6 free things you can do to support your entrepreneurial friends
a lot of people have ideas, but not many of those people are motivated enough to get off their butts and do something tangible with those ideas. that's why entrepreneurs are so important; they show us that dreaming alone is not enough. if you want to make it, you're gonna have to work for it, period. nothing in life is free, except salvation. chances are...we all know someone who is an entrepreneur. there's so many people out here trying to push their dreams forward and be their own boss. they're quitting their jobs, they're taking l's in their love lives, and putting all of their earnings toward making their dreams a reality. but fact of the matter is, support from their circle of friends isn't always there and we've gotta do better because at the end of the day, ideas are easy... it's implementation that separates the haves from the have-nots. here's some of the many ways you can do better at encouraging your entrepreneurial friends.
6). encourage them.
some people have no idea how much resilience and dedication is needed to be a successful entrepreneur. with them, expectations are always high, and deadlines are always present; and because of that, entrepreneurs tend to be much harder on themselves than the average person. that’s why it’s important to, whenever applicable, encourage them. let them know that you’re proud of them, send them positive affirmations from time to time — you never know…you could be the motivation they needed that day to see something through.
5). repost things on social media for them.
Social media is one of the more common ways of getting the word out about something. Whether it’s an Instagram page, a Facebook profile or a Twitter account, brands and entrepreneurs alike are making good use of social media to increase awareness of their product or service. If you have a friend who has a business that they’re trying to get off the ground, you can easily help them increase their brand’s awareness simply by sharing things on your page. I know, i know… maybe it doesn’t go with the aesthetic of your social media pages or you don’t like how the flyer looks. but hey, it’s not like you have to keep the post up forever. and the share button works relatively simple, too. not only does it increase awareness for your friend, but it shows them that you’re actually willing to leverage your own following on social media to help them be successful. now, if you don’t like and/or support what they’re doing, this next point is definitely for you.
4). be honest with them.
the worst thing you can do for your entrepreneurial friend is lie to them. if you don’t agree with what they are doing, or if you think they aren’t executing it in the best way, tell them. if they ask you, “what do you think about this?”, tell them what you really think and not what you think they want to hear. there’s enough cheerleaders out in the world and not enough coaches. sometimes, the truth hurts but your obligation lies in how you deliver your truth and not necessarily in how they respond to it. that means you shouldn't be out here talking to people any kinda way or tearing down people’s hopes and dreams. but it does mean that if you consider someone a friend, you owe them a certain level of honesty; it truly is the best policy. and don’t just say “i don’t like that” or “this won’t work.” make sure you have a reasonable explanation to support why you feel the way you do. And it’s all about how you say it. if you come across as collaborative and sincere, your friend is more likely to listen to and receive your advice. however, if you come across as judgmental and overly critical, they may reject everything you say and now all of a sudden, ya’ll got beef. you may think you’re sparing their feelings by not keeping it completely “100” with them but in reality, you’re hurting them with your lies and the crazy part about it is…they don’t even know you’re doing it.
3). show up.
it doesn’t cost a thing to be a better steward over your money. in most cases, if we’d just be more responsible with our money, we’d have some left over to go to our friend’s show or patronize them for a product or service they offer. don’t let money be the reason you don’t support your friends because the cost of losing a good friendship far exceeds the cost of you paying to support them while they’re operating in their chosen craft. don’t let your schedule getweighed down with so much “stuff” that you forget what (and who) really matters. you saw the flyer on Instagram for their show two weeks ago. so why are you acting surprised the night of when they tell you the show has a cover charge? don’t be that person. showing up is one of the simplest, yet most overlooked forms of support that you can show.
2). listen to them.
Being an entrepreneur is hard. going after your dream and trying to create something outta nothing is hard. Sometimes, all people need is a listening ear; someone to sit on the other side of the phone and be quiet as they just let it all out. maybe they need to release all of their stresses related to being an entrepreneur or it could even some things that are completely unrelated. regardless of what it is, true friends are there to listen. and not only that, True friends ask the right questions at the right time because they listen to understand rather than listen to respond. you’d be surprised how much good can come from actually listening to someone before opening your mouth to offer them some sort of solution. listening to your friends gives them the opportunity to lessen whatever load they’ve been carrying because they get to share it with you as a confidant. But the gag is… you can’t listen if you’re so consumed in your own stuff that you can answer when they call you or respond when they text you. so to a certain degree, you’ve gotta be accessible in order to listen.
1). be forgiving.
if you have an entrepreneur that you’re close to, you’ve probably had quite a few phone calls that have gone unreturned and even more text messages that have not received a reply. i know for myself, my friends sometimes don’t hear from me for weeks at a time, and it’s not because i don’t want to talk to them — it’s because i’m out here working. my mind is always moving and i used to look at that as a burden but i later realized it was a blessing that i hadn’t yet learned how to utilize effectively. i’ll go on record and say entrepreneurs tend to be scatterbrained and have the worst possible time management skills. those of us that are actually interested in changing have to put time and effort into prioritizing our thought patterns and our time. but many don’t acknowledge the fact that it’s our friends and family members that take the biggest hit sometimes. i know for me personally, i’m not always there when i’d like to be, but i’m always there when i absolutely have to be. and if the people around me were not on board with my vision and focused more on the fact that I seem to constantly disappoint them with my absence, things would be much more stressful overall… for me at least. try to keep that in mind when dealing with your entrepreneur friend, they’ll more than likely appreciate you for it long term.