I first heard the term Energy Vampires a while back but had never really given it much thought until recently when I listened to a podcast reminding me how essential it is to cut out energy vampires from your life. Energy vampires are people who suck the positive energy from you and your ambitions in life. The reality is, they can be friends or sometimes even family members and making the decision to cut ties or at the very least reduce contact can be very difficult thing to do.
I can think of a few people off the top of my head who I was very close with, as recently as last year, who I consider energy vampires. I don’t think they are bad people but in reality they were dragging me down and had different values than I did. I came to realize that they were hindering me by distracting me from my goals, not supporting my ambitions and even influencing me to do things that were out of my character.
Two years ago I moved from Ottawa to Cornwall to continue pursuing my hockey career which ultimately led me to meeting my current girlfriend and co-founder of FanSaves, Shannon. Together, we began to surround ourselves with like minded and motivated people. We didn’t know it at the time but together we were building our tribe while phasing out our energy vampires. We got really involved in the community and made some amazing connections with some incredible people. We joined an accelerator and an additional cohort in Kingston where we spent a lot of time with other startup founders and mentors. We formed a fantastic advisory board who we can call on at any moment for advice or support and of course, we leaned on our amazing friends and families to help us grow our business.
There is a term in entrepreneurship called Tribes which are basically groups of like-minded people who rally each other and support your business in various ways. They are people who believe in you and will go out of their way to support you in your entrepreneurial journey. These people are family, friends and even early adopters who want to see you succeed and will help you in any way possible.
In case you are unaware, being an entrepreneur is not easy. There are a lot of bumps in the road and the stress can get real. Energy vampires compound those tough days and make them feel worse than they are, while on the flipside positive encouragement and genuine support can help get you through those dark days along the way.
I challenge you to identify people in your life who may be dragging you down. How valuable are those people to you at this moment and if they are energy vampires are those really the types of people you want in your corner? You have to do what is best for you and your baby (your startup) if you want to succeed. It might be hard to break away but in the end it will be worth it.
As the Sesame Street’s Count Von Count might say “1. Hahaha 2. Hahaha 3. Hahaha SET THEM FREE!”
Co-Founder & COO