Why Family And Friends Won’t Support Your Dreams
It’s 2020 and somewhere in between the corona pandemic, presidential election, social injustice protests, work, school, and our quarantine-themed social life your creative juices are flowing and you’ve had this intense urge to start a side hustle.
Good for you.
Over the past few months, you’ve filed for your DBA, printed up some business cards, created a business profile on Instagram, shared your new product or service with your closest friends, the 556 ‘friends’ on Facebook, told some of your coworkers via zoom meetings, and even hit up the 5 family members you actually talk to and let them what you’ve been working on. You’ve been chugging along for the last 9 months (or longer) trying to get the word out to as many people as possible, yet when you glance over the numbers and see how many of those people actually support your new endeavor by sharing your shit (excuse me, work) it comes out to roughly 8 people, give or take.
This is when you start thinking, “If I have close to 600 ‘friends’ on social media, 4 coworkers at work that I considered friends, 5 members of my family who I thought would support my dreams, and 4 of my real-life friends who would do anything for me, why I can’t I even get 10% of these people in my life to support my side hustle? What the fuck is that about?”
If we run the numbers up based on a measly 10%, that’s still only about 60 people. You can’t even get 60 people to share your side hustle. Damn.
It’s kinda sad when you think about it. The majority of these ‘friends’ may like a post here and there, and that’s if you are lucky. Commenting or sharing is literally like pulling teeth. The same folks who claim to love you and be inspired by you are the same ones who don’t lift their fingers to help you spread the word about your stuff.
Yet, they will quickly like and share the latest meme that’s gone viral.
As creators, we rely heavily on our network to promote our hustles. This is a key ingredient to becoming a successful entrepreneur. Engagement is major in bringing awareness to our work and building our audience. Besides a few likes and hearing cliche phrases like “we are so proud of you” or “you inspire me” here and there, we don’t get any real support. This won’t pay the bills.
So the question remains: Why don’t our family and friends support our dreams?
Before I get into it I’ve already taken into account that people are busy with their own lives and possibly have their own businesses to promote. In addition, the product and/or service you are providing may not be beneficial to their lifestyle. I get all that.
Yet it still doesn’t really excuse the lack of support, does it?
If you want my honest opinion I think many times it comes down to one word… jealousy.
The reason our family and friends don’t support us is that they are consciously making a decision not to. The people closest to you do not want you to be successful. 90% of the people we have in our lives have given up on their dreams a long time ago. They make excuses in their head that they’re too young, too old, don’t have the time, don’t have the money, don’t know the right people, or a million other scenarios as to why they’ve never gone after the things they’ve always dreamed of. By going against the grain and doing the opposite of what is considered to be “normal” by society’s standards we not only gain confidence in ourselves, we also begin to destroy the life our family and friends had imagined and possibly even planned for us.
Countless times I have been asked by those closest to me why I’m doing what I’m doing. I’ll hear things like “everyone is doing that what makes you so different?” or “how’s your little business going?” or my personal favorite “you should be saving your money and not wasting it on a ‘hobby’.” Of course, when someone I value and care about says this, it makes me question myself.
Simply put, instead of showering us dreamers with love and support they would rather rain on our parade and fill our heads with doubt and confusion.
This is what has led me to the realization over the past couple of years that being a dreamer is not for the weak. It takes balls to make the decision to go after your dreams.
However, the minute you decide to take that route the ones who you thought would encourage you actually begin to distance themselves and then possibly even go against you. Because deep down they know you may very well succeed and what will that make them?
For lack of a better word, that makes them Haters.
In the words of one of the greatest creatives this world has ever seen, Oprah Winfrey, “The great courageous act that we must all do, is to have the courage to step out of our history and past so that we can live our dreams.”
In order for us to become who we truly want to be, we can’t base our worth on the validation of our loved ones. Deep down they really don’t want us to win. So they half-ass support us to save face, but most of it is an act.
The truth is if they truly did want to support us we wouldn’t even have to question “Where is the love?”
When we do win, it would shatter the lies they’ve told themselves about why their own dreams could never come true. This is why they secretly watch with a hawk’s eye view praying you will fail and fall back in line with the status quo. This is why we receive more encouragement from complete strangers in the streets or online communities, cheering us on and rooting for us to win.
And that’s more than I can say about the people in our everyday lives.
I say all of that to say this: Fuck the status quo. Fuck being normal. That’s for them, it’s not for us. We are Dreamers. We are Creators. We are motivated by doing what the world is telling us we cannot do. This world is created by us. We won’t let anyone talk us out of the vision we have inside our heads. A dream made Disney World a reality and put a human on the moon.
With or without family and friends support we will be alright. They still love us, they just don’t understand us and maybe they never will. Besides, there are 8 billion people in the world we are free to share our dreams with. So keep working hard, keep believing, and for God’s sake keep dreaming.
It’s only a matter of time.
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AAAAAAAAYYYYY Thanks for checking out this piece!
Thanks you for writing this post. It’s what I’ve been searching for for awhile now to try and make since of why my friends are acting the way they are.
Not one, but several friends I’ve had for decades have, as you wrote, consciously chosen not to support my dream to move abroad (and that makes so much sense how you put it, and is what I’ve thought, too, that they are very consciously choosing not to be supportive).
It has been hurtful and mind boggling to me over this past year that in each instance, they have chosen to not ask me one single question or make any kind of statement or remark, supportive or otherwise, about this huge relocation I’m about to embark on my own with my 2 dogs in 1 year and 1 day, to be exact, from the U.S. to France. I’m doing the move because I’ve always wanted to live in France and it’s now or never.
Your article really resonated with and helped me. I have to say I agree with you that the only reason I have been able to come up with is they are jealous for not following their own dreams in life. I will be moving next year at the age of 66, so maybe that’s doubly hard for them to accept, as folks my age aren’t supposed to still be filled with wild and crazy and passionate dreams, much less, still living them out.
Thank you again for this post. Very much appreciated.