Ask any new entrepreneur what one of their greatest challenges is and no doubt one of the answers will be gaining consistent support in reaching new clients and expanding their business. Some cultures are known for sticking together but American culture is not one of them. The United States is the epitome of capitalism and competition.
A couple weeks ago I booked a friend of mine for a photoshoot. Another friend of mine recently purchased clothing from my online store. A few weeks before that I received uplifting feedback from another friend who really enjoyed one of my blog posts and was compelled to send it to her daughter.
Do you show support to you friends or family members who are pushing themselves to build a business or consistent income? Do you help to refer them or partake in their goods or services? Do you offer your time to help or even take the time to watch a video they made or read something they wrote?
Photo credit: Instagram @godinme41
How often do you lend words of encouragement or perform a like or share action when it comes to a business or hustle notification by someone you genuinely would like to see do well? Do you ever ask yourself if you want that person to do well?
Everyone does not want to be nor will everyone succeed at being an entrepreneur. Millions of people are highly satisfied with being a traditional employee and hoping their hard work will earn them raises and more exciting job titles. They prefer security and limited responsibility compared to the entrepreneur life... and that is okay.
For some though, a standard job does not fulfill or provide opportunities for self-exploration or use of one's best skills. Sometimes working for a company can be very stifling, unmotivating, and financially limiting. Working for another company usually dictates a cap on earning potential or makes it difficult to qualify for better earning.
People who decide to attempt to sustain building their own enterprise take on a heavy workload, sometimes overwhelming stress and anxiety, less rest, and possibly financial distress. It can take years or sometimes never to overcome the challenges of creating consistent, independent income by one's own creativity or skill-set outside of investing in stocks, real estate, or someone else's business.
Daniella H., Love Your Hair Studio
In 2013 Inc. Magazine published an article about the psychological effects of being an entrepreneur. Several business owners shared their depressions over setbacks, preparing for uncertainties of long droughts before receiving payment, and learning to balance the business with real life.
Failure as an entrepreneur is different from failure as a normal employee. Employees know they will likely still have a job to go to the next day if their mistake isn't too colossal. Entrepreneurs may not have the money to start over again to get it right. An entrepreneur who fails has to push him or herself on their own to get back up and keep working even with no audience to notice.
While employees who are not on commision may miss out on sleep worried about whether their boss likes them, entrepreneurs may be losing sleep because those are the only hours that aren't already obligated to family, clients, or another job that they can produce work for sale or share.
Entrepreneurs in the beginning may also struggle with managing their free time or making future plans because if they have no employees or very few, they must do all aspects of performance from customer service, marketing, accounting, buying, producing, and the logistics of delivering to the customer. It may be difficult to plan to attend weddings or family vacations if there is a lack of support to keep the business running if a break is taken.
This is why people you know need your support in some way that doesn't exactly have to be financial if you cannot afford to be a client. There are at least four accepted means of social support: emotional, instrumental, informational, and appraisal.
Entrepreneurs need paying customers. If you believe your friend or relative has quality product or amazing talent, the best means of support is instrumental, tangible assistance. If you can't physically help with some aspect of the business roles, perhaps you can become a regular customer. If being a regular customer isn't feasible, help out your friends with word of mouth or supporting events that publicize their work.
I really enjoy the instrumental part of the process for my fellow entrepreneurial friends. I have placed orders to support my friend's baking business Pretty Delicious Foods. I have hosted giveaways and made purchases from friends who are consultants for Pure Romance and Color Street Nails. I have been a repeat client for my hair stylist friend who went independent with Love Your Hair Studio. When I wanted Black Lives Matter merch, I turned to family.
When I expressed to my best friend that I was interested in jewelry design, he immediately would share helpful videos he came across and shared interesting concepts that he found attractive. This is support in the informational aspect. This is part of where those seeking to build their skills seek books, mentors, videos, interviews, and so forth from others receive helpful information that helps build success. Share your knowledge or connect your loved one to someone who can.
As previously mentioned, entrepreneurial life requires an abundance of self-reflection, self-motivation, and self-conviction. Someone who has challenged themselves with doing something new to sell has to be very selective about filtering the feedback and opinions of others. That being said, the feedback and opinions of others are still needed.
Maybe you aren't part of your entrepreneur's business financially or instrumentally but your help from the perspective of a consumer or counselor is still critical. When a business owner experiences slow growth or setback with product development, they can sometimes use a fresh set of eyes or ideas to help pinpoint where they can improve.
This is why businesses love to receive helpful feedback from their customers about what they are doing or selling to stay guided in the right direction. Maybe your loved one needs the emotional or appraisal form of support to be reminded about their passion, their tenacity, or their gifts in order to push through bouts of doubt, fear, or sadness.
Telling an entrepreneur to quit or give up really isn't optional. It's not something we're going to do or advice we are going to take. However reminding us that we can take a loss and make something out of it or we can make adjustments or find inspiration in the people and environment around us is invaluable. Sometimes we need the opportunities to remember rejection doesn't have to be the end or that patience required doesn't mean it isn't worth it or isn't working.
Are you happy for your friends and family when new opportunities and change find them? Are you showing it? Are they showing you? Are you the only one excited when your hard work pays off? Do your friends and family promote you and are are you returning the favor?
Love and friendship are created in the exact same purpose as money... to be transferred. Support needs to flow in two directions in order to be the most effective. A business is about utilizing money to create and bring extra money back. Do you think of people you know who are doing quality work when you need something taken care of or do you first think of the most recent commercial you have seen where everyone is going?
Do you compete with your friends for success or are you operating with the mindset that the more successful people you know, the more likely your success grows as well? Do you go to your friends and family for advice and credit their outlook in pushing you forward?
As pointed out by Investopedia, entrepreneurs and new businesses help grow the economy. Not only do they help provide choice for consumers but also help create new jobs when there has been enough demand by customers. New businesses also provide more collaboration for new businesses who need to reach new markets or to make their existing business more efficient with new materials, ways of working, or logistics.
Another interesting point made by Investopedia is how entrepreneurs often invest their time and resources into their communities. Everyone saw this to be true during the Covid-19 crisis when several businesses kept feeding families in their city, providing consumer goods, or doing all they could to keep their employees paid during shut down. Some entrepreneurs do giveaways and contests that help, at least temporarily improve quality of life for the winners.
To thrive, we must all continue to push each other and be willing to step in to keep the spirit of uplift. It takes a village to nurture a child and it also takes one to nurture professional growth. Someone other than the entrepreneur should benefit from their venture so why not you? Why not your family? Why not your city?
Whether you are the creator or you are the partaker... BELIEVE.