ARE YOU A TRUE SUPPORT PERSON?
Starting a new venture or a new career is tough. A lot of people fail because they don’t have the initial support or continuing encouragement from friends and family. There is an attitude of, “Well, it’s up to them whether they fail or succeed.” True. However, supporting a friend in a new venture is key to their success and your relationship. The question is, “Are you a friend who truly supports, or are you a friend who is scared to offer encouragement? Are you a family member who only encourages when you wholeheartedly agree or are you a member that can encourage without necessarily agreeing wholeheartedly?”
Let’s take a look at how a true friend or family member can support in new ventures and career changes.
HOW TO ENCOURAGE A FRIEND IN CHANGE OF CAREER
Negative responses, cautionary lectures, and skepticism are not really helpful.
Rather, if we feel cautious about our friend’s decision, we could ask them if they need any research on the subject. If they say yes, and we find red flag information, it now can be received as research and not criticism. Consequently, they now have the information we wanted them to have and it didn’t come from us. Certainly, don’t be negative unless you have done the research.
Family members can get very triggered because we love our family and don’t want them to get hurt, disappointed or lose financial resources. When family gets interrogative, the new adventurist gets stubborn. It is much better to say, “I want this to succeed for you; I look forward to asking you periodically how it is going.” Often the more the family encourages their loved one, the more the adventurist has second thoughts.
If there is no way you can get excited about their change of career or business, let the person know you hope they succeed.
HOW TO SUPPORT THE ENTREPRENEURSHIP OF A FRIEND
If we feel skeptical of our friend’s new venture, we should back off of the negativity. Furthermore, what if we ask the question, “How can I help you?” Often we might be apprehensive in asking, in case we will be asked to shell out finances. Due to this concern, it is important to preface our question with, “Other than financial support, what can I do to help you?” I have asked this question to my entrepreneurial friend. As a result I am pleasantly relieved to hear many suggestions that would fit my abilities such as: could you please spread the word on FB; write a testimonial about my character; volunteer some hours of work; click onto an information Zoom meeting with no strings attached?
Hence, you don’t have to sign-up or buy a share in the project in order to support your entrepreneur friend. You may not even care for the brand that they are marketing, but above all, you can affirm them personally. Sincerely say that you believe in them.
SUPPORT YOUR FRIEND’S PROJECTS
If the idea/project is not illegal, and not against my moral principles, I believe that there is more good in supporting my friend’s project than tearing it down. Even if the project fails, I believe it is better that I supported than criticized. Unless they ask me; keep my caution, skepticism, and ‘constructive’ criticism to myself.
What if the project is much too big for you to help with? There is always a way to support and encourage. Preface your support with, “I am not able to financially contribute; I have limited hours to help you, but I believe in you. “Then ask, “How can I support you?”
Supporting a friend in a new venture strengthens your bond, and keeps them from getting discouraged. Consequently, they might succeed. Imagine your friend one day receiving accolades for being the top sales person of her company or being nominated as the best business in the city. People are clapping. She beams. She points out into the audience at you and says, “I could not have done it without the steadfast support of my loyal friend.” You smile and think to yourself, “I merely supported my good friend in their new venture.”
–Karen Moilliet June 10, 2020