Nobody Supports Me and My New Business Venture!
This piece was birthed from a conversation I had with a friend last weekend.
There’s just so much going on right now. You wouldn’t understand but I just want to quit everything. I work so hard everyday to make my business work but I feel all alone like no one supports me, not even my close friends and family. I am getting so frustrated of it all.
Not her exact words, but pretty close to it. Do you feel that way too? There may be moments in your life when you’re all by yourself wondering where your friends are and why they aren’t your biggest cheerleaders on your new business venture. Where are they when it is time to retweet your well-crafted 140-character words with a picture of your product onto the timeline? Your online store has been up for a total of 11 days and not even one buy from your best friend? Where is everybody when you need them?
Now, stop. Before you conclude everybody hates you, I am sharing a few reasons why it might seem like people aren’t supporting you. You can draw your conclusions later.
Assuming there was no hatred or negativity involved, here are some reasons why some people will not support you.
1. They don’t know how to
Your friends and family may wish you well on your new business venture but don’t have a clue on ways they can support you. They simply don’t know how to and our expectations of support can be totally different. I’ll give you an example. As a fashion blogger, sometimes support can be a simple retweet of your photos because who knows what brand might interact with it and ask for a collaboration? Your family and friends may not know this. Heck, they may not even be on Twitter or Social Media to start with. This is particularly tricky if you do not sell a tangible service. Sometimes support can mean taking a great photo of you, referring your services to others, sharing your blog post, etc. They don’t always know this. Sometimes, they aren’t supporting you not because they don’t want to but because they don’t know how to.
2. They are not interested in what you do
I don’t mean this in a malicious way but in a lack of interest way. We all have different interests in life and sometimes they so happen not to be interested in what you do and you have to respect that. Of course, you can expect that they will wish you well and want only the best for you, but picking interest in your craft isn’t automatic. If my best friend decides to open a baseball merchandise store, bless her heart. I’ll probably buy a hat or two but that’s about it! It’ll be a little unfair for her to expect me to buy 100 baseball hats that will lay rusting in my apartment. Now, if I knew baseball fans, I could refer them to her or get some as gifts for them. I will not however pick up a sudden interest in baseball. It may happen that if I hang out with her enough, it can start to rub off on me but that’s totally different. As human beings, we all have different interests in life and that’s okay.
3. “No prophet is accepted in his hometown”
Sometimes when people know you all too well, it can cause a limited perception of you and how they receive what you do. Can I get a witness?There are several instances. Say someone went to high school with you and you were not the tidiest person and fast forward to eight years later, you have now launched an online store where you sell organic cleaning supplies. It screams of irony and they might not believe in your capabilities of succeeding there. (Not keeping in mind that you may have changed or grown in some way.) Another instance is- they cannot wrap their heads around the fact that you have matured enough to do something for yourself- start a blog, quit your job to travel, start a business, etc. You’re still “small” in their eyes. Not necessarily in a condescending way but in a my-view-of-you-has-not-changed-to-match-your-present-reality way.
4. You don’t support others
Have I lost you? Okay, you’re still here. We live in a world of reciprocity and you may be on the receiving end of your lack of support of others. All the reasons above may be the cause of your lack of support- no interest in what they are doing, not knowing how to support others, etc. It’s a cycle! If you do not support others when they do something that means a lot to them, they may not support you as well. You have got to keep that in mind.
5. You have a history of doing many things
To be honest, people grow and interests change but sometimes, people will doubt your credibility because you always seem to be moving from one thing to another. Last week, you were selling soaps, tomorrow you’re on to USB drives, next week there’s a “watch this space” on your new website for a clothing line coming soon. You’re always up to something new. Not to say you cannot be multifaceted, matter of fact, you can. However, since we are pointing out the reasons why people may not be supporting you, this is worth a mention.
Now that we have talked about the reasons why some people may not support you, here are some things to keep in mind.
Support does not equal love and love does not equal support.
Often, we mistake support for love and a lack of support for the absence of love. Like I said earlier, we live in a world of reciprocity and paying it forward. Sometimes, you will get support simply because the expectation is that you will support them later. It sometimes has nothing to do with you. That is not necessarily love. On the other hand, love does not mean automatic support. It is perfectly possible for someone to love you but not love what you do. Sometimes, they are two separate entities. Don’t toss someone in the bin simply because you think they do not love you because of a lack of support on their end.
Your value is not in the support.
Let that sink in for a minute. Your work is not any less valuable because you only got two clients, who by the way so happened to be your distant cousins. Your clients just haven’t found you yet, but they will. Enjoy the process.
Stop looking, seriously.
This is a bit hard because we need people, don’t we? However, do not be so caught up in the need to get support or validation from people that you lose your reason for starting in the first place. Just stop looking for support or expecting everyone to be a die-hard fan of your work or services. You should be your own biggest cheerleader. Focus on creating something you truly enjoy in an excellent way and you will eventually find your tribe.
Finally, as I was editing this piece, I coincidentally saw a tweet that read;
“You inspire people who pretend to not even see you. Trust me.”
This is so true and the fact that people are not singing your praises when you are making moves or launching something new or making some progress does not mean they do not see you or know your value. Sometimes, they just aren’t saying anything. Don’t worry about that, just keep it moving.
You can catch me on www.theufuoma.com where I share my travel adventures with love.