When I was writing my book, Profit Is The New Black: Key Action Steps To Boost Your Bottom Line, on more than one occasion I was told some variation of, “don’t expect your family and friends to buy your book, they’ll expect you to give them a copy”. While I appreciated that feedback, my family and friends weren’t my target audience but I understood where they were coming from. (By the way, one of my little brothers was the first person to purchase my book and many of my family and friends did so as well….so much for that feedback.)
Many times as business owners we have an expectation of our family and friends that we haven’t expressed but since they’re our support system they should somehow just know what we need from them, right? No, unless they’re mind readers. Like in any successful relationship, communication is key. We’re all busy living so we must learn to ask for what we want and need from our loved ones. No matter the situation – business or personal.
Let me offer a few simple ways to manage the relationship with your family and friends while building and growing your business.
- Remember they love you. At the end of the day, whether you’re building a business or climbing the corporate ladder, they love you. They may not agree with your choices and decisions but that’s okay. The dream and vision isn’t theirs, it’s yours.
- Stop making them your target audience. If every time your family and friends see you, you’re trying to sell them something, stop it. Yes, they may want to lose weight, improve their finances, slow down the signs of aging and travel the world, all at the same time but that doesn’t mean they don’t support you if they don’t buy from you. Let them choose if and when they need your products and services.
- What do you do now. One month you’re a life coach the next month you offer weight loss, credit repair, travel, financial products, you name it. And honestly, your family and friends can’t keep up. Can you really blame them when they don’t pull out their credit card, come to that “event” or hop on that conference call? Show them that you’re committed to your business and not every bright, shiny business that pops up.
At the end of the day, your family and friends can support you without pulling out their credit card. Just because they don’t understand why you left that “good job” or why you want to leave that job doesn’t mean they don’t support you.
Your loved ones want you to be happy and sometimes what appears to be lack of support may very well be their way of protecting you from the bumps and bruises of entrepreneurship. Let them support you the best way they know how.
To all my family and friends, thank you for loving, supporting and encouraging me every step of the way. You are the best.