Unsupportive family and friends in your inner circle isn’t a widely talked about subject when deciding to start and run your business.
Sadly, however, it is a common experience shared by many business owners. Several of my friendships ended throughout the process of opening my first yoga studio. Fortunately, after running my construction business for well over a decade, I had the confidence to stand on my own.
The yoga studio was a personal endeavor; being a solo female business owner caused major waves within my circle. Some felt my finances and time would be better spent upgrading my small home, bolstering my construction business or purchasing a new vehicle. Others expressed their fears regarding my inability to be successful for one reason or another. Still I persisted and you can, too.
Upgrade Your Business Plan
You’re ready for the business launch, but headwinds from your inner circle are making you reconsider the charted course. It’s time to revisit your business plan to add a ‘Life Integration’ section. Planning how to share your project, establishing a work-life balance and identifying cheerleaders will build your confidence. Set a professional tone by launching through social media or a website that incorporates a manicured mission statement. Allow supporters to get on board through specific opportunities such as a moving day or a soft opening event.
Grow Your Cheering Section and Influence
We envision opening our new business surrounded by loved ones. Ultimately, we hope our inner circle will become our clients. The reality is that reaching for our dreams can stir up mixed emotions within our entire network. It’s important to depersonalize by accepting the tidal wave of emotions have little to do with us.
Instead, focus on finding your tribe. I connected with industry veterans and solo business owners through loved ones, social media and even cold calls. Your time and energy is better spent growing your influence within your industry than winning over the Thanksgiving dinner table.
Build While Navigating the Storm
Successfully launching a business requires endless patience, confidence and long-term support. Most ventures need a minimum of three to five years to fully mature. A healthy business timeline may lead to a long rocky road with inner circle critics.
Take the lead by enlisting loved ones to provide constructive criticism. I gave free memberships to family and friends for feedback. If an entire membership is not possible, consider giving discounted services or single class passes. Reign in your toughest critics by providing a feedback form to share their insights. Giving loved ones an opportunity to provide feedback based on a real experience is priceless. Not only will you gain cheerleaders, but you will continue to build your brand with the help of your inner circle.
If you are thinking about going it alone, well think again. The key to lasting success is finding your tribe to lean on for support and encouragement. It’s critical to take the time to build a strong support system because launching a business is truly a team sport.