Beware Energy Vampires

They mean well.  They spot momentum and they can’t resist.  They are full of possible “synergies”, but short on concrete proposals.  They love coffee.

I shared something about EV’s with Praxis participants and alumni yesterday:

As you begin to build momentum and get noticed as someone who’s going places, you will begin to attract energy vampires.

EV’s are well meaning people who cannot resist latching on to a rising rocket. You’ll be flattered by their attention and compliments, and you’ll get excited about the vague but interesting possibilities they reference. Maybe they know people that can get you that thing? Maybe THIS is the big break!

There is no big break. The big break mentality is a killer. There’s a constant Getting of Shit Done, and a ceaseless building of social capital.

Energy vampires are not usually bad people, and often it’s very hard to tell them from genuine connections with whom social capital is valuable. Early in your career, be generous, open, and exploratory. Go to coffee with interested people, see what they’ve got to say/offer, etc. But always be learning and observing and working to get those “I can do big things for you”s into concrete opportunities and action items.

Over time you’ll get good at knowing the difference. Eventually you’ll be able to spot a distracting wasteful contact or meeting right away.

For now, just know that the more successful you become, the more energy vampires you’ll attract.

Oh, and sometimes they hide behind the word “Mentor”.