My Inner Circle of Evil: How Bad Influences Help You Succeed

Have you ever shared a project with a friend or family member, hoping to get some feedback?

This is great!

Wow, I love this

Your father and I are so proud of you sweetheart

This is great I guess this explains why you never return my calls

This isn’t feedback. It’s protection.

Feedback hurts. We’re programmed to avoid getting hurt. And so we avoid feedback.

The most promiscuous way we avoid feedback is surrounding ourselves, for our entire lives, with a circle of friends and family members that “only have our best interest at heart” (read: I want to suffocate you with a pillow.)

Make friends with people who have skin in the arena. Make friends who know which game you’re playing, and know the rules like the back of their hand. Make friends who understand that not taking risks is the riskiest risk of all. Make evil friends. Dastardly friends. Viscous friends, friends who might hurt you!

…with feedback.

My inner circle of evil is a group of 6* people I can rely on for feedback. Real feedback. The feedback I’d rather not hear, but need to. I don’t bother them with drafts of these daily posts. I send the big guns. The risky stuff. The projects with a high probability of failure, the stuff that people might mock me for. These friends are a bad influence on me. Their insidious charisma seduces me into doing things I don’t want to do. They tell me to aim higher. They tell me to raise my hourly rate. They tell me to start a business. They tell me to “fuck it.”

And fuck it I do.

Who’s in your inner circle of evil?

*The most evil of numbers

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