Sometimes, Friends, Family and Entrepreneurship “Ko Le Werk”

Whenever I’m having conversations with people who are entrepreneurs for some reason, we always seem to divert into the impact of friends and family on entrepreneurship. How friends and family make or have made either positive or negative impact on the growth, development and success of our individual businesses. A lot of people have also complained to me about how unsupportive their family and friends are. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve heard some really good stories of supportive friends and family.

When we decide to start-up a business, the first people we usually discuss our plans with are our family members (mostly nuclear family) and close friends. We turn to them for advice, information, financial support and most importantly, motivation and guidance. These people are our support system, our backbone and the shoulders to cry on when our businesses are not thriving. The last thing we would expect is to be ridiculed for living our dreams or to be ignored when we are explaining our plans.

Fortunately for me, my family especially my mum has been really supportive. She’s awesome! I’ve stated in my previous posts that I have been known to be the jack-of-all-trades. I have had a lot of business ideas that I haven’t pursued for one reason or other and my mum and sisters have been incredibly supportive all the way. But, in terms of friends, hmmm, I have had my own fair share of unsupportive friends. I have a few tales to tell about how unsupportive a few of my friends have been.

unsupportive friends family entrepreneurship

The truth is that we all have unsupportive people lurking around in our lives. Before I decided to officially publish my Blog, I spoke to some friends about my plans to own a blog and a few of the responses I got were shocking. A really close friend of mine never for once asked me about it after I told her countless of times.  She just wasn’t interested. Even when I opened the blog on a computer right in front of her, her glance was barely 3 seconds long (and yes I counted it). She made no remarks at all, not even a bad comment (at least that would have shown she saw something). Was I disappointed and upset? Yes! I was upset because I am the type that likes to check up on people about their plans especially if they keep informing me about it.

The worst response I got was when a friend said to me “your plans are the least of my problems”. I just jejely close my mouth and said to myself; it is well.

I have come to realise that not everybody is going to be happy with you venturing out by yourself. You need to understand that some friends and families are part of the overwhelming population of people who do not understand entrepreneurship. Your mindset changed the day you decided to become an entrepreneur. You have decided that your current position “ko le werk”. It is temporary and you need to step up your game.

Your unsupportive family and friends are no longer on the same page with you. They are probably thinking of how flat you will fall on your bottom and run back to them because “they told you so”. Some people might make you feel like that business plan of yours is the greatest mistake of your life and it will never work. Others will make horrible remarks about how this isn’t your first business and you are nothing but a quitter/failure.

Unsupportive people usually hide under the disguise of trying to help when really they are envious you might become successful. Some are just scared they might no longer be in the same league as you when you become successful. They are comfortable with your status quo and would like you to remain that way. Not everyone likes change.

The amazing part about being an entrepreneur is that strangers become our greatest allies. The people who we never imagine contribute more to our success than our friends and family. They are the ones who are ever ready to give advice, motivation and even financial support. The people who share and advertise our businesses without us asking. They are the ones who are quick to connect you with a friend of their friends who know someone that can help you. I met a lady at my university library one day and I have learned so much from her. She’s always there to listen to me and encourage me. We talk for hours on phone just talking about how to make a positive impact in our lives. Two friends of mine started sharing my posts on Facebook without me asking. I made a new friend beacuse of that.

Now, let’s not be too quick to jump the gun on those people who we deem to be unsupportive. They might be busy with their own ventures. We can’t always have a person’s attention when we need it. I’m sure I haven’t checked up on some people too; I do apologise.

We need to understand that people are not obligated to help us. It’s a choice they have to make for themselves. Some people may feel they have nothing to offer because your business is not within their area of expertise and might not work for you. Some might also not be willing to go the extra mile to help because they don’t feel close enough to you. It may also be that they are unaware you are actually seeking support from them (be clear about your intentions).

Understand that just because people are unsupportive doesn’t mean your business goals are not valuable.  Just have it in mind that if anything, your business goals are probably worth more than you would ever dream. Therefore, don’t limit yourself based on people’s opinions and ensure you pursue your goals. When the people around us don’t provide enough validation and support, don’t be too quick to write them off as being unsupportive. Concentrate on your goals and appreciate the people who support you.

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27 Comments

  1. Omoh
    January 14, 2017 / 10:42 AM

    Thanks #BeEsther

  2. Henrietta
    January 14, 2017 / 9:54 PM

    This has really made my day dearie. You spoke on every bit of what my heart needs at the moment. God bless you.

    • beesther
      January 14, 2017 / 10:55 PM

      I’m glad you enjoyed it. Thank you

  3. Anonymous
    January 14, 2017 / 11:34 PM

    Welldone dear

    • beesther
      January 14, 2017 / 11:38 PM

      Thank you

  4. Bukola Mogaji
    January 15, 2017 / 11:02 AM

    Thank you Bukky for this inspiring content. Some of us need this to assure ourselves that we are doing the right thing pursuing our dreams, regardless of what we might be going through financially at that moment in time.

