It is almost inevitable that all small business owners will need to deal with unsupportive family or friends at some stage when building their business.

You are super excited about your business and you are willing to pour your heart and soul into making it work. But you may find that not everybody in your life is as excited or supportive and you may even come across some negativity and nastiness.

What is particularly upsetting is that the negativity is coming from people that you expected to support you.  You have all of your own doubts and fears about building your business and it doesn’t help when those around you are dragging you down rather than lifting you up.

It’s not pleasant but you have got no control over how other people react and you need to figure out the best way to deal with it.

Take time to understand why the person isn’t being supportive

On the surface it might just appear that your friend or family member is just being negative for the sake of it. Maybe they have a reputation for being a Negative Nelly and find the downside of every situation.

But take a few minutes to understand why they are being so negative.

Are they happy in employment and can’t fathom why you want to take the risk and the accompanying responsibility of running your own business?

Have they tried and failed to run their own business in the past?

Are they trying to protect you because they don’t want you to get hurt? (This is a big one and it is usually because they love and care for you that they question whether being your own boss is the right thing to do.)

Are they jealous because you are pursuing your goals and they aren’t?


Accept how they feel

Once you fully understand how the person feels now comes the hardest part. You need to accept how they feel and not attempt to change their mind!

I know, I know!!!

Your natural instinct is to try and convince them that everything will be OK, that you know exactly what you are doing and it will be worth it in the end.


More often than not it will be a waste of your time, your energy and when you can’t convince them it will leaving you feeling more frustrated than before.


Talk to them and acknowledge how they feel

Instead, acknowledge their concerns and explain to them that building your business is something that is really important to you.

Explain that you don’t expect them to understand but building your business is a real priority for you just now.  You think that now is the perfect time for you to build your business because (insert reason) and that you have to at least try to pursue your dream or you will regret it.

Don’t ask for them to support your decision, just make it clear that this is something that you are definitely going to pursue.


Find an alternative support network

I know that it can be hugely disappointing not to have your family and friends on board with your business journey.  But sadly, you can’t make them.

However it is super important that you surround yourself with as much positivity as possible and that you seek out a good support network that you can rely on.

If you can’t get support from your existing community then it’s time to look elsewhere.

Local networking events can be a great place to hook up with new business buddies who really understand what you are experiencing.

There are also a plethora of online networking groups, particularly Facebook groups where you can meet likeminded business owners and get the support that you need.

Pop on over to the Build Your Biz community and have a virtual cuppa with me and other likeminded ladies who will support you when things are tough and celebrate your successes with you.