I’ve been driven in a Rolls. I’ve partied at The Ritz. I’ve owned Louboutins and dined at some of the finest restaurants in the world. I’ve rubbed shoulders with the “elite” and most likely done drugs with your kids. There is no need to judge me, just make sure the grass in your own garden is trimmed. I open my Editor’s Letter with a paradox, one where I show that it takes a lot to impress me. Essentially, I have seen and heard it all, about myself and other people.
I used to want to be defined by the places I frequented, the people on my speed dial and the quality of my shoes. My ego increased each time I visited The Ivy in Chelsea or Sketch in Mayfair. My friends were all beautiful, but collectively we couldn’t tell who was more broken. Everything of value was perceived through it’s price tag and to be ‘genuinely happy’ had something to do with money.
I identified with London so much, it was a fast paced city that fed my demons and distracted me of my own self. I identified with the city in that phase of my life because it offered all the disruptions one could ever ask for. Leaving was easy though because it was time to go or I would have died. I was ready to do whatever it took to change the direction and distractions in my life.
Moving to Croatia was interesting because it felt like I was back in high school. Everyone knew each other’s business and worst yet, they cared. I moved from a large city where no one gave two Fs about my life to a large village where everyone wanted know how well you were doing and how you were doing it. Who the hell was paying for my dinner at Time Restaurant in Zagreb? News flash, I was.
It became obvious that people were more invested in the dirt on others than the good and every piece of information had a price tag. If I wanted to find out something about someone, there was always one person willing to give it all up over a coffee. It was so easy to be a shit person and drop down to the vibration of many people here.
I recently received a message along the lines of, “It was so lovely to meet you today, I was looking forward to it so much because I heard so many nice things from two people about you.” It was a feeling no amount of money could buy and one I don’t feel that often. Those two people were highly respected individuals I’d had ongoing business with in tourism in Croatia, not the random riff raff who pretend to be my friend on instagram stories. Their opinion of me held value.
It made me reflect on how important what people say behind your back is; what people say about you when you’re not around and the type of impression you leave on others. Don’t get me wrong, you’ll never be able to please everyone and you won’t always be someone’s cup of tea, there will always be someone who spits venom on your name. But often when you take a few steps back and watch the snake spit, it is always someone who’s opinion never really mattered anyway. Snakes spit when they are threatened.
As much as I didn’t want to build a fortress around myself and be good with all, here in Croatia this is simply impossible to do and succeed. Walls must be built to keep the lack of quality out. Lack in quality of conversation. Lack in quality of friendship. Lack in the quality of coffee because cheap coffee is just that, cheap. The more focused I became on myself and business, the more I started to attract a higher calibre of network and those who provided value to my life and business. I started to notice that once you removed yourself from the actors and actresses of our social media driven society and invested time in those a little less known but still powerfully prominent, there was a better return in investment in the long run because they were ten times more likely to say something nice about you than someone snooping in and who considered you their competition.
“Walls must be built to keep the lack of quality out. Lack in quality of conversation. Lack in quality of friendship. Lack in the quality of coffee because cheap coffee is just that, cheap.”