Back in my oh-so-awkward high school days, I remember looking around at those cool
 kids and wondering, what – exactly – they were doing to be so tubular. (Well,
 probably they weren’t using the word “tubular,” for starters.)
And this inquiry didn’t stop once I graduated high school or college or even beyond 
that. I was happy enough with the friendships I had, but there was always this 
seemingly ambitious group of people who continued to make strides.
 I’d try to converse with them and be flooded with anxiety, realizing that 
I didn’t really have anything of substance to offer them. In truth, I largely kept 
myself away from successful others
 because I was at a loss about how to engage.
I know. I know. We can have a rousing debate about what it means to be “successful”. 
I’ll leave that debate to be taking up by you and your therapist. But I will say this,
 when 
I refer to successful people, I mean people who have the capacity to set a goal and 
then
 take the steps to achieve that goal. They have fulfilling relationships. 
Their conversations
 are spent less on complaints or gossip or airing their frustrations about their 
significant 
others and primarily focused on creativity, expansion and joy.
Nope – these aren’t fantasy people. They actually exist! In fact, somehow, to my 
surprise, I have eked my way into this delightful club.
But it wasn’t easy, nor – I must say – was impossible.
I so often hear from ya’ll in private practice who talk about the difficulties of creating 
a successful business – the constant fear, the stress, the overwhelm. It makes it seem
 like frenzy, anxiety and poverty are synonymous with practice building.
But, I also hear that you want something different for yourself and your practice.
 You would love to be surrounded by those people who are actually making it happen-  
who are truly enjoying their businesses, setting clear boundaries with time, attracting 
the clients who feel wonderful to work with and are even setting their sights on the
 next big thing beyond working exclusively in the one-to-one private practice model.
Ooh, damn. What might it be like to sit down for a nice glass of wine and learn from 
someone like that?!
Then you look around you, and there is literally no one you can think of who falls into 
that camp. Which then leads you to raise a skeptical eyebrow and scroll your cursor 
dangerously close to the “x” at the top of your browser window.
But wait!
Today I’m here to tell you how you can, not only find these mystical creates of 
private
 practice ease, but also learn from then and even (*gasp*) build real, honest to 
goodness friendships with them.
Over the past few weeks, we’ve taken a look at the way our relationships can have a 
huge impact on our ability to live fulfilling, kind, thoughtful and – yes, wealthy – lives.
This week, I want to give you a couple of tips to help you in your quest to build
 relationships that truly support the growth of your business (and your self). 
These relationships challenge your limiting beliefs, rather than reinforce them, 
and ask you to be step fully into your potential so you can make a greater impact in 
the long run.

How to Build 

Relationships with 

Successful Colleagues

Seek a Dissenting Voice: Look for
 people who disagree with you. 
I don’t mean that one person in 
your community who simply challenges
 everything anyone says as a personal mission (you know who I mean). Rather, 
look for
 those people who you respect, whose work ethic you admire, whose relationships
 seem
 un-conflicted and peaceful. Those are the ones from whom you have something to 
learn.
 If they highlight an area of growth or challenge your viewpoint, take heed, try to be 
curious.
Look to be Un-Validated: Seek out people who don’t rush to soothe away your
 difficult
 emotions. Unless these folks are sociopaths (and you know the difference), 
chances are 
they truly understand what it means to struggle, sit in the struggle and move 
beyond it.
 Your accusation that they don’t understand you if they don’t rush to soothe you is 
misplaced and dismissive of their experience. Trust that they do know what it means
 to feel hurt, betrayal and devastation – and then open yourself to curiosity about how 
they live gracefully even so.
Ask the Most Important Questions: When someone gives you a piece of feedback 
that stings, even something so simply as pointing out your poor web design, don’t
 start
 with justifications. Start with a question, “What do you mean?” or “What might you 
change?” This is not easy, especially when you’ve put a lot of work into being a
 particular
 way. But, it’s worth it.
BE the Change: Be the kind of friend you’d like to have. If you want someone to call 
you on your shit, start doing that for the people around you. If you want more friends 
who are holding themselves accountable for making changes, start holding yourself 
accountable first.
Get Your Own Therapist: If you find yourself collapsing without constant validation
 from friends or partners or, quite frankly most people around you – then definitely seek 
out a therapist. If you (like many of us) had early experiences of being psychologically 
missed, then it’s likely you’re continuing to seek mirroring from people whose job is not 
to mirror you. This constant demand that external relationships provide you with safety 
and attunement is interfering with your capacity to develop rich professional ties. 
A therapist can provide you with the consistent support you need, so that you can 
approach other relationships with something something beyond the need to be safe
 and seen.