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Relationships and Entrepreneurship

They Say They Love You, but They Don’t Support Your Entrepreneurial Goals. 

Here’s Why (and What to Do About It)

It’s more common than you may think it is: spouses, friends, parents, adult children and siblings can be brutal when it comes to believing in your entrepreneurial endeavors. Since your passion is core to who you are, this is a hurtful and often overwhelming situation to manage. Keep the faith, it’s not impossible to meet in the middle—or to win them over entirely. One or more of these issues may be the culprit, and yes, you can make it all better.
 
Problems:
 
They don’t understand the entrepreneurial mindset.
 
Let’s face it, entrepreneurs are a breed unto themselves. You are willing to take emotional and financial risks to attain the dream. You strive for freedom, but often work sixty-plus hour weeks. And, the passion runs so deep that other personality types can’t possibly know what it feels like. People who cannot understand these things may push you away or make snarky remarks because they view your endeavor as daunting, frivolous, or just plain crazy.

They feel robbed of your attention.
 
Loved ones sometimes feel jealous of the time you spend on your business. Adults either don’t identify it as jealousy or won’t admit to feeling jealous, so they cite something else as the problem. This creates confusion because you can’t possibly find a solution to a problem that you don’t understand.
 
They feel financially fearful.
 
When entrepreneurs sink time and money into a business it changes the financial landscape of the household. Savings decrease, debt increases, and lifestyle luxuries go by the wayside. Your partner is bound to feel resentful, especially if they cannot see a light at the end of the tunnel. It may require them to work harder to make ends meet, placing the burden of financial survival on their shoulders while you “squander away the money.”
 
They are afraid for you.

No one who loves you wants to see you hurt. While they may not understand your vision and commitment, they do understand how much it means to you. You feel like you’ve got this, but they cannot be inside your head so they don’t feel as confident. This doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t believe in you, they just don’t see the big picture as you do.
 
Solutions:
 
See it from their point of view.
 
Entrepreneurs will vehemently defend their beliefs and vision, sometimes to the point of blindness. If your attention is lopsided, in favor of your business, others will be hurt. Sometimes things get so bad at home that the entrepreneur hides behind the business to avoid facing the issues. Oftentimes, the business owner is not efficient at work, trying to do everything themselves, so time becomes their enemy.
 
Do a reality check and ask yourself if it’s possible to breathe life back into this important relationship. The assistance of a coach or mentor is strongly advised, since it’s sometimes difficult to see the whole picture.
 
Avoid making promises you may not be able to keep.

Have you promised something that is not completely in your control? Abundant profits within a year, or a limited commitment of your time? Have you told your significant other that the business won’t disrupt your household or relationship? Do you find yourself begging forgiveness for broken promises?
 
You have such a passion that it’s easy to believe you can deliver on such promises, but they are not always realistic. Be real, otherwise your loved one will feel betrayed, hurt, and possibly angry.
 
Communicate calmly to get to the core of the issue.
 
Emotions can run amok when we don’t feel supported, and it’s likely that your loved one doesn’t feel supported by you either. They may not understand their own feelings, making it difficult to reveal the real truth behind what’s going on for them. Don’t make assumptions about how they feel or what their actions mean. It may be wise to find a mediator or marriage counselor to help uncover the issues and resolve them amicably.     
 
Don’t be self-sacrificing.
 
I’ve worked with countless entrepreneurs who sacrifice their health and emotional well-being in order to satisfy a family member’s demands. You may believe that it will keep the peace if you make nice meals, keep a clean house, and do your best to maintain the status quo. Truth?  This is nearly impossible. Again, it’s not likely that these issues are at the core of the problem, but if they are you’d be wise to find another solution. Budget for a housekeeper, get the kids to pitch in more, and simplify the meal process in any way possible. Remember, the problem is not yours alone, it takes two to create it and two to solve it.

Have a solid financial plan.
 
People new to the crafting business often fall into it, rather than plan for it. You begin by selling to friends and family and before you know it you’re at the craft table for twelve hours a day. It’s difficult to slow down enough to create a plan, but a business without a plan is like a ship without a rudder. It’s best to say no to small opportunities at first so you can grow strategically. A financial plan will help those who love you feel more secure about your investment.





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