When Starting a Small Business Family Members Can Be Your Worst Opposition

Woman talking by phone
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When you’re starting a small business, you might assume that your family members will be your staunchest advocates. Surely they’ll be the first in line to buy your stuff and give you a positive review. Surely they’ll call you up and say “congratulations.” Surely they’ll call and offer you some assistance to help your business grow…

But a lot of new small business owners (myself included) have a very, very different experience. In fact, the reaction from family members when you’re starting a small business can be downright cold!

Resisting the Negativity

If you find yourself in this type of predicament, your biggest challenge is going to be overcoming the negative thoughts, beliefs, words and actions of your family members. These are the people who know you best, so they also know how to really hurt your feelings if they really want to. You can probably think of one person in particular right now who seems to get a kick out of annoying or hurting your feelings.

Listen up: you have to do whatever you have to do to stay motivated to achieve your goals. If that means that you have to separate from your family members for a while, then so be it.

Second tip: that person in your family who gets a kick out of seeing you down and out? Don’t tell him or her anything about what you’re planning to do.

Third tip: Understand that when someone reacts negatively to you trying to better you life, it’s because they’re unsatisfied with their own life. They don’t want you (or anyone for that matter) doing better than them. That’s their problem — not yours.

Things don’t always happen immediately when you’re starting a small business; it takes time. That’s why it’s so important to stay around positive people who motivate you to keep pushing forward. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always include members of your family. Take the advice of the late great Napoleon Hill who suggests that all entrepreneurs join a mastermind group of like-minded people who all want each other to succeed.


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