A colleague of mine recently complained to me about how she started her hair business and many of her friends wouldn’t patronize her or help her with publicity, and I told her something that shook her to her marrow:
Nobody owes you anything.
The sooner you realize that people are not entitled to believe in you or what you do, the saner you’ll be and the easier you’ll be able to navigate life.
People are FREE to believe or not believe in you. They are FREE to support or NOT support you. So what then do you do? Believe in you first. Believe in you like crazy. If you are confident in your product, if truly you have something of value, you will find your people.
Does this mean that friends shouldn’t support friends? Absolutely not but you can’t force support on anybody. There are two reasons why your friends might not be supportive:
1. They don’t have confidence in your product or your service or your ability to deliver value.
2. They just don’t care
The solution to the former is to get feedback and work on yourself or the product and the latter is to dust it off (and possibly re-evaluate the friendship) because at the end of the day, the people who really need what you have to offer is the larger society, not your family and friends.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m a firm believer in going all out to support the people you care about. I’m that person who will pay for a friend’s service rather than ask to get it for free. I see it as an obligation and I believe everyone should too BUT not everyone is like this and that’s OKAY. Stop waiting for them to validate you. Create something amazing. Solve that problem. Your people will find you. When you bring value to the table people will pay attention (including your friends) and you won’t even have to beg them for it.
So you released a music album and you expected that at least all the members of your church would be raving about it and purchasing it like water, but alas! Nothing like that happens. Now, you feel disappointed because you EXPECTED them to support you. Does that make them bad people? Not in the least. It only makes them human. Here’s one thing I have learnt from life: People will always be people. Don’t place so much expectations on them.
Instead of feeling beat up about the situation, keep working. Keep perfecting your skill. Keep delivering value. Someday, you’ll be too good to be ignored.
To balance things, if you have friends who never support you or cheer you on or celebrate your success, you might need to extensively re-evaluate and do a thorough assessment of your inner-circle. I hope by now you understand that this doesn’t mean that you depend solely on their validation or appreciation of what you do; it just means that the people who claim to care for you should show you some level of support. If they have no confidence in what you’re offering, they should be honest enough to let you know. That’s what true friendship is about.
Cheers to believing in you and going all out for your dreams.
Love and light,