanging out with everyone we used to. It was hard to adjust to this at first, because we were both very social and loved to be a part of the crowd. But we knew it had to be done, so we did it.

You know where my friends are that I cut out? Dead, Prison, Rehab & doing the exact same. Not one of them has changed for the better.

If I stayed hanging around with them much longer than I had, who knows if I’d even be typing this post right now.

Time to evaluate

So now you’ve got a choice to make. You can continue hanging with the people you’re currently associating with or you can choose to break free from those chains and find friends who will not only love you, but push you to be a better person and better freelancer. If you’ve got that already, great.

You’re doing awesome and I congratulate you. For those of you who don’t have a group of brilliant minds to bounce ideas off of, learn from and use as a support system, there’s still hope. Your local area might not be budding with hustlers and motivational people, but I bet that Twitter is.

In fact, I know Twitter is.

When I talk with people like Andy Sowards, Jon Phillips or Amber Leigh Turner I get a renewed sense of motivation – and we’ve never even met in person. As long as your circle of friends are working harder than you are, you’ll always be motivated to do more.

So make sure you’ve connect with some hard working freelancers and light the fire under your ass to do something amazing. And never forget – people will judge you by the actions of those around you.

Choose wisely.

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Author: Mike Smith

Mike Smith is a WordPress designer & developer at GUERRILLA and the owner and main blogger here on Guerrilla Freelancing.


  1. dennyzhang says:

    A tiny feedback, Mike: Blocks of bold words make me less interested to read it deeply.

    • Mike Smith says:

      Thanks Denny, I just noticed that the content for the post wasn’t displaying properly, but I fixed it now so there’s no longer the large blocks of text.

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  1. [...] brings me back to the point I made yesterday about being guilty by association. If you’re hanging around a bunch of douche bags who just slap your ass in approval whenever [...]

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