I remember getting so gassed over the first few unique visits to my first blog post in February 2009. I had put up a few posts on this hideous green WordPress template and thought it was THE sh*t. I finally had my own personal online space to vent and show the true me, twas exciting.
I got a kick out of creating notes on Facebook, posting extensive status updates, and leaving mini essay comments on blogs regularly so it made sense for me to dive in and give it a go.
What Does A Blogger Do Exactly?
At the time none of my family or friends knew exactly what I was doing, nor did they really take notice. It’s also important to note, folks weren’t as “plugged in” to the net as they are now. The majority of us were checking what we needed to during work hours and maybe for an hour or so after work but that was it.
In the beginning I used to love when friends and family supported me by attending events, sharing posts etc., and admittedly my feelings were hurt when they were not able or willing to support. Overtime the hurt feelings turned into resentment and although I had every right to feel that way, there was one very important lesson in business to be learned.
One day it dawned on me that family and friends weren’t always going to be there on the sidelines with pom poms. People have lives, hectic schedules and themselves to support. Depending on a single group of clients like family and friends consistently to make balance the books, is not the best marketing strategy.
If You Love Me, You’ll Support Me
Our family and friends support us because they care about us, and not necessarily because they subscribe to our business’ mission statement. Adversely they may choose not to support us, but it does not necessarily mean they don’t care about us as an individual. I have friends who can’t sit down to read for 5 seconds let alone read an entire blog post, and it’s cool. Not all of my friends have broken hearts or dating challenges, so they have no need to subscribe.
It’s unfair to place applied pressure on our loved ones to support our business ventures, because needy behavior repels clients and when it comes down to it cultivating relationships for what they are is way more valuable then collecting coin. At the end of the day remaining friends or loving relatives trumps business matters.
From personal experience I try my hardest NOT to do business with friends, it usually goes south without a contractual agreement and/or expectations. Even with all that in place it can get sticky. As clients, its usually a conflict of interest. In the beginning when I was starting off with events and/or coaching it was fine but now I absolutely refuse to coach friends and/or family.
They are welcome to enjoy and/or help with events but there are some things I’d rather not mix if possible. However each person’s experience is unique, so please do not use my standard as a guideline if what’s in place is already working for you. If you’re a hairdresser having your friends and family as clients is often the perfect billboard. They can be hair models when you’re trying out a new cut or color.
The Real Audience
One of the most exciting parts of entrepreneurship is connecting with clients who NEED & respect our services/products. People are attracted to businesses that aren’t trying to force their services and entire product line down their throat. When you begin to focus on serving instead of winning over business, you’ll project a more confident image that people feel comfortable doing business with.
Don’t get me wrong, friends and family members want the best for us, and may even be our #1 fans, but they don’t always fit the description of our target audience, nor should we expect them to.
And for those who think that anyone who doesn’t support them is automatically a hater, please step into 2014 with me. There is room for everyone to grow, as well as make choices. There really is no such thing as a hater, you’re either in for the ride or ready to get off it- Don’t dwell on what that looks like.
1) Is it important for friends and family to support your business or personal endeavors? Why or why not?
2) Have you ever lost friends or family due to business decision?
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