    • beesther
      January 15, 2017 / 4:51 PM

      Thank you Bukola… I’m glad I could inspire you.

  5. Herlyma
    January 15, 2017 / 11:24 AM

    This got me emotional.. I could feel tears running down my cheeks for unknown reasons.. Either am foolish or way too soft… Thnx for this you are just the best..

    • beesther
      January 15, 2017 / 4:50 PM

      Thank you so much Herlyma…

  6. Ranti
    January 18, 2017 / 12:24 PM

    I am an entrepreneur and I rely on family and friends a lot. Reading this article has made me realise that my unsupportive friends might just be dealing with their own problems and that I shouldn’t be too quick to judge them. Thank you for this Esther. I will be looking forward for me tips from you.

    • beesther
      January 18, 2017 / 12:27 PM

      Thank you so much Ranti.. We sometimes are to preoccupied in our own problems to realise that others too might be in the same shoes. I’m glad this was helpful. Thank you.

  7. halimat
    January 22, 2017 / 11:42 AM

    You spoke well every body in is gift but some if us don’t even know that if is good for you is also good me my friend is the president is it not better than my friend is a thief because I was doing well with my business when out of jealousy a friend of mine us my loyalty to and dried me up so my I really like your blogs thanks.

    • beesther
      January 28, 2017 / 11:40 AM

      Thank you very much Halimat and I appreciate you thoughts on how you relate to the post.

  8. Vaibhav Verma
    January 30, 2017 / 11:22 AM

    So true…

  9. Tomi
    February 6, 2017 / 1:12 PM

    Thumbs up! Love this piece…. Dint know u cud write like this….

    • beesther
      February 6, 2017 / 1:15 PM

      Thanks Tomi.. Cheers

  10. March 16, 2017 / 3:19 PM

    My best friends and my own mom aren’t even subscribed to my blog. They just aren’t interested in travel the way that I am and only like to see photos I share on Facebook. Its weird that they don’t support me that way – but its ok.

    • beesther
      March 16, 2017 / 3:30 PM

      I totally understand how you feel and sometimes, no matter how many times we speak to loved ones about it, they just don’t understand..

  11. March 16, 2017 / 3:26 PM

    I think blogging is the least understood activity by my family and friends. They are not unsupportive but just at a loss for understanding what I am doing. I find my support in fellow bloggers. Mostly I feel lucky that my family and friends read my blog. Of course I always know when my retired school teacher mom has read a new post. She calls me up and insists on editing it.

    • beesther
      March 16, 2017 / 3:29 PM

      Hahaha… My sister is the same. I know when she reads it’s cos I get a phone call on all the errors on the post…😂

  12. March 16, 2017 / 5:23 PM

    I can totally relate to this. Started blogging over a year ago and hardly shared anything with friends of family because most believe it is just a “phase”. I have a friend who never once was interested in my blog, never read it, until she read on my Facebook I had gotten two great opportunities and then she appeared. Wanted in and wanted advice. Fair weather friends are the worst. I say go forth on your own and those who support you will be there all the way while others will want to ride your coattails.

  13. March 16, 2017 / 10:26 PM

    I have always thought telling friends about my intentions would help me be on track with my goals and accountable for my progress. I realize now that they may not be the best judge of my character when I am starting something new.

  14. March 17, 2017 / 4:03 AM

    What a perfect post! My friends think blogging is the easiest job ever, but they haven’t got a clue. They also think I can do anything I want and I don’t have a schedule which is very frustrating because I have a few friends who think I can talk anytime I want even when I tell them my working hours. I do think part of it is jealousy, but I have always supported whatever and wherever their heart has led them. I agree that strangers becomes your biggest allies 🙂 Thank You for sharing your heart….You are speaking to many!

    • beesther
      March 17, 2017 / 11:24 AM

      Thank you Sheila

  15. March 17, 2017 / 12:32 PM

    This is such a beautiful post, great story. My friends when I tell them that I blog they just give me that look like oh yeah that is not a job or anything. Sometimes I get ask “Is that just like doing facebook?” But those reactions i get from my friends or other people i used them to motivate me and push my blogging carrier. Because I know at the end it will pay off, my husband and family on the other hand are very supportive of what I do. Although I just started merging everything in one place, but they motivate me on to doing more and making my blogging carrier better each day. Thank you for sharing this awesome post.

  16. March 17, 2017 / 2:54 PM

    This is exactly what I’m going through right now. My family does not read my blog or share it… My friends are sparingly sharing it, I usually have to ask… It’s been very discouraging. But their are some other I met along the way that have they same drive as I do and understand it! But I have to admit it’s hard to not give up without support of family and friend. thank you for this post … I enjoyed it!

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