Deciding to pursue entrepreneurship is a big decision. When you break out on your own, you need supportive people around you: those who are enthusiastic about your decision, willing to accept that you might have as much free time for a while, and even willing to help take some of the extra tasks off of your plate so that you have time to focus on your new business. Unfortunately, not everyone is going to be that supportive. How are you supposed to deal with them?
Step One: Be Confident in Your Choice
You didn’t decide to embark on your entrepreneurship journey without thinking it through. Chances are, you took the time to seriously consider the pros and cons, plan your journey, and make sure that you were financially prepared for the sacrifices ahead. Now that you’re ready, you don’t have to answer to unsupportive friends who don’t believe that you’ll be able to accomplish what you’ve set out to do. Be confident in your choice and realize that you don’t need other people to agree with you, especially when you’ve already talked it out with trusted mentors and those closest to you. Keep your head high and keep your confidence. You know you’ve got this!
Step Two: Choose to Skip the Arguments
Not everyone is going to understand the decisions that you make–and the truth is, even if you don’t appreciate it, everyone is going to have an opinion. That doesn’t mean, however, that you have to argue with the people closest to you as you embark on your journey. Instead, simply state, “You’re welcome to your opinion, but I’m content with my decision.” Then, move on. When you don’t engage, the argument often loses its enjoyment.
Step Three: Sort Out the Difference Between Authentic Friends and Others
You’ve acknowledged that your friends are welcome to their opinions, but you may still struggle with people who are simply unwilling to get behind you during this stage of your life–or even to keep their mouths shut when you need them to. On this journey, you’ll learn a lot about who your friends are. When you encounter those relationships that simply aren’t as strong as you thought they were, it’s all right to decrease the amount of contact you have with them, especially during this part of your journey. Weed through the so-called friends who aren’t really supportive of you and give yourself permission to spend less time with them or even end the relationship. You’ll be amazed by how much lighter you feel.
Step Four: Succeed!
There’s nothing that silences naysayers quite as effectively as getting results. Plenty of people will tell you that you can’t accomplish your goals or that you won’t be able to succeed as an entrepreneur. Some of them can be silenced with a simple request. Others, however, will need to see those results before they realize that yes, you can accomplish everything that you set out to do. When you come back as a successful entrepreneur with a growing business, the ability to set your own schedule, and the answer to all of your dreams, there’s only so much they can say.
Dealing with unsupportive friends is a serious challenge for many entrepreneurs. Thankfully, you’re not alone on your journey. You’re surrounded by a community of people who believe in you and will support you as you work to reach your dreams–and you don’t have to listen to the people who don’t. Learning how to deal with those unsupportive individuals will help free you, giving you more time and energy to put into growing your business and seeing exactly what you can accomplish.