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How do you cope with friends and family who don’t support your business?

4 min read


The Young Entrepreneur Council is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses. Read previous SmartBlogs posts by YEC.

How do I cope with the fact that my friends and family are not supportive of my new business venture?

1. Listen to them or ignore them

Listen to them because they care about you and may be seeing something you’re not, or ignore their concerns and push through knowing you have to believe in and count on yourself. Hopefully, you’ll sway them over time. — Darrah Brustein, Network Under 40 / Finance Whiz Kids

2. Stay true to your intuition

Starting a new venture is even more challenging when you don’t have the support of your family or friends. If this is the case, understand that you don’t need their approval. Take a moment to listen to their feedback and thank them. Stay true to your intuition and stay focused on what it is you intend to create. — Andrew Thomas, SkyBell Technologies Inc.

3. Work harder to prove them wrong

There’s nothing like showing people who don’t support your initiatives that they’re wrong. There’s no greater way to do this than to work harder to achieve your goals. When you’re busy working hard, you tend not to have time to stew on other people’s negative thoughts, and people tend to come around when success is achieved. — Phil Chen, Givit

4. Consider the source

Always consider the source of any feedback. Are your friends and family looking out for your best interests and potentially seeing a blind spot or disagreeing with the morality of your business and have legitimate concerns? Or are they jealous and potentially not a credible source to even give you that feedback or disapproval? Remember, it is your business, your dream and your vision, not theirs. — Matt

5. Understand that they care

Don’t confuse them not being supportive with them wanting to see you struggle, stress or even fail. New business ventures require a tremendous amount of risk-taking, and it’s only natural for the people who care about you to not want you to have to go through the hard stuff and fail. At the end of the day, you have to stay focused and do what you believe is right. — Michael Mogill, Crisp Video Group

6. Eat ice cream

Honestly, my father has never supported me. He’s told me to “get a secure job” for my entire life. I let it drive me to work harder. Then, I eat ice cream. It always helps! — John Rampton, Adogy

7. Ignore the Negativity

I realized early in my entrepreneurial career that I need to fulfill my personal dreams and goals to achieve the most success. You have to ignore the negativity and focus on the positive. — Sean Marszalek, SDC Nutrition Inc.

8. Find out why

Friends and family are often the first people you bounce your ideas off of, right down to the craziest concepts. When you get passionate about a new idea, but your close network isn’t as keen, find out if they’re risk-averse, have a legitimate concern or if you simply need to get better at explaining your business. Communication is key, and a lack of buy-in may help you reframe or pivot your idea. — Doreen Bloch, Poshly Inc.

9. Work on telling your story

I think many times, friends and family might not be supportive of an entrepreneurial venture just out of concern. Being an entrepreneur can be hard! If you don’t feel supported, do your best to really express to your friends and family your plan. Why are you excited about what you’re doing? Why is it an important problem for you to solve? How can they show their support to you? — Sarah Schupp, UniversityParent

10. Keep moving forward

It’s important to stay grounded in the convictions that brought you to take the big step. Find a community of like-minded people who will support you, and keep a circle of supportive people around you. If you are living your passion and doing what truly makes you happy, the people who love you will eventually see beyond their doubts and give you their support. — Amanda Aitken, Girl’s Guide Courses with Amanda Aitken

11. Work harder

You have to work three times as hard and believe in yourself and what you’re doing. Focus on the task at hand and be driven. The fact of the matter is that whether your friends and family are supportive will not add a single dollar to your bottom line. Only you can do that.– Sam Bahreini, VoloForce