Starting a Business? How to Deal with Unsupportive Family and Friends

Entrepreneurs share how to deal when family and friends don't support your choice to become an entrepreneur.

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7. Find someone else to support you.

“This could be another family member, a friend, former teacher, or colleague. Your family members may be over-protective, lacking entrepreneurial spirit, or simply short-sighted. Don’t let one person’s negativity stop you from pursuing your dream.”

– Tracey Gold, Founder and President of Chicago Canine Concierge: @chiK9concierge

8. Remember that your vision will not always be shared.

“Sometimes people don’t share your vision. Either they see something you don’t or vice versa. You cannot let that discourage you. You have to do your own thing. Remember, small businesses are the backbone of the economy; all the big guys you read about started off small.”

– Joel Joseph, Owner of A to Z Electronics: @AtoZElectronics

9. Don’t blame them, power through it.

“Your family isn’t really at fault if they don’t support your business endeavors, as most people have been conditioned by the 9-to-5 mentality that you must work for someone else in order to sustain yourself. While they may urge you to take the ‘safe’ road by working for someone else, in truth there is much less of a guarantee that you’ll have work at all if you work for someone else. For example, your employer may go out of business, they can have mass layoffs and budget cuts, they can get rid of you at any moment based on your perceived performance, or they can ship your job overseas. However, if you own your own business, you have a lot more control. So whether it’s within your family or outside of it, don’t listen to any naysayers, and redouble your efforts in the face of everyone’s doubt.”

– Ian Aronovich, CEO of GovernmentAuctions.org: @GovtAuctions

10. Be protective of your dream.

“One of the greatest pieces of advice that I received as I was building my business was to treat my business endeavor like an unborn baby. Meaning that when you are pregnant, you keep your baby safe in your belly. You nourish it, protect it and hold it very close to you. It is not until it is ready to come out that you share that baby with the world. Being a mom of two and having built two businesses, I really have seen the process to be quite similar. My family was not supportive of my business initially, but I wasn’t looking for permission, the “baby” was conceived and it was up to me to grow it.”

– Suzannah Scully, Founder and CEO of The Live Well Space: @suzannahscully

11. Believe in yourself without being arrogant and ignoring your family

“I think it’s 100% true that most successful entrepreneurs had people and families who doubted them at the very beginning.  At some point you have to take control of your own life and be willing to make your own risk-reward decisions in business — that’s what it’s all about anyway… Believe in yourself, try to get results early enough to justify what you do, and at the very most get a job on the side [to] quell some of your family’s worries!”

– Adam Grunwerg, Director of ARG Media Ltd: @SearchableUK

Most importantly, never forget why entrepreneurship is awesome in the first place.


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