Someone asked a great question today on our ACA LinkedIn group:
Q. I am curious to know how you handle naysayers. When I tell people that I am starting a business I get all sorts of reactions, but when people tell me that it can be “daunting” or “difficult” I start to doubt my own intentions. I know I am on the younger side with less than 10 years experience and a newlywed looking to start a family in the next two years. But I do have a lot of experience if not in years but in quality. I also feel that this is something I really want to do. Please let me know how you hand this, I’m interested in your feedback. Thank you again. —MA
I don’t know if there is any solution to this, really. If there is, I sure never found it, lol.
To this day and in the face of all that I’ve achieved including the money and the lifestyle, I STILL get no respect from my dad.
His generation seems to think anyone “working from home” is just playing around on the computer or that they’re running some kind of Internet scam.
He literally never asks about my business. I take him to the nicest places and he never has to pay a dime. You’d think he’d be at least somewhat interested in and happy about the success of his daughter. In nearly 20 years, I’ve gotten exactly ONE attagirl from him. ONE!
And my significant other who had the patience of a saint would also go back and forth between being very supportive (as long as things seemed to be moving along) to “maybe it’s time to give up on this and get a real job” (when it was tough-going).
He met me right when I was getting really serious about my business and there was no way in hell I was walking away from it. I was prepared to lose the relationship rather than do that and told him as much. I HAD to make it happen.
So, what I learned is to just not talk about business with family. They just don’t get it and they are the WORST with the naysaying.
I’ve found friends to be much more supportive. Heck, they wish THEY could do what I do and live the way I live.
But even they don’t really get it.
Although I do have an extremely flexibile and freedom-filled lifestyle (because I worked my ass off for many years engineering my business to have it like that), you still always have family and friends who think just because you’re home, they can pop in and interrupt any ol’ time they please to gab. They just don’t see it as a “real” business in many ways.
And there are some family and friends who are going to be jealous (consciously or subconsciously) and will want to pee in your cornflakes at every turn. Who are you to better your life and take chances when they are stuck toiling a 9-5 every day, is how they think.
What I can tell you is that starting this business was the best thing I ever did, despite all the hard work, the time, the set-backs and all the rest.
This journey of self-actualization, self-determination and personal growth and discovery never stops. It’s rewarding and exhilarating every day, and now in the years when I am really reaping the fruits of my labor, I am so proud of myself and pinch myself every day in gratitude at how lucky I am to have this life and lifestyle.
When it comes down to it, you have to believe in yourself, and have the determination to stick with it and the ability to tune out and ignore the Debbie Downers. Don’t ask them for their opinions and don’t talk about your business with them if you know they’re just going to try to discourage you.
So how about you? What kind of naysayers do you have in your life and how do you handle it? Does it daunt you or make you more determined than ever? What advice do you have to share about dealing with the naysayers?