Updated: Aug 16
I often find myself in conversations with people who are trying to start a business and are feeling discouraged because they do not feel supported by their family, friends or existing professional network. I understand how this feels since I was there once myself in the past.
Its hard work to start a business or even a new endeavor where you are following your passion and to feel like no one cares about what you are doing. The truth is, people do not really care about what you are doing. For some, they are busy with their own projects, living their own life or just are not willing to give you or your idea any thought.
Honestly, this used to bother me a lot because I just wanted someone to be happy for what I was trying to achieve. I wanted people to look at me and cheer me across the finish line. Heck, I at least wanted to get them to like some of my Facebook Posts. However, I learned some things along the way about staying true to my passions and not people's opinions.
One thing you need to realize is that someone not being super excited about your business does not necessarily meant that have a problem with you or do not like you. They just aren’t interested in what you are doing. Also, remember that Facebook is a faux facade and unless you are selling something consumer oriented, that is tangible and easily understood to a broad audience, you will not get the likes you seek.
From a business perspective, my friends on Facebook are not my market and the posts I put there are not for anything other than to share an opportunity for them to learn something or participate in a class I am conducting for free. From a personal perspective, I always try to be positive when I see people with new projects such as books because I love it when people follow their dreams although I have a caveat.
I have found that some people will seek your bandwidth capacity (i.e, use you) to help them reach their dreams and goals but will not do anything at all to help you. In these instances, I suggest you re-evaluate your professional network and seek those relationships where there is reciprocity.
Also, the same is true of personal relationships, particularly now with COVID-19 and being self-quarantined. Do you feel isolated, are people reaching out to you, and have people responded to you? If not, maybe its time to re-think your circle and start identifying how you can build one that will be more life-giving and supportive of you.
The purpose of this article is not to be negative, but recently it has become clear to me that most people do not fail or quit their endeavors from lack of skill, but many fail because they lack a supportive personal or professional network.
Remember, when you are starting that business or passion project, focus on why you started it or what market you are seeking to penetrate. Don’t worry about Facebook Likes or family members patting you on the back.
Rather, build a strong community of supporters who will rally around your passion or join an entrepreneur’s group to share your thoughts and ideas. And RUN from relationships which only exist for someone else to steal your time, thoughts and ideas without giving you anything in return.
It may require a pivot from how you have operated in the past, but the rewards are worth it.
Remember, your friends, family members and Facebook Friends are not writing checks with zeros to your business, will probably not buy your book and will not donate to your cause and that is okay.
The key to your next winning step in this arena is to identify your next move and focus on those areas where you can improve. Don’t craft a marketing strategy towards those who don’t need or want your product or services and don’t waste your time talking to deaf ears about your dreams.
Focus on your dreams, how you will succeed and create a community of supporters for where you want your life to go. Find people who are life giving, supportive and care about what you are doing. You can keep talking to family, friends and posting on Facebook, but do not rely on those channels 100% to lift you up.
Start feeling great about yourself for what you are trying to accomplish and relish in your victories no matter how small or big because the most important thing is that you started.
Have a awesome week!