How to Deal With Unsupportive Family and Friends

December 22, 2015

You have decided that becoming an entrepreneur is the life for you. You know it's not going to be easy, but you've been reading a lot, listening to podcasts, and watching shows like Shark Tank and The Profit. You have made up your mind. You know there is risk involved. You know it's going to be hard work, you know you might fail and you still want to do it. You've decided you definitely want to quit your job and start a business.

But there's only one problem. Every single person in your life thinks you've completely lost your mind.

They think you have been seduced into believing some crazy garbage you read in some book or saw online. They hope you will come to you senses soon. They hope you will soon get this "out of your system." They believe it's their duty, because they care about you, to try to talk you out of this "craziness," so you can put all this behind you and get back to your job.

But you know they can't talk you out of it. That's why you're reading this. You want to figure out how to deal with them, so you can get back to starting a business.

To be successful as an entrepreneur (or anything, actually), you have to be positive and happy. Miserable, angry people don't get very far in life. You have no room for negativity or resentment. So you have to figure out a way not to resent the people in your life who are trying to stop you from doing something that is so important to you.

Start by giving up on any efforts or ideas that you can change them. You may or may not be able to, but either way, it's not a good use of your time right now (or ever). You're too busy working on your business. That's why we're going to focus on dealing with them, not changing them.

Here are three steps for dealing with friends and family who don't support you.

Step 1: Understand
Start by understanding. Your unsupportive friends and family are part of the overwhelming majority of the population that doesn't understand what humans are capable of. They haven't experienced the mindset changes that you have. They believe that working a job is the only way to support yourself; the only way to get the money you need to survive.

From their perspective, you are driving a car right off the edge of a cliff; you are willfully and intentionally throwing your life away. You are making a conscious choice to eliminate your ability to make money. They're worried about you.

To be successful, you have have to confidently ignore their advice. If you take their advice, you'll end up exactly where they are. Understand where they are coming from and why. You don't have to agree to understand.

Step 2: Isolate and Insulate

Isolate
As an entrepreneur, you have to be willing to take bold actions. Sometimes that means parting ways with people in your life. Everyone in your life must contribute something positive. They have to add value to your life. Perhaps that's love and support, interesting conversation or maybe you just enjoy laughing and joking together.

But when a conversation with them leaves you feeling frustrated, less motivated and having less hope about your dreams, it may be time to eliminate that person from your life. That is never easy.

It's hard to end friendships or relationships with family. Nothing will make it easier. Your entrepreneurial dream has to be strong enough that you are willing to endure the difficult repercussions of making difficult decisions like this.

Insulate
There will be some people you are not willing to eliminate from your life. You have to handle them differently: Insulate.

The insulation in a house doesn't eliminate the outside temperature, it just keeps it out of the house. That's what you have to do with the negativity and criticism you're receiving. You have to keep it out.

When someone gives you resistance, remember No. 1 -- they don't understand. Since they don't have the perspective you have, they can't possibly understand where you are coming from or see how you could possibly be successful at becoming an entrepreneur.

What they say isn't relevant to you. Their statements are not for you.

If you are in a department store and they announce over the loudspeaker that a blue 2001 Chevy Cavalier in the parking lot has its headlights on, you hear and process that information. You ask yourself, do I have a 2001 Chevy Cavalier? You don't, so you quit listening. That information is not for you. Same with the feedback from your unsupportive friends and family. The advice they give is not for you. Ignore it and change the topic of conversation to sports, hobbies, kids or something else you can bond over.

You simply cannot let it in.

Step 3. Get Results
Nothing silences nay-sayers like results.

Your unsupportive friends and family are telling you it won't work, you can't do it, it's too risky and so on. Here's a great way to argue those points:

They say: "It won't work."
You say: "I did it and it worked."

They say: "You can't do it."
You say: "I did it."

They say: " It's too risky."
You say: "The risk paid off because it worked."


You may have tried things before and given up when it got hard, or when you got frustrated. Don't do that anymore. It gives support to their arguments.

No more excuses about your friends and family not supporting you becoming an entrepreneur. Use these three steps to deal with their objections and get on to successfully starting a business.

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