How To handle Your Friends and Family That Think You’re Crazy For Starting A Business


If you are anything like me, you have experienced the glossy eyed look from your friends as you talk about your business, as if you are insane for leaving a “secure real job”. Or how about the look of concern from family members as you declared you were quitting your job to become a full-time entrepreneur.. Classic!

Now if you are getting blank stares from prospects, that is a whole other issue. But that’s not what we are talking about here. This is about how to handle you being an entrepreneur when your friends and family don’t “get it” or you for that matter.

I’m not going to lie, being an entrepreneur can be hard at times. Especially if you are learning as you go! It may be even harder if one of your “love languages” is affirming words, because not everyone is going to be patting you on the back saying “good job!”. When people don’t get your dreams, your goals, and the greater vision for your life, sometimes you will stand alone. But, being an entrepreneur can also be one of the greatest things! You have an opportunity to create a living business, create wealth and financial security, freedom, and the chance to change lives. How awesome is that?!


Many years ago when I gave my last boss my two week notice and declared to him and everyone I worked with that I was starting my own business, I got some blank stares and funny looks. But I was convinced that my calling was to be an entrepreneur and nothing was going to stop me. Even though, that first business failed, I didn’t think twice about it. I took it as a learning experience and kept moving.

Do I recommend that people should  just up and quick their jobs to start a business? No. It made things much harder than what they had to be. But before I get off topic, here is what I recommend if you are struggling with the lack of support from your friends and family…

1. Make new friends. When I started out in business, my core group of friends went their own way. Including one of my closest friends that originally wanted to partner with me in business. I’m not saying just leave your friends, but having like-minded ones is important! So, over time I made a lot of new friends (online & offline). But during that awkward transition, I realized I enjoyed hanging out with my online entrepreneur friends more than my offline friends. Was I turning into a loser?! I felt like it at first. Although nothing can replace a good face to face friendship, it is possible to have amazing friends and support from fellow entrepreneurs online. And with today’s technology, it can practically be face to face!

I also learned not to talk about my business with those friends that don’t understand. I just let them talk about themselves and they are happy. lol

2. Have a sit-down with your family. It is important to give a real effort and clearly explain to your family what you are doing. Let them know you appreciate their concern, but this is what you are doing. When your start bringing in income, that will also help put their mind at ease. I have had many talks with concerned family members in person and through emails. Just know, they are well meaning even if they don’t “get it”.

3. Seek wise counsel. This is something I wish I had done back in the beginning. It probably would have saved me a lot of stress. Because in the beginning I did join an online mastermind group with people that I thought were all like-minded. But it turned out to be a huge waste of time! That put a bad taste in my mouth about mastermind groups and so on. So I avoided stuff like for a long time.

But, there can be a huge benefit to legit mastermind groups, as well as getting a mentor or coach. Legit ones can really help give you clarity on what you need to be doing in your business, as well as not doing. Even joining a coaching group can help bring you clarity and keep you on track.

4. Be willing to do the uncommon thing and don’t be a people pleaser. If you feel like you have been called to be an entrepreneur, then you have got to have the grit and determination that you will make it and do the work that needs to be done. If you try to please everyone, you will never achieve your dreams and goals. You will end up living someone else’s desire for your life. And that just sucks!

For those that are willing to break the mold on common thinking and take control of their future, I say good for you! There is way more to life than living paycheck to paycheck. You can be successful and show all your friends wrong. But that is not the goal, the goal is to do what you’ve been called to do and do it with wisdom.

So get out there and start Ruling Your Realm in the marketplace and in life! :)

The post How To handle Your Friends & Family That Think You’re Crazy For Starting A Business appeared first on Rule Your Realm.

Paul Cooley
Paul Cooley is a consultant, speaker, coach, preacher & soon to be author. He is all about breaking the mold to traditional business, branding & life. Paul helps his clients define and express their core message and image through Social Media and other online platforms. He also helps people discover their passions and skills and make them profitable. Paul shares his "street smarts" training on his Rule Your Realm blog. It's time to #RuleYourRealm!
Paul Cooley

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3 Comments on "How To handle Your Friends and Family That Think You’re Crazy For Starting A Business"

Patrice K Cokley
11 months 19 days ago

My mom still looks at me crazy for wanting to work for myself full-time. lol. I do know that relocating for my previous employer helped a great deal in separating myself from those who did not support my dreams and goals of becoming an entrepreneur. Now that I've moved, they seem to applaud me from a far, but when i was there, they brushed me off. How ironic is that. However, I do value the online entrepreneur friends I've made over the years. Great post!
My recent post The Creative Entrepreneur Doesn’t Have Office Hours

Glenn Shepherd
11 months 20 days ago

Hi Paul,

I enjoyed this post very much and I can really relate to what you highlight here.

For a while I was very tight-lipped about what I was doing online because I know from past experience that people can be a hugely negative and destructive influence, even with the best of intentions.

As you say, it is important to feed of those who are like-minded and who can give you the push and support that you need, when you need it. For me, getting a coach and mentor was the absolute best thing I could have done.

Now, I still don't talk an awful lot about what I'm doing online, but that is simply because people mostly just don't 'get' it, not matter how much I try to explain it to them. That "glossy eyed look" that you mentioned is something that I have seen SO many times! But now I have the courage of my convictions, I am seeing results and I know that what I am doing works. It is what I need, it is best for me and that is that.

Thanks for sharing this, Paul.

My recent post The Tale of a Newbie Internet Marketer

11 months 22 days ago

Nice job, Paul.

Dealing with the family is difficult for people wanting to start their own business.

I've found that "experts" you never knew existed, pop out of the woodwork when business startup ideas are mentioned.

My advice: keep things to yourself for as long as possible!

You don't need distractions from well-meaning family members who usually have no idea what they're talking about.

The Franchise King®, Joel Libava