Are you a new entrepreneur? Do you feel supported by friends and/or family? Are you a friend of an entrepreneur that you see struggling, but don’t know how to help?
I used to get so annoyed when I would see entrepreneurs vent online about how they feel unsupported by their friends and family. I would think to myself “Sis, stop it! You’re embarrassing yourself! Vent to one of your friends, or therapist, in private.” However, since becoming a full-time entrepreneur, I can empathize A LOT more. I’ve even felt the need to vent publicly, but have caught myself on several occasions.
For new entrepreneurs, starting a new business can be extremely hard, frustrating and scary. In addition, not having a consistent cash flow can cause a person the lose their cool (hence the vents about not feeling supported). Since going out on my own full time, oftentimes people ask me, “How can I help?”. Of course, the easy answer is “BUY MY SHIT!” LOL. However, I know that my products and services aren’t for everybody. In addition, there are so many other ways you can support your business owner friends outside of contributing financially.
As a result, I came up with a list of 10 ways you can help your entrepreneur friends that won’t cost you anything…financially.
- Promote & Refer Them
- I’ve gained most of my following on social media from friends reposting my work on their page. Sharing your entrepreneur friends social media pages and websites can rear them so much business. Your influence or recommendation can a long way!
- Connect Them With Other People
- If you know someone else that can use the products and/or services that your friend offers, connect them to each other. I’ve gotten so many referrals from friends. In addition, if there is someone you think your entrepreneur friends should meet and/or collaborate with, connect them. You’re network becomes your net worth!
- Volunteer Your Time
- Yes, time is money. However, I’m not saying volunteer ALL of your time. We’re all busy. I get it. However, help out when you can. If your friend is having an event, offer to help plan, set up the event, decorate, take pics, etc. When starting out, entrepreneurs don’t always have a team out people helping them. I know I’ll take all the help I can get! Most of my events have been a success because of my friends volunteering and helping me out. Without them, I would go crazy!
- Like And Comment
- Engagement is real! On social media, a simple like and comment can go a long way. When other people see comments and likes on your photos, it intrigues them. It makes them want to know more about the person and why people are supporting them. Also, the people that follow you can see when you like and/or comment on other pictures. These likes/comments help your entrepreneur friends get noticed.
- Stop Expecting Discounts
- This is one of the main things I see entrepreneurs complain about online. I don’t because I think its a tad tacky. LOL However, I can understand why this frustrates entrepreneurs. Here’s the thing. I’m not going to say that I don’t give my friends and family occasional discounts. However, I hate when it’s expected. In addition, bill collectors don’t discount bills. Expenses are real! Moreover, what if your employer asked you if they could get a discount on your salary. You’d be pissed, right? Just keep this in mind next time you ask your friend for a discount.
- Share Resources
- Read a good book or interesting article lately? Share it! I get at least one or two articles a day from friends that think I might find it interesting. I can’t say I read them all, but I read a lot of them and find them extremely useful. Keep them coming! I’ve received so many opportunities from resources my friends send that they think may be helpful to me.
- Be a Listening Ear & Shoulder To Cry On
- Some days I need to vent, cry and outright bitch! I’ve cried more in the last 9 months than I have in my whole entire life!! Entrepreneurship is hard both financially and emotionally. It can take a toll on a person. Therefore, since I can’t really can’t afford a therapist at the moment, I rely on family and friends. Honestly, they are the reason I haven’t hung up this “boss chick” life for a 9-5.
- Provide CONSTRUCTIVE Feedback
- “Keep in mind that I’m an artist and sensitive about my shit!” LOL. Providing constructive feedback can be extremely tough because entrepreneurs tend to be emotionally vested in their businesses. It can be hard to hear that you’re mucking up your business.
- I honestly welcome feedback (from people I don’t consider haters. That’s another post for another day…lol). If you have feedback, great! However, with you feedback, make sure you have a potential solution or recommendation as well.
- Cheer Them On
- I occasionally run races as a means to stay in shape. During the races, there are people that actually volunteer to cheer runners on. I used to think this was bizarre, until I started running races. Having people there to cheer me on, keeps my adrenalin pumping. Knowing I have friends waiting for me with signs at the finish line keeps me from quitting mid-race and motivates me to keep going. The same applies with my entrepreneurial endeavors. Sometimes when I feel I don’t have anything left in me, I receive a note from a friend telling me they’re proud of me or I inspire them. That word of encouragement or quick note may change someone’s life so don’t take something that you consider small for granted. We appreciate it.
- Pray For Them
- I don’t know about you, but I believe in the power of prayer. I know that I have people out there praying for me. I can feel it! I am incredibly thankful for my friends and family that keep me in their prayers. That energy and those vibrations are always welcome and much needed. Moreover, If ever you think of me and want to pray with me, don’t hesitate to give me a call!
I am fortunate enough to have a tremendous support system. In addition, support comes in many forms. I hope that you’ve found this post helpful, either as a business owner or friend of an entrepreneur. Let me know other ways in which you’ve received support that I haven’t mentioned in the comments below.
Until next time….