Business can be tough and lonely at the best of times; but trying to forge a pathway for ourselves when we have people around us who actively oppose, ridicule, judge, belittle or condescend us for your entrepreneurial plans, can be soul crushing.
My family and closest loved ones were not only unsupportive of my dreams to start my own education based business, but they actively crushed my confidence by telling me that I wouldn’t succeed and did everything that they could to talk me out of it.
Sadly, I’m not the only one who experiences this kind of unsupportive treatment when we share our dreams to be somebody and make a difference to the world.
Here is an overview of 6 main types of doubters and naysayers that I have categorized based on my own experience, in the hope that it will arm you with some power to fight through to your dreams and prove them all wrong.
Dealing With Your ‘Non-Supporters’
Non-Supporter Type 1
When we find ourselves faced with loved ones, friends and even entire communities who doubt us, ridicule us or just simply don’t seem as supportive as we’d like them to be about our entrepreneurial ideas, just remember that leaders, innovators, and entrepreneurs see the world differently to that way that the rest of the population do.
We are visionary and futuristic in our very nature. We see things that don’t yet exist. This frustrates our friends, neighbors, and even our colleagues.
Most have no intention of being unsupportive, but the way they are genetically wired quite literally makes it impossible for them to visualize or conceptualize something that doesn’t yet exist. It’s not their fault and you can’t ‘train it into them’. Many simply don’t have that futuristic characteristic within them and never will.
So although it hurts when those around you are unsupportive, try not to get angry at them, as it’s less about their belief in you and simply a lack of the futuristic characteristic that you are so lucky to have.
Non-Supporter Type 2
The second kind of ‘non-supporter’ is the one who really really loves you and wants to protect you from failure because seeing you hurt or upset would be devastating for them. These people also lack the futuristic characteristic, and because they cannot see how such a dream could be accomplished, they assume failure is inevitable.
Because they care about you so much, they will try to talk you ‘out of it’ or dampen your idea in whichever ways they can.
As much as this can be infuriating and heart breaking, when faced with this kind of treatment we need to remember that these people are coming from a place of love.
Recognize it, thank them for caring about you and do it anyway.
Non-Supporter Type 3
Some people are unsupportive because they don’t share our vision or they disagree with our beliefs.
Your job as an entrepreneur is to share with the world what you believe in. To build a tribe of people that you can serve who are on the same mission and pathway as you.
With this in mind, don’t worry about the people who disagree with you – you are not here to please them. You only need to focus on the people who do like and agree with you and have similar beliefs.
It’s not your job to convert non-believers. It’s your job to serve those who already are.
Non-Supporter Type 4
Then there are people who are not so much concerned about the activity you plan to get stuck into, but are terrified that THEIR world will change if you succeed. Many people, particularly the non-entrepreneurial type, are very resistant to change, and they are even more resistant to step into the unknown.
What if you succeed and it changes their world?
What if you behave differently, get new friends, have a new routine?
These people will doubt you, oppose you and give you every reason why your idea is ‘stupid’ and a waste of time – anything to try to keep their world ‘safe’ and predictable.
Reassure them that you will still be there and care for them.
Tell them not to worry and that everything will be ok because you have them beside you; and then go on and do it.
Non-Supporter Type 5
Some people are unsupportive because they are envious.
Many people cannot see that a self-directed life of freedom is possible for them and their jealousy gets the better of them, spilling onto you as hatred or aggression.
There isn’t much that you can do about the way others feel about their own lives. You certainly should not allow someone else’s reflection to fog up yours.
You could share your journey with them and show them that they can have it too; but you’d possibly be wasting your time, as deeply jealous people would even see your offer of help as an insulting attempt to ‘rub salt into their wounds’.
Send them a wish of hope and luck and carry on with your mission.
Non-Supporter Type 6
Finally, some people are unsupportive quite simply because they are butt-holes.
In the same way that you ‘cannot polish a turd’, don’t try to win over the butt-hole that it came out of either.
Step away from the toilet, take whatever poop they have thrown at you and use it to nourish and fertilise your own beautiful meadows. You’ve got a world to change after all.
Keep your vision strong and your determination turned on
If you are determined to succeed, be ready for these oppositional mindsets. You can’t let it offend you.
You see the world differently.
You have a calling that they don’t have, and a fire in your belly that will take you places they don’t even dream of!
You can’t help anyone, or change anyone’s lives by listening to these people.
Time to shine!
Sarah Cordiner holds the record for being the youngest University “Executive Director & Head of Campus” in Australian history; a university ranked number 1 in Australia at the time of her leadership, and is one of the most remote university campuses in the world. With over 14 years in business in the education industry, Sarah currently has over 180,000 students from 181 countries enrolled in her own online courses in her own global education company. @Sarah_Cordiner