There is no way around it. We need people around us to function and to be successful. Entrepreneurs can easily fall into “I have 2000 friends” trap. Here is how to filter the best friendships and to protect them from the worst enemy – time.
Enjoy the Company
Entrepreneurs will easily meet hundreds of people in the span of a year. Some you will instantly feel you “gel” with – others not so much. The key is to develop this inner sense of who you would like to get to know more and who isn't a good match to your personality. Just having this awareness can be of a great help. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to look at somebody's business card instead of a character when it comes to meeting potential friends. Some people are also better at “selling themselves” than others. They will give you a quick pitch that will instantly hook you in. That's great but do learn not to discard people who may not have great social skills and may need to warm up first.
One of the best things you can do is be curious. That's a guaranteed path to success when it comes to making new friends. We all love to talk about ourselves. So do have a good list of questions you can ask. Don't make it all about work. In order to build good friendships you do need to have something in common (personal interest, perhaps other friends or maybe you just like the same type of drink – all are good reasons to keep the conversation going).
Party Like a Russian
One of the best ways to maintain friendships is to organise a get together (or two) a year. This doesn't have to be in your house – it could be a dinner, movie night with a larger group of people or perhaps a trip to a nightclub. By inviting people to your “party” you give them opportunity to invite you back. This also means that you have a continues way to keep in touch with people. If you prepare yourself, budget for and have scheduled in advance – 1 or 2 dates a year – you will be onto a great social start! You will likely quickly expand your friends circle and social engagements. With time don't be afraid to make decisions that may be difficult. There is no point to torture yourself with unwanted company just for the sake of social availability.