Friends and Family, and Becoming the Business

You finally decided what you want to do, and you are all excited about it. You tell your family, and they may get excited at first, or not, but even if they do, they seem to forget all about it right away. You rarely get an enthusiastic or supportive response from them unless one of them is going in with you on it.

This is puzzling to people, they don’t understand why the people who ought to believe in them don’t. And it isn’t that at all – they are just waiting to see if it is really important to you, and if you are really going to do it.

I’ve been a web designer for more than 8 years, and yet it has only been in the last few years that I can talk about “my business” to some family members and have them even remember what it is that I do!  Some friends have been the same way – waiting to see if I AM the business, before they believe that I HAVE a business.

To get them to take you seriously, you have to get over the hump and take yourself seriously! Business owners reach a point that I call “being the business”. When the business becomes part of who they are, not just something they are trying on for size. It weaves into their life, they carry business cards anywhere, they think about business on and off through everything, in the same way they do their kids, house, car, garden, etc. It is just part of the whole person, instead of something they turn on and off.

When you get to that point, your friends and family KNOW you have a business, because it is there in front of them all the time. They come to visit and you are working and sometimes you can take time off, sometimes you have a deadline, and they have to wait. They call, and you have only a little time before you have to get back to work. They see your car, and it is branded with your business. They go somewhere with you and see you in conversation with a prospect. They attend the local fair and see you at your booth. It takes all those repetitions of things they see as being “serious” before they believe YOU are serious.

So first, BE serious about it, long term. Then the acknowledgment, and eventually, the support will come.

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