The more business owners I meet, the more I hear stories of partners, siblings, parents and friends who not only fail to support business owners but also question them...
When will you get a real job?
It seems a bit selfish of you…..
Have you got your priorities straight?
Don't you share a bit too much of yourself with the world?
Are you even making any money?
This is so disappointing because we pour ourselves into our businesses. We are passionate and we seek the flexibility that comes with running our own hustle. We are doing this for our families, so when we need to drop everything, we can.
I've heard accounts of friends and family…..
Buying competitor products
Expecting free stuff
Never asking about how the business is going
Not even reading the book they wrote
Here is some well-curated advice to help you deal with this unfortunate reality of business ownership.
They really just don't get it. Some people were born to run businesses, and others were not. If you aren't a risk-taker, running a business would be terrifying and well, perilous. They may not be trying to be hurtful (even though they *bloody* are), they're just projecting their own fears on you.
Stop trying to seek validation from people who are not in a position to give it.
In many cases, your friends and family aren't really your audience, so you need to have reasonable expectations. It's one thing to expect support, but another to expect them to be engaging with and using your brand if it's not the right fit for them. I saw someone complaining today that her friends go wild with comments when she posts about her kids on her brand socials, but hadn't been sharing and watching her podcast.. the thing is, engaging with those posts about her kids IS them showing support (with the area of her business that they resonate with). They don't understand her podcast because it's not actually made for them.
I'm fortunate that my husband and family are so supportive, but I also come from a family of entrepreneurs. That comes with its own set of challenges because everyone has an opinion on how I should be doing things.
A while ago now, when my business was fairly new, I called out my husband for never asking me how the business was going. His answer surprised me.
He honestly didn't think he would have anything valuable to contribute to the conversation, being such a different field for him, but that he was always happy to listen. It made me realise that we need to articulate what support means for us. For me, it's just about sharing the play by play with those I love most.
Find some fellow business owners in your community to connect with who totally understand why it's such a significant achievement that you got 50 new email subscribers. Join or start a networking group, find a business mentor or even reach out to a business coach, someone like The Elevatory would be incredible.
Check out our Creative Marketing Lab where it is all like-minded individuals providing the support you oh so need.