Entrepreneurs – Are You Surrounded by Supportive, Encouraging People?

Debbie Entreprenurial SpiritBy Debbie Ruston, Featured Contributor

SO YOU WANT TO be an entrepreneur, or perhaps you have already started a business? Have you shared that dream with other people in your life? You know, your friends, family, co-workers, all those people you love that you expect support from. Are they fully behind you, or, are they pointing out “reasons” why you shouldn’t do what you have a dream to do. Are they supportive or unsupportive? Are they encouraging you to give up on your “silly” idea and go back to a “normal” job like “everyone else”? Do they have advice that is helping you move forward, or, are they instilling fear and limiting beliefs, causing you to question your goals?

It is not unique to you. Just like this photo (notice the foot climbing out of the water) you are leaving the “comfort zone” that many around you are still in, and they are swimming every direction, not really knowing where they are going.

Understand this IS part of the process. Every successful entrepreneur has gone through this to some extent. The key is to recognize that although those individuals may “mean well”, they are NOT qualified to give you advice in this area. Very often this person/people will be “well meaning” friends, family, co-workers, etc. The very people you thought you could count on to encourage and support you. It can be very hurtful, even though they tell you they don’t want you to “get hurt” or “see you fail”. Does any of this sound familiar? Every successful person has gone through this process of people attempting to give them “well meaning” advice, and have learned how to effectively deal with it.

Too often one of these individuals will give you their well meaning advice on something they have no experience, no background, or not result in. You feel like you you need to take their advice because it is someone who cares about you. Understand they are coming from a place of fear and limiting beliefs and are attempting to instill that on you, although, they are often not aware they are. Sometimes, they do not want you to leave them behind, which might happen when you go a new direction. If you learn and grow and take a new direction, they feel threatened.

NEVER take advice on entrepreneurship from someone who has been an employee their entire life. They have no experience, no results, in this area and are speaking only from their own limited beliefs, fears, theories, and stories they have “heard”.

A very basic tip that will assist with this is to ONLY take advice from those that are QUALIFIED to give it. How will you know if the person is qualified? They have the experience and results in their own life. They do not talk from theories. They don’t put everything under labels and tell you it’s never going to work. For instance, they might not personally have interest or been involved in a franchise, but for you it is the perfect solution, and they can see that. Just because something “similar” may not have been for them, doesn’t mean it is not right for you. They have walked the walk and have real world experience, knowledge and success. They are open minded, and help you see possibilities.

An important distinction – it is not the person that “tried a business once” and failed. Although this person could provide some valuable distinctions in thinking about errors you could avoid, they have not had the result you are looking for. I believe everyone is our teacher, but be careful you are not buying into their lack of success.

These are powerful distinctions that will help you identify what type of conversation you are having with people….is the person qualified, or not qualified to give you advice? Be disciplined in your conversations, and don’t allow yourself to fall into the trap of having entrepreneurial conversations with the unqualified. Meaning well, and actually being qualified are two very different things.

Editors Note: This Article was originally featured on Linkedin


Debbie Ruston
Debbie Ruston
ENTREPRENEUR, International Trainer, Visionary Leader – Debbie has been a successful entrepreneur, since 1986 and believes in taking an active stand for true human potential. As the owner of The Success Educator, Debbie has spent her career helping individuals discover their limitations and overcome them and assists people globally in starting their own businesses. She also has a personal passion for education reform and providing youth the knowledge required to succeed in today's changed world.

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