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Reena Mohamed was born and raised in Malaysia. She was a company director to several, Businesses before shifting to her interest in Building Online Businesses. She writes on her experiences in Business as a Board Member on companies dealing with Construction, Travel, General Trading and Food & Beverage Retail. Her creative writing blogs suits online start-ups and for those interested in living a laptop lifestyle. She occasionally does blog reviews of beauty health and supplements, she currently lives in Petaling Jaya and will happily guest blog.


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Monday, 17 April 2017

Friends Aren't Supporting Your Business?

Want to get in on the 5 Things you can do, When Your Friends Don't Support Your Online Business

Get some of the wisdom that strong women have experienced, here's how we think you can navigate the waters of friendship and business.

I'm currently doing the "quit your job, and pursue your dream" thing. I left the security and stability of having a salary yes...and it has been quite a journey. When I first stepped out on my own I expected support and encouragement from those I held close and was completely criticised and laughed at! Yes, it was hard to swallow the 'talk' around me. I was hurt by some of the things I heard from friends, but over the years I've learned how not to care and perhaps understand more on what goes on in their minds. I hope with this 5 points it can help you to keep on going if you ever feel alone. 

1. It's Not Personal.

If you haven’t felt the outpouring of support you expected from your friends, don’t break up with them just yet. The rejection you feel is not necessarily personal. They either: 
  • Intended to show support but just haven’t gotten around to it
  • Don’t agree with something about your online business and don’t want to tell you, or 
  • Said yes out of obligation
All in all, this is good.

As an online business founder, it’s your job to figure out why your BFFs are hesitating to help you. There is a good chance that whatever is keeping your BFF's from buying, using or shouting about your product from their rooftops, will also keep potential customers hesitant and confused. Try creating a space where your friends can share with you openly and honestly what it is about your business that doesn’t sit right with them. You could then use it the best way and fix it. It will ultimately bring you closer together and be a great way to spend time with them while including them in your new venture.

2. Tell Your Friends Exactly How They Can Support You

The most common reason our BFF's fail to support us in our ventures is often surprisingly simple: they are busy and don’t know what they can actually do! Remember that they have no idea what it’s like to be in your shoes and there is no guide or handbook for " Support Your Friend the Startup and Online Business Founder”. 

Fortunately enough there are these Recommended Reads:

But understand that support comes in many forms and most times it comes in ways you didn't expect. Remember everyone has things going on in their lives and like how you may not be aware of issues that have come up in theirs, they too may have no clue as to what's happening with you. And just because someone hasn’t supported your business in the way you had hoped doesn’t necessarily mean he or she is not your friend.

Try to make your request small, clear and actionable like, “please repost this blog on your Facebook wall” or “please forward this short email to your friends who are realtor” rather than saying “promote me on your social platforms” or “I’m looking for a realtor.”

If they say “no” you could, of course, ask "why not". This will allow you to hear from them and get the feel for their reason. maybe your message isn’t right for their audience? Or maybe they are swamped with their own work or personal life and you had no idea. The key is to make this conversation about discussing sincere feedback without judgement. Dont make your friend guilty so ask them the right questions, you would want to understand what is comfortable for your friend and you will get what is “too much” or “not right.” for them.

3. Make New Business Friends

Is that BFF you were roommates with, in University totally convinced that since you work for yourself you must be taking naps and hanging out in coffee shops? if so well then, maybe it’s time for some new friends.

When I started Esfair Trade (Media) almost all my friends still had traditional jobs so I went to two startup tech events every weeknight for months and got active in online forums. The inspiring people I met at those events are the reason i have been able to go from a blank slate to a community in such a short time. 6 years later i am happy to call many of these amazing startup founders and investors my friends.

The reality is, not all friends will be able to support you in every aspect of your life, but that’s ok!

Having friends who are also founders of online businesses means having people behind you who understand where you’re coming from. They can understand what you’re trying to achieve and knows just how hard it is to do what you are doing. Even the most well ­meaning friend will never be able to understand the pressures, anxieties and victories, both small and large, of owning your own online business when they’ve never actually done it themselves!

4. Ask “What Can I Do For YOU?”

Sometimes you need to put yourself in your friend's shoes. Are they stressed out too? Are they overwhelmed and need your help? Before asking for support, or feeling disappointed when a friend isn’t quick to respond, try asking them what you can do to help them first!

Successful people always ask ‘What can I do for you?

With old friends and new, build and maintain real meaningful relationships rather than demanding immediate transactional favours. Often I find that people are confused when offered help rather than being asked for it, see ... that’s how rarely this happens! Your friends are going to be much more likely to support you when they feel you’ve been there for them. You would too!

5. Know When To Move On

When all else fails, it may be time to accept that some BFF's aren’t as close now as they once were. It’s natural for friends to grow apart and, in some cases, it may be best to accept it quickly so you can, save your limited energy and move forward! Yes drawing from my own experiences, it’s been a real learning experience to see who has supported my business and who hasn’t — and I think it has opened my eyes to who my true friends are, when the people you were once close to are no longer there for you, it’s time to meet new people who understand what you’re going through. Meet your future friends today on Goodlife.Entrepreneurs!

Friendship and support are important, in business and in life, having people with whom you can celebrate the victories and mourn the defeats is what makes life meaningful. Whether you’re building a lifestyle business or you're the next tech superstar make sure to surround yourself with the kind of people who will build you up every step of the way.

Enrol and take the path less travelled with me and other like-minded working mothers.

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