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Enterprising Goddess: Why Friends and Family Make Horrible Customers

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.

Discussion questions:

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?

Blog_to_Signature_Event_CoverIf you blog or own a business one of the best ways to set yourself apart from the rest is to create a SIGNATURE EVENT.

Signature events not only enhance client/reader interaction, they also provide an additional stream of income.

In this comprehensive e-guide I share sound event marketing advice, provide resources and show you how to go from a great idea to a solid signature event, in little to no time.

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Goddess Intellect

Relationship Coach at Goddess Intellect
Telisha Ng is the Creator of Battle of the Sexes Show, and Goddess Intellect. You can always find Telisha offering fun wisdom and sound advice on relationships. It’s her mission to bring men and women together for love, respect and flirtatious freedom to make the world a better place.
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  1. Chasing Joy (Reply) on Monday 17, 2014

    Yes its important for friends and family to support us. That support doesn’t mean coming to our events or even reading our blogs it means being happy for us and encouraging when it comes to us following our goals and dreams regarding our careers

       1 likes

  2. Brenda (Reply) on Monday 17, 2014

    Yes, it is important with respect to encouragement. Family will take us for granted and it we are in the business of selling will expect to receive items for “free”.

       1 likes

  3. K. Andre Daniel (Reply) on Monday 17, 2014

    i think it is important but i’ve grown to learn that what you do isn’t always the most popular so it could be difficult for them to relate. i’m the only blogger and writer (public at least) in my family and among friends (before I started to blog) i am one of the few who do so while i was mad at first i began to realise that and it became much easier.

       0 likes