How to Deal With Unsupportive Friends and Family
Ultimately, it's natural to seek recognition, love and support from our friends and family. But what if, one day, we decided to venture onto a different path in life? One that is not as conventional as the others around us have chosen for themselves. Our support systems might be taken off guard with our non-traditional desires and aspirations of being entrepreneurs. The last thing we want is to be ridiculed for exploring the unknown.
You may confuse a lot of people when going against the grain of conventional thinking, and that's perfectly okay. As an entrepreneur, standing up for your vision to your family and friends might possibly be the best practice you will get for the life that awaits you. When you are competing for attention and eyeballs, articulating value and evoking possibility and vision can be powerful tools.
Below are three ways that will help in overcoming the obstacles of unsupportive friends and family.
Don't argue. If you decided to turn down a degree in law or business, a higher paying job or are transitioning completely from your current career to pursue your entrepreneurial dreams, you are going to cause a lot of confusion and judgment from those around you.
When confronted in this manner, do not argue. Your relatives and friends will have a hard time seeing things from your point of view, and they may even refuse to do so. They will only understand the career paths they are familiar with. Avoid setting up a confrontational battle.
No matter how much energy and frustration you pour out, you may not change their minds. You can be the greatest persuader in the world and yet your friends and family will be tied to their own opinions.
Instead of arguing, articulate your desire in a language they will understand: share the vision you have of your business and assure them that you will be responsible with your decisions. Tell them their support means a great deal to you.
Recognize authentic friendships. Anyone can freely offer their opinions. When beginning your entrepreneurial journey, acknowledge that you become a product of the five people you spend the most time with. So choose your company wisely.
There will be many people that will await your failure. I call this group the "I told you so" bunch. Be wary of their presence. Your intention is to develop a business that should be committed to delivering value, not proving this person wrong.
Gradually distance yourself from these negative people. Surround yourself with those who are like-minded and are going to the places in which you envision yourself being.
Related: Stop Spending Time With Toxic People
Authentic friends will support your goals and help you move forward. If you see people around you not showing support -- acknowledge it and move on with your life. With the positivity you bring, the right people will cross your path.
Dig deep. Explain to your family that if you don't pursue this entrepreneurial vision, you are going to live with regret. This is a feeling everyone can relate to.
Your family will expect you to give up after a specific time if you are not obtaining the results they might expect. You will be questioned in the most indirect way to see if you are still working on the venture you discussed.
This process will test your ability to handle your emotions on all levels; seek your inner voice and your true intention for committing to entrepreneurship.
For them, it will be easy to pinpoint your failures. You will be criticized, laughed at, be compared to. Your official 'moment of truth' will not be between anyone but yourself. This is an opportunity to dig deep and get to the core of the vision you have for your life and your business.
This pivotal moment will help define your energy and desire to succeed. Do not sit and wallow. Take action and make it happen. Don't wait to become worthy of your dreams.
The world is awaiting your gift -- all you have to do is show up with the right intention!
Lewis Howes is a New York Times bestselling author of The School of Greatness and The Mask of Masculinity. He is a lifestyle entrepreneur, high performance business coach and keynote speaker. A former professional football player and two-sport All-American, he is a current USA Men’s National Handball Team athlete. He hosts a top 100 iTunes ranked Apple podcast, The School of Greatness. Howes was recognized by the White House and President Obama as one of the top 100 entrepreneurs in the country under 30. Details magazine called him one of “5 Internet Guru’s that can Make You Rich.” Howes has been featured on Ellen, Good Morning America, The Today Show, The New York Times, People, ESPN, Sports Illustrated, Men’s Health and other major media outlets.