Starting a business can be one of the most exciting things to pursue in your life. Unfortunately, some people may not share in that same joy and enthusiasm. You may encounter many people in your immediate circle of family and friends that you would expect to find support, only to be met with rejection and discouragement. It's hard to overcome, but here are 5 ways to handle unsupportive family/friends should you find yourself in that situation:
1) Recognize Not Everyone Understands
The thought of someone starting a business is unheard of for some people. They are perfectly fine with finding a career they love, working their job and living their life, which is great. It's not that they don't want to support you. They may not see starting a business as a priority in life. That's ok. Don't make it your job to make them understand. Continue pursuing your endeavor with the understanding that the topic may not be interesting to them.
2) Treat Yourself Well
It all starts with you. Not everyone will see your vision, and that's ok. What you can't do is allow the negative feelings of a friend and/or family member disrupt your self-care practice. Continue to pour positivity into you.
3) Build Your Own Community
Family and friends may not be the people you need to reach with your endeavor. Start documenting your journey and sharing your passion on social media, community groups, etc. You will find all the support you need by taking a step and building your own community.
4) Include them in your business
I'm not saying make them an owner, but sometimes people don't understand what you do, so it comes out as unsupportive behavior. For example, my grandmother told me that starting a soapmaking business was not a good idea. Her mind changed once she came to visit and we made soap together. She never had the experience. Once she did, she understood why I was so passionate about what I do. She even told her entire church congregation about my business. Needless to say, she's proud and supportive now that she had the experience.
5) Cut out negative relationships.
If family and/or friends are going out of their way to show their lack of support for you, then it may be a situation where you have to set firm boundaries in terms of how they have access to you. I don't discuss certain things about my business to certain friends or family, and that's ok. I have a family member who I don't talk to at all because of the pain and trauma caused interacting with them. Yes, it can be deemed as extreme, but for me it's necessary in protecting my peace.
What are some other ways you can handle unsupportive Family/Friends? Drop your advice in the comments. Have questions? Place them in the comment section!