Prune What You Love with Dr. John Townsend

business, entrepreneur, entrepreneurship, leadership, lessons, relationships, success

How to recognize and cultivate healthy relationships to sustain you and your business

Business can be a lonely place…  And people will suck you dry if you’re not careful. 

Fortunately, Dr. John Townsend has a solution, and it’s all about building more positive relationships. He’s a business consultant and psychologist who directed a healthcare company for a decade and worked often with business owners who suffered from depression and anxiety. 

He wrote his new book, People Fuel: Fill Your Tank for Life, Love, and Leadership, to help leaders and entrepreneurs like you ensure you’ve got the right people in your corner, cheering you on. Listen now.

“The biggest problem with entrepreneurs? Too big a vision…You’re going to have to prune things you love.”

There are three things you need to succeed: vision, follow-up, and healthy relationships. Even if you have the first two and you don’t have the latter, success is going to be difficult to achieve, Dr. Townsend says. According to his research, people fuel our brains. Just as our bodies need bio-nutrients to survive, so our brain requires relational nutrients to sustain itself. Meaning: healthy relationships give us energy. Unhealthy relationships take away energy.

“We’re being fed by them, we take that from them, and we give it back to them.”

Who are the gains and who are the drains? You’ll have to take a hard look at the relationships in your life and figure out who sustains you – and who drains you. Every relationship falls into what Dr. Townsend calls the 7 C’s: Coaches, Comrades, Casuals, Colleagues, Care, Chronics, and Contaminants. The bottom three you have to avoid, as much as possible, while seeking the top three to create your “life team” – a group of people who you can support, and who offer support in return.

“The person you have not forgiven controls you.”

When you have been wronged, you might be fuming and sitting around waiting for the other party to approach you and apologize. But, that may not happen. Dr. Townsend says that when in doubt, provide or receive forgiveness – because the alternative can be all-consuming.

Dr. Townsend unpacks so much more for us about how to be happy, productive, and fulfilled at work. Check out the podcast now.


Chris Graebe


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