You’ve decided that running your own business from home is definitely something that you want to do. If you’re fortunate, your family and friends will support you and be behind you every step of the way.
However, this scenario may happen to you: Full of excitement, you go out for coffee with friends and tell them about your new plans. You’re surprised when the reaction is less than enthusiastic.
At home you might get a similar reaction. Rather than being pleased and excited for you, your family may come up with all kinds of reasons why you shouldn’t go for it and become your own boss.
It’s important to understand the reasons behind their skepticism. Have you heard of spouses who feel threatened by their partner losing a lot of weight? Sometimes your loved ones just want you to stay as you are and not change.
When you talk about your business plans, they may think that you won’t have time for them any more, or feel that you should just stay in your ‘safe’ job. Whatever the reasons are, they often stem from personal fears.
So, how do you overcome a potential negative reaction from your family and friends? You’ll be having your own doubts about taking the plunge, and now your family and friends are being negative as well?!
I was skimming a book recently about How To Survive Christmas With Your Relatives (I can’t remember the exact title or author because it was at a party when we were all looking at each other’s gifts!).
Anyway, some of the tips were excellent, such as always responding to a negative comment with a positive one. For example, your inlaws might come over and make disparaging remarks about your furnishings or where you live. Instead of reacting negatively in return, or getting defensive, just reply with something positive about where you live, such as being close to a park! And never start a sentence with ‘You never…’, or ‘You always…”
You can easily apply these principles to negative reactions from family and friends when talking about your business. You need to stay strong. Deflect any negative comments with positive ones. Stay calm and refuse to rise to the bait if they try to provoke you.
Secondly, think about the benefits for your family of running your own business from home. OK, we can’t deny that setting up a business WILL require significant time investment, but at least you’ll have extra time at home instead of commuting into work. Reassure them that you’ll block out time for them every day, to allay their fears. If you explain your plans in terms of what’s in it for them, they will be much more receptive and supportive.
Explain to your friends that setting up your business is important for your happiness and wellbeing. If they are true friends, they will understand this and not resent it if you’re preoccupied with your business and not able to drop everything and go out for coffee or take personal calls whenever they want!
Running your own business is one of the most rewarding and challenging things you’ll ever do. Getting support from your family and friends as you start your business is an important step.
Do you have any tips or experiences to share on this?