Not all of your friends or loved ones will support your dreams. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t follow those dreams! It also doesn’t mean that your loved ones are bad people, that you should dump them, or that they don’t love you. It just means you have different passions than they do, or they can’t see the vision that you’ve been gifted with.
That’s ok. Here’s how you can still follow your dreams even when you’re not feeling the support from your support group:
Tip #1: Don’t alienate or inundate your loved ones.
Ok, this is similar to when one of your friends gets on a health or exercise kick and insists that everyone around them do the same! If you’re launching a business, don’t insist that everyone around you be as excited about it as you are. Yes, it’s SUPER exciting, especially for you! But remember that your loved ones each have their own lives as well, which come with a whole host of responsibilities, pressures, and woes. Your new business is exciting to them, but they’re not living it like you are and can’t be as pumped about it 24/7 as you can be.
As you follow your dreams, it can certainly be easy to talk about them ALL the time and let them completely take over your life. As an entrepreneur, that’s great for you! However, it can be not so great for your friends and family. Don’t turn everything you do with them into a business opportunity, and remember to talk about and do the same kinds of things you used to with them before you launched your business.
Some of our loved ones can also fear what kind of change this business will bring. Spouses and friends might fear deep down that if you find success, you’ll change and won’t need them anymore. This can make them resentful towards the business, but there are ways you can counter that fear, which leads us perfectly to the second recommendation I have for you.
Tip #2: Nurture those relationships.
This takes the first step a little further by not only making sure you don’t overwhelm your friends and loved ones with business talk all the time, but makes sure that you actually set apart time to hang out with them. This is especially helpful for close family and best friends. As someone who is trying to follow your dreams, obviously you can’t spend oodles of dedicated time with everyone in your life, but it’s important to make time for those who matter most.
Once you share with your circle of friends and family that you’re running a business, many of them will understand and even expect your time to be more limited than it used to be. However, be careful not to get carried away and spend ALL your time on the business!
Entrepreneurs—especially us creative ones—tend to get carried waaaay away. Don’t let this happen at the expense of your close relationships. Make sure that you carve out time each week (or day, depending on your schedule) to spend quality time with your spouse and kids, best friend, and anyone else who matters a ton to you. Again, they’ll understand your full schedule, but they’ll also REALLY appreciate your extra effort in making sure they feel loved and valued by you. Making sure you guys get quality time together, even amidst your side hustle, truly demonstrates to them how important the relationship is to you and will help quell any fears they may have of you not needing them anymore once you hit success.
Tip #3: Explain why this matters to you so much, and love the haters!
Many times, people shy away or even recoil from things they don’t understand. We are wired to fear change, and all of us have to actively work against that nature. Show your loved ones the passion you have (of course without being overzealous about it!) for the mission that you’re on and explain to them why it matters so much to you. No matter what type of business or passion you’re pursuing, you have a deep-seated reason for wanting it so bad. Most of the time, sharing this and showing your loved ones that this is purpose-driven will help them understand, and possibly even support, your efforts. In the cases where it doesn’t, that’s ok!
As much as it stings when friends or family don’t support you, sometimes you just have to shake it off and let the haters hate. You won’t let them stop you! Come on, you’re someone who is bound and determined to follow your dreams, and I know you can overcome the slight disappointment of someone not being as ecstatic about your venture as you are!
Remember that it’s ok when your closest friends and family aren’t as enthusiastic or even supportive of your dreams as you’d hoped they’d be. You can share your own excitement with your bestie, but remember not to let your dreams or endeavors be the only thing you ever talk about with her so that she feels alienated. Make sure you’re setting aside instances for you and your loved one (especially spouse!) to spend quality time together. This will help quell any fears they may have of your dreams or business taking you away from them. You can also explain to those who really don’t understand exactly why this matters to you so much. But alas, some people still won’t get it and that’s ok. If they don’t, just keep doing your thing and carry on!
Reflect on your relationships, especially those that don’t seem all that supportive of your dreams. Have you done the three steps above with them? If so and they’re still not supportive, recognize the fact that that’s ok! You can still love and be close to them—you just don’t have to talk about this subject during your time together.
Join the convo! ;-)
Was a loved one being kinda prickly towards your dreams but now you realize what might be fueling that? Are there some relationships that are just toxic that maybe you should part with for a while? Join the convo below so others who might be in the same spot know they’re not alone!