Entrepreneurs often deal with the trials and tribulations of finding a work-life balance that seems to work for everyone involved. You’ve got a vision. You’ve got the passion and drive and believe you will find success. It gets tricky though when this isn’t your first go-round with an entrepreneurial venture and your family members aren’t as supportive the second, third or ninth time around.
When Your Dreams Aren’t Their Dreams
Everyone has their own idea of what’s going to make them truly happy, and if you’ve got an entrepreneurial mindset, you’ve probably dealt with your share of failures. Problems really start to show face when your family becomes calloused to your dreams.
It’s a combination of things really. Sometimes your dreams aren’t what they had in mind. Sometimes they want to protect you from failing, yet again. And sometimes, they are just trying to somehow fit into their new role as well. Being a business owner doesn’t affect just you, after all.
Forgive yourself. Nobody said everyone was going to be on the same page all the time. You don’t have to feel guilty because your dreams are different to theirs. You don’t have to squash your dreams to save face, either. If you want them to be understanding of your needs, you too should be understanding of the family members vying for your time and attention.
Your family may resent your entrepreneurial business venture. Don’t get that confused with them resenting you. It’s not you, per se, that angers them. It has more to do with the time, money, heart and soul you are investing in a maybe when you’ve got them standing right there, feeling ignored.
The easiest way to resolve this type of resentment is to deal with it head on. Make those people feel important in your life; as important as the success of your startup. In the beginning especially, time isn’t going to be on your side, so make the most of it.
If you’re family is feeling left out, try to involve them in your journey. Sometimes if you give them a role in your business, they feel like they matter to you and they are more inclined to help in your success rather than hope you fall flat on your face.
Set Clear and Firm Boundaries
There will be times when your family interprets your business ownership as “not a real job” because you don’t really clock in or clock out. This is all to common for those of us who work from home.
For instance, a freelance writer might be home all day with the freedom to work in their PJs. Your family might view you being at home as convenient to them, and ask you to do things that they should do themselves. Your spouse might think just because you are home, it’s okay to ask you to run their errands or make phone calls they’ve been neglecting.
As an entrepreneur, it’s important that you set clear and firm boundaries with your loved ones. Work time is for work. Family time is for family. If you mix up the two, they will believe it works that way for them as well and be unconcerned at your frustration when you have to work late into the night because you were taking care of their responsibilities.
Your business isn’t going to have a fair shake if you don’t abide by realistic boundaries.
Phone a Friend
Remember when you hated your boss and when you finally got home after a grueling day at the office, you barfed all your work-day blues on the ears of your attentive spouse? Stop that! Especially if your family members are already showing signs of disapproval while you are trying to grow your business! They are likely interpreting this as disdain for your newfound entrepreneurial lifestyle.
You need someone outside the family, and even outside your regular circle of friends, who you can vent to and discuss the ups and downs of your company.
Find a colleague, someone else in the entrepreneurial world, and use them for your soundboard. It’s likely they need one too! And if you find someone who has already been down the road you’re on, they might even have some great strategies they found useful to counter the unsupportive family on your back.
An unsupportive family doesn’t have to rule your success as a business owner. There are plenty of ways to work around their insecurities. Think outside the box but also be gentle and responsive with their feelings.
Anger is commonly the go-to emotion people rely on when they aren’t sure how to deal with the underlying issues. Get to the bottom of their reluctancy to be supportive and deal with it one day at a time!