Being an entrepreneur can be lonely road. Not everyone can see or understand your vision, while others are quick to dismiss your ideas. Your passion and drive must run deep in order to succeed and your circle of confidants is typically very, very small.
I belong to several business groups and the most common question I see outside of "How do I grow my business?" is "How do you deal with people that don't support you?"
Firstly, you have to accept that not everyone will.
Secondly, you have to accept that it is ok.
Thirdly, you have to do it anyway.
Lastly, I'll get to in a minute.
You DON'T have to unfriend them. Block them. Uninvite them to your life. Because it's really not as personal as you think it is. Sure, some people just don't want you to succeed. That is a sucky part of life. Those are not your people. For the most part, it's something else entirely.
- They don't understand your direction.
- They can't relate to the level of risk and the unknown and need a much more secure path.
- They DON'T KNOW YOU NEED THEM TO!
Taking them one at a time, let's address the first point. They don't understand your direction. Remember, this is YOUR plan. YOUR goal. YOUR vision. Not everyone is going to get it. Not everyone can see it through like you have it all mapped out in your head or on seventeen pieces of scrap paper on your desk. Think of the "sticky note". Now, I don't know how this story went down but let's just imagine you were the first one to invent the sticky note.
A sticky piece of paper.
Can you imagine the look on people's faces when you said, "I'm going to create this piece of paper that sticks."
Responses (that run through my mind):
- "Use tape."
- "That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard."
- "A sticky piece of paper???"
- "Not a terrible idea but not a million dollar idea either."
Now, let's think about where we would be without THE STICKY NOTE! The point is, you don't need everyone to understand your direction to succeed.
They can't relate to the level of risk and the unknown and need a much more secure path. This one might be my favorite. Because if my father where still alive he would've said, "You quit your job to do what???"
Like many, My father was not an entrepreneur. He wouldn't be able to understand leaving a secure job to pursue something that solely rests on you. He needed to punch a clock, put in his hard day at work, and know for absolute certain that someone would write him a check to feed his family. NO WAY could he see carrying that burden on his own because WHAT IF HE FAILED.
Entrepreneurs aren't afraid of the what if I fail. Actually, more accurately stated, we are terrified of it but we don't let it consume us and keep us from chasing stars. Because we know this, if we fail, we tried. We start again. We move onward. We go get a J.O.B. Failure is NOT the end of the road. You don't suddenly tip over in a grave if you fail at something. It's really NOT that scary.
Okay, here is a goodie...And this is kind of Relationship 101. They DON'T KNOW YOU NEED THEM TO! We take for granted that people know what we need from them. We think they see our daily hustle and they ignore us. We see them supporting other like businesses and it crushes our soul.
This mentality makes me crazy. Assuming we are talking about our circle, our people, our support system and not those that watch every step waiting to see us fall, let's turn the table a minute.
People are busy. Life is busy. They ARE NOT actively ignoring you! They are actively trying to survive this thing called LIFE.
If you want their support, ask them for it! Ask them to like your page. To like your posts. To share your business if they know anyone that would be interested. DO NOT ASSUME they will do it. Because honestly, when was the last time YOU did it for someone else?? Now is that because you don't support them? You don't want them to succeed? NO, it's because you are so busy living your own life and it slipped your mind! Extend people the same grace and ask for their support if you want it.
Which brings me to my "Lastly" point...STOP being a baby and run your business. Ask for support if you need it. Understand not everyone will get your vision. Hold your cards close. Some ideas we share with few. Some ideas we don't share at all. I call those the cards I hold close. If you can't handle the naysayers, hold your cards close until your plan is developed enough to crush it then SHOW them!
Strong entrepreneurs focus on their business and their growth.
Thanks for reading! I'll be back soon with Part II of this blog post - "Accepting NO" but right now, I have a fist full of cards I need to play!