03 Oct

What do I do when my loved ones don't share my entrepreneurial vision?

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This is a question I was asked at an event I recently attended. A common problem with start ups and even with seasoned entrepreneurs is that loved ones to not always share their entrepreneurial vision. How does one help people you know, in particular your loved ones, share your entrepreneurial journey? One fact is very clear – you are not alone in this regard.


As you push on with your mission of establishing a successful business that will make a difference and create financial security for you and your family you are inspired by reading the accounts of other entrepreneurs taking to heart that you are not alone. You are mentally drained and you go home – or see a friend for a drink – and they start giving negative input. Classic questions include how are we going survive; why don't you get a job like normal people; I have medical aid and a pension, what do you have and; you are living in the clouds my friend are common. Sound familiar?  


You see, we are surrounded by positive and negative energy. Negative energy is draining while positive energy is uplifting. The more positivity you bring into your life, the better the chances of success, simple laws of physics. 


The universal laws of attraction are clear, like attracts like. When you open yourself up to possibilities they come to you.  If your narrative is: I am not sure; I hope I will succeed or; maybe this is for me, I can tell you that you diminish your chances. Similarly if people continually discourage you it's like leaving a light on in your car, eventually the battery will die and the car won't start. It is of critical importance that the people around you encourage you, especially during the start-up phase, the phase that self-doubt is most prevalent. 


This is all natural. It takes an enormous amount of positive energy to overcome this and over the years it gets easier but it does not disappear completely. Now if the people around you fuel this self-doubt, the energy needed to overcome it is compounded.


So, what do you? The most important step is to surround yourself with fellow entrepreneurs. Go to networking sessions, share experiences and get a mentor in the game that you can contact at any time. My phone is on 24/7 and I spend a lot of time encouraging entrepreneurs. I do this willingly because I know how lonely it is to be an entrepreneur. 


If you have negative friends, ditch them today! You don't need this kind of negativity. It always amuses me that the people that give me advice have never started their own business but think they know how it works. Only people that have travelled the entrepreneurial journey really understand what one goes through. Try explaining, for instance, the feeling when your first child is born. You can't, you need to experience it yourself.


Next, speak to your family. Again, explain your vision. Explain that although you appreciate that they are trying to help, in fact they are not, and that you will pursue your dream regardless of their negativity so if they have nothing positive to say they should rather say nothing.


 If you are about to dating state from the outset where you are at and outline what your current realities are. Cash flow constraints, late nights, working weekends, mood swings, ‘why me’ outbursts  and more. If they are prepared to go through this with you, hold them tight and don not let them go!


Your life partner is the hardest part. Monetary issues are often one of the biggest concerns in long term relationships. It is difficult to convince the person you love to go through the cash flow pain with you when you could get a high paying job. This is where a decision to get back into a job environment or continue is critical. But a decision has to be taken. Some get back into the job market to keep the peace at home. That is obviously a personal decision. I found that entrepreneurs that do this are frustrated and normally begrudge the person that forced them into that situation. On the other hand if you continue with the entrepreneurial journey it could cause problems with your life partner.   


Solution? If you decide to get back into a job environment accept it. Maybe you go back for a couple of years while developing your business part time, at night and weekends. This is particular tough but could save your relationship. If you choose to continue with your passion regardless and against your life partners wishes, I'm afraid that will ultimately dissolve the relationship. 


If you lucky enough to have a life partner that supports you no matter what, that person is worth their weight in gold.  Cherish them, love them and remember when times are good to appreciate such a wonderful human being! 


I wish you all the best on your entrepreneurial journey – and if you have some advice or feedback that you wish to share with your fellow entrepreneurs please feel free to send it to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


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Read 2066 times Last modified on Monday, 03 October 2016 12:53
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