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Business Success vs Friendship

Written by Monika Mundell  · June 24, 2008

image Yesterday I had a really worrying conversation with a friend of mine. He voiced a concern about another mutual friend who he feels has been avoiding him for quite some time. The trouble is, this second friend is actually quite successful in her business ventures. Naturally the question arose whether she was actually putting her success before her friends needs to keep the friendship going.

While I don’t know their history and it isn’t my business to worry about them, I certainly started to ponder the question in general terms.

How do we as a business person value friendship, once success has taken hold in our business?

I could bet most people would answer this saying they certainly value their friends, regardless of their business success. However, while this is certainly true for myself, I wonder what really happens to some people once their reach the pinnacle of their respective business.

For starters, people might become so involved in their business affairs they simply forget to make time for their friends. They could also be so bombarded from other not so successful people asking for help which of course takes a huge chunk of time out of their working day.

So many possible scenarios come to mind which all negatively affect our friendships.

My friend also mentioned some people’s need for even more money once they are on top of their business, regardless of their friends.

This leads me to believe that most “common” people actually believe the following to be true – that once we become wealthy, we don’t really care about our old friends anymore and simply concentrate on earning even more money.

I suppose this belief of mine has further been fueled by many conversations I had in the past with a wide range of people. Most of us grow up thinking being equals nastiness. You know, we feel rich people have no character, they simply don’t care about “us” the “common” people anymore, since they have so much money to burn they hardly have time to foster their old relationships.

While I personally think this to be utter rubbish, I actually know many people who belief just that. Most of these people are children of middle class families, having grown up with this common “hate” for rich and successful people.

I’m also a middle class child and I know this to be true because my parents instilled this belief into me when I was younger. I know they didn’t mean it out of spite, they simply believed this to be true without trying to understand while some people might react like this but most never would, because a lot of people feel the same way, hence a common belief is born. When I started to involve myself with a lot of personal development I learned to understand that this wasn’t true.

But, regardless of my own belief in this matter I still wonder how people actually react once they become financially rich and how do others who previously knew them perceive them to be in their new found wealth.

See, it could also be the “common” people’s jealousy kicking in. They are upset, jealous, angry, etc. because they are still stuck in their 9-5s while the rich person has created a new reality.

I suppose I could offer a lot more thought on this scenario, but I really wanted to hear your thoughts on this matter. How do you feel about the business success vs friendship situation?

More importantly, where are you right now in this regard? What is your reaction, your experience with this. 

About The Author
My name is Monika Mundell, I’m one of the co-authors of Can I Make Big Money Online and I’m the author of Freelance Writing. Learn more from me there.

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6 Responses to “Business Success vs Friendship”

  1. Hendry Lee on June 27th, 2008 9:07 am

    That is exactly one of the topics we discussed when I hanged out with a friend last week. They said perhaps I will go out less often with them once my business goes stronger.

    I know this is true for some people. Even if friends are still important to me, perhaps they will be the one who leaved, perhaps because of cynicism.

  2. Monika Mundell on June 27th, 2008 7:11 pm

    @ Henry Lee: Cynicism. I didn’t even think of that. Funny enough the shunning could also be done by those friends instead like you mentioned. Good point.

  3. A dust collecting fool on June 28th, 2008 6:21 pm

    Success in business does not always mean success at life. It is very difficult to do both correctly.

  4. Jonathan on June 29th, 2008 1:15 pm

    I think that your character has a direct effect on how you manage wealth. If you have a stable character and gain money slowly you learn to cope with it and the expectations. If you are soley focussed on money at the expense of everything else and come into money then the character is not sufficiently developed.

  5. Monika Mundell on June 29th, 2008 5:25 pm

    @ A dust collecting fool: you are correct with your statement. Many successful business owners have lost their family to a workaholic mental attitude.

    @ melatonia: thank you for your input.

    @ Jonathan: Yes, for sure. Like you, I also think character plays a huge role in everything we do. It is also the vehicle to keep us grounded.

  6. George Manty on June 29th, 2008 7:57 pm


    I think people do change when they become wealthy, but I also think that their friends perceptions of them changes too.

    My father worked his way up the corporate ladder through his lifetime and has made it to the “wealthy” status. Growing up as a child we weren’t really wealthy, but a few years after college he started to move out of the middle class into the upper middle class and beyond. I do think that he changed some over time. I think it’s inevitable for most people to change as they grow into a new social status. Especially when part of their growth involves them having to network with other people who are wealthy (like my father). On the other hand, I know that many people do get jealous of their friend’s financial success. This can lead to the misperception that our wealthy friend no longer likes us, because they are interested in new things and have made new friends.

    The fact of the matter is that all kinds of status changes affect the way people react to us. If I was to lose my job and become homeless, many of my friends would undoubtedly think differently of me. If I was to become paralyzed and couldn’t do anything, many of my friends would think differently of me.

    Very interesting conversation that you started…