How To Win the Support of Your VIP
Tips on getting your Husband, Mother, or Best Friend to become your business advocate.
Maybe your mom is always nagging you about what you “should” be doing with your life. She might be driving you crazy and you might want to pull your hair out. She most likely means well but before you lash out at her, I have some tips in store for how to handle her negativity.
I often get the question, “how do I get my husband to be more supportive of my business?” That’s a toughy. My husband, luckily has been my biggest supporter. He supported me leaving my full time, salaried, social work job to become a stay at home mom. He supported me (warily) when I said I wanted to get coach training and acquire certification. He supported me when I decided to go into business.
His support, hasn’t been without logic. The questions he asks are tough and meticulous. They make me think about things I hadn’t considered. He’s taught me what it is to be a really good sounding board. You don’t want an immediate, “no” from your mom, husband/wife, or best friend (or insert any other important relationship to you here), but you also don’t want somebody who will lay down and let you have everything without being a good critical (for your benefit) listener. Remember, most of our VIPs care for our wellbeing so don’t write off their concern and instead figure out how you can convince them of your logic.
Figure Out The Money
The first thing I think about when I hear that somebody in your life is unsupportive, I think about the financials. Have you worked through the money to know how much you’d need to make in order for you to be able to afford all the things you are responsible for paying? I’d recommend you sit down to do the Survive and Thrive Budget worksheet. Show your VIP the figures and show them your plan to make that money.
Your VIP is most likely concerned about your/the family’s well-being. Their fear is your job to help manage and show them how it could be different. You’re rocking the boat so show them how it doesn’t have to be stormy seas once you go out as an entrepreneur.
It’s recommended that you have 3-6 months of your survive budget in savings for anybody but when you’re going out on your own, this is even more important. While you have a job or can get a part time job, save to grow that savings account, giving you a little leeway.
Know Your Value Proposition
The VIP in your life loves you and really cares about you, and they don’t mean to not believe in you but sometimes, it’s HARD to support an idea that’s untested or when there are so many competitors.
Show them what you’re planning on offering, how you’ll be different, how you’d stand out. Not to say that you’re not special or unique but just because you’re special to them doesn’t mean anything in the market – they’ll want to see that the market will see you as your talented, gifted, incredible self so show them your evidence or how you plan to achieve it.
Have a Backup Plan
Knowing how much you need to bring into your business, I’d recommend a backup plan. Whether that’s a part time side gig or knowing that you can go back to your “old job” if the business doesn’t pan out after a few months, you need to have something that you could rely on!
Another backup plan is to find other opportunities than just your immediate business model. You might have planned to just do wedding photography but in the course of your first few months, you find that people aren’t booking weddings right now. You might choose to second shoot some weddings with other photographers to learn more and earn a little income as well. Additionally, you might look to shoot other types of photographs and choose not to display those in your portfolio (you don’t want to be everything to be everybody; it dilutes your message making it so that you’re not serving anybody!).
Bring them In
When was the last time you told your VIP about some of the ideas that you have and walk through them so they can understand what you’re thinking? If you’ve done a lot of dreaming, planning or thinking about your new venture, run it by them, not in passing but as though it were a real conversation. If it’s the focus of a conversation you’ll be able to make it more business-like rather than it being a personal matter. Show them how they can trust you with this new, challenging piece of information by showing your work!
Ask them for their opinion, their perspective, their feedback with the understanding that you might not take it and hold on to what you had planned. If you’ve done research and work, you might have more of an understanding of the landscape of your market and business than they do.
Your VIP they really care about you. More than likely, in a year after you’re established, they’ll be so darn proud of you and will be your biggest cheerleaders. But in the initial stages, it’s scary for them too, because they don’t want to see you fail. By following the tips above, you can help to show them your logic, that you’ve thought it through and that you have a plan.
Sit down and have a conversation about what concerns they might have with your plan and see if you can explain or clarify what you are thinking.
Entrepreneurship is hard and it’s uncertain but if you go in with a solid plan, you’re more likely to succeed than if you go in blind. Consider it a blessing that you have somebody who cares enough to give you some pushback. Use those people in your life as a true sounding board to have better answers and clarity for yourself!
Did you download your copy of the Survive + Thrive Budget Worksheet? People have said this about that exercise: “This helped me to see that my goals weren’t as far as I had initially thought” and “Survive + Thrive made gave me so much clarity and confidence to be able to make a bold decision!”