Family and friends not keen on your new business idea?

There’s nothing worse than feeling like you’ve been shot down when you feel so excited about a new business idea.

Yet, it is a common story….. someone has an idea to start a business, and all the naysayers emerge.  Usually family and friends.  Well-meaning of course but full of warnings, head shaking, stories of doom and gloom.  All this negativity about an idea that you are passionate about can kill your enthusiasm and could be enough to stop you in your tracks.  When should you listen, and when should you ignore what is said?

Understanding why people may be negative about your business idea

Your track record

Do a reality check.  Are you the sort of person that has a lot of ideas which don’t go anywhere?  Or perhaps, someone who has had ideas that have not been successful during implementation?  If so, people around you may be a bit jaded about hearing another new idea.  They may also want to protect you from yourself!

It’s usually about them, not you 

Maintaining the status quo

Most people are uncomfortable with change, and whether they realise it or not, they may have some vested interested in the status quo i.e. keeping things the same.  Their negativity may stem from their discomfort in seeing you pursuing a goal that they don’t have the courage to do so themselves.  This is especially true of friends who may have led similar lives to you.  Growth and change can be scary.  If you grow and change, what does it mean for them?

Could they be inconvenienced in any way by you taking this step?  Even if not financial, providing emotional and moral support may be more than what they are prepared for.  This may change with time of course, but how they feel at this point in time will influence how they respond to your idea.

What to do about the negativity?

I can tell you not to react to others’ negativity, but if you are reading this post, I suspect you already are!  Rather than denying any emotional reaction you might have, allow it to take its course and it will pass.

Once you have dealt with your own emotional reaction, you will be better able to listen to what is useful and to leave the rest.  Negative views can also have nuggets of information that are useful.  However, if the views are not constructive, then it will be time to set some boundaries.  The easiest solution is to stop talking to these people about your idea.  If you need to bounce your ideas, find others who are more supportive and understanding.

If they persist in imposing their negative views, do not engage.  Firmly but kindly tell them that you know they mean well, but tell them that this topic is off-limits until you have done sufficient research to have a proper conversation.

About the Author

Coach Mi

I'm a business coach passionate about helping women make the impossible possible! Do get in touch. I would love to have a chat to see how I can help.

Coach Mi @ FB

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Comments 2

  1. excellent, excellent. and you remind me that I haven’t posted to the blog exchange recently. thanks. fortunately I am surrounded by positive folks (how nice), but the misgivings I hear I think are related to my exploring business ventures that are out of their experience or beyond their experience. After all, running a business is about problem solving and new ventures. So, I don’t discount. I stop and ponder, how does this inform my thinking? amazing the number of times I learn or gain insights from the misgivings of folks who love and want to protect. Nice 🙂

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