How do you deal with unsupportive family members who think you’re crazy for having a business (at least until you hit 6+ figures and then swear they believed in you all along)?
One of my clients, Cath, was building her book colouring business on the side – without telling her family about it! She was afraid they wouldn’t approve. For them, building a business was too risky – not what they wanted for their daughter.
Yet, Cath had a big desire to be featured in Buzzfeed. By the time she came to me, she had everything to make it happen (including hiring a copywriter who specialises in getting businesses into the publication), but nothing worked.
I wasn’t surprised. Buzzfeed is such a popular publication, you know what happens when you’re featured in it? People find out about it! As long as Cath hid her business from her family, her subconscious would sabotage all her efforts…
Cath already had the strategy to get featured in Buzzfeed. Now she had to rewire her mindset and get her unsupportive family members on board with the idea – or, at least, let them know about her business so she could go forward with her plans.
Why You’re Dealing With Unsupportive Family Members
Before we continue, I want to stress something: your family members are wonderful people and they love you very much. Their lack of support is their way to keep you safe.
They know that, if you decide to build your business, get more visible, write a book, you may fail. You may be criticised. You may get hurt and disappointed. They don’t want that for you.
Once you realise that, you can stop being angry and frustrated with your family and friends, and start looking for ways to enrol them in your vision for your life and business – just like Cath did.
Here are a few strategies to deal with unsupportive family members (and anyone else who doesn’t approve of your business ambition):
When you decide to build your 6+ figures business and carve a different path for yourself, you will change. And that’s unsettling for people.
Remember that your loved ones are used to you being a certain way. If all of a sudden, you start acting in a different way than what they’re used to, they may act out of fear of losing the “old” you they know and love.
They may be scared that, as you grow and evolve, you may leave them behind and forget about them. They may even feel rejected. If, for example, you’re the first one in your family to start your own business, they may fear you’re criticising the way they’ve been living their life and everything they taught you.
The antidote to fear is vision. Let them know why this is so important to you. Maybe you want to start a business so you can be better able to provide for your family. Or you’ve quit your job to work from home so you can have a flexible schedule and spend more time with them.
People are more likely to get on board with your dream if they understand why you’re doing it – and understand how it’ll benefit them, too.
TAKE ACTION NOW:
Listen to what your family and friends have to say and then, instead of attacking them or defending your choice, simply explain to them why you made it. Enrol them in your why.
2. It’s Their Issue. Not Yours.
The hurtful things people tell you say more about them than about you.
When I told my family I wanted to become a freelance writer, they didn’t understand why I wanted to give up the security of a steady paycheck. My family values safety, security, comfort. They can’t handle the anxiety of not knowing exactly how much they will make every month. That’s their issue. Not mine. I knew I could handle the uncertainty, even if everyone around me thought I was crazy.
When someone criticises you, it’s rarely personal. They’re expressing their own insecurities, fears, and anxieties – and they’ve got nothing to do with you.
The exception? If someone has been there and done that, listen. If you want to start a business like your dad and he tells you your business plan isn’t viable, listen to him. He’s talking from personal experience, not fear. FYI, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t build your business. You just need a different plan – one that will actually work.
TAKE ACTION NOW:
When unsupportive family members tell you something isn’t possible for you, thank them for their concern and remind them you can deal with it. You’re a big girl now and you know what you’re doing.
3. Show, Don’t Tell
Actions speak louder than words. If talking about your business and why it matters to you doesn’t get your unsupportive family members on board, show them.
As long as I was telling people I wanted to move to London and be a freelance writer, all I got was an endless stream of failure stories and potential problems to discourage me from taking action on it. But once I was in London and making money from freelance writing, they all changed their tune. All of a sudden, they all swore they always believed in me.
TAKE ACTION NOW:
How can you show your unsupportive family members that you have what it takes to succeed? Maybe you can invite your loved ones to an event you’re hosting. Share the link to a guest post you’ve written. Show them your Youtube channel. Read them the testimonials your clients have left you.
People are often scared of what they don’t know. Getting them involved in what you’re doing helps them understand your choice and get excited about it.
P.S. Don’t get disappointed if people decline your invite. They’ll get around in their own time.
4. Tell Your Dreams Only To Those Who Will Support You
I do encourage everyone to share their business ambition with their family and friends. Most of the time, they try and put you off because they don’t want to see you fail. They’ve never tried to build a business before, but they’ve heard all the horror stories and now they’re on a mission to keep you safe.
But, once they realise how important building your business is to you, they’ll come on board and support you even if they think you’re crazy – just because they love you.
But, there’s a small minority of people who only know how to criticise. And their criticism is never constructive. They don’t have any feedback for you. They just shoot down any idea you have and make you feel like you have no idea what you do.
These are the people you should never tell your dreams too. They’ll never come on board. They just want to spread their negativity – they feed off putting others down.
5. Cut Unsupportive Family Members Loose (Only As Last Resort!)
Most people are unsupportive simply because that’s how they were raised. Growing up, no one ever encouraged them to follow their dreams. It was too risky.
That’s how they view the world now. That “too risky” has become their reality. If they don’t support you, it’s because they love you so much, they want to protect you from pain and failure. You don’t need to tell them about your business until you’ve made it, but you do need them in your life.
It’s when your family members are abusive that you need to cut them out of your life. No one should ever tolerate toxic, abusive behaviour from anyone, let alone family members.
If their words or behaviours are badly affecting your mental and/or physical health, you have the right to protect yourself. Letting them go is hard, but staying is harder and will cost you the life you’ve always dreamed of.
Wrapping It Up
99% of the time, unsupportive family members don’t understand why you’re risking failure and disappointment to chase a dream. But when you take the time to involve them in your journey and share your why, they often come around. It’s only when they’re abusive that you need to cut them out of your life.
Have you tried all the business strategies to get more clients and make more money, but nothing’s working? If you’re ready to drop the hustle and work on the ONE thing that’s really going to get you the results you crave – your mindset -, book your FREE Breakthrough Call with me.
In the call, you will:
- Get 1:1 coaching to identify the missing piece to your business success, so you can get out of strategy hell, ditch the hustle, and book ideal clients with ease.
- A clear, aligned strategy to get out of your own way, step into your 6+ figures mindset, and scale your impact + income in 90 days.
- A simple step you can take immediately to get into aligned action, so you can make 2023 the year you finally reach those big income + biz goals that have eluded you up until now.
This is also an exclusive opportunity for service-based fempreneurs to ask me any questions you have, see if we’re a good fit to work together, and find out how I can support you in making 2023 the year you finally make it big.
Spaces are strictly limited. If you’re seeing this, there’s still a space for you. Click here to book your spot now.