When starting something new
I see it all too often on social media: people complaining about how they don’t get any support. Depending on the person, they are not getting it from their family, friends, or the black community.
I usually only see this with people who are just starting out in their business endeavors.
Most of the business owners I see who are established already know what I’m about to share.
When we first started our business, we thought that business was going to be booming right out the gate. But it wasn’t. What gave us the idea that business was going to be booming was the “support” we had received when we started sharing our business idea and plans.
We shared our plans with so many family, friends, co-workers, etc. So many people gave us words of encouragement which we were thankful for. They also gave us empty promises like “Let me know when y’all start selling, because I’m going to buy your stuff.” Or, “I can help you with xyz, just call me if you need anything.”
So when business wasn’t booming and those same people didn’t follow through on their end, naturally we felt let down in some way.
But we soon learned something very valuable.
People will not share your passion
Yes, you have family and friends that love you and want to see you and your business be successful. However, I am fully aware that this is not a perspective shared by everyone.
I know there are some people who are wishing for you to fail, but I’m not referring to those people.
But just because they are there to root you on doesn’t mean that they share the same passion you have for your business.
When you decide to start a business, no one will care about it as much as you do. People have their own stuff going on that means something to them, so they may not be able to support you in your business in the way you would like.
This is when you need to become aware of the expectations you have set for others.
Expectations we put on other people
Expectations breed disappointment, and anytime you set an expectation and it is not met, it leaves you feeling dissatisfied. We all react differently when it comes to being disappointed.
The only person you have control over is yourself, so setting expectations for another person will only cause issues for you.
If you have no expectations of other people, when it comes to you THINKING that they should or can support your business, it doesn’t disappoint you when you don’t get the support you may have been hoping for.
Most importantly, when you do get the support, you can be more thankful for it because it wasn’t expected and it happened anyway.
You will read about this more and more on my blogs as expectations cause most, if not all, of our suffering.
Earn your support
I don’t know what makes us new entrepreneurs think that we will automatically just have support in our new business because we have family and friends.
In reality you need to earn the support of each and every supporter you have. Your business has to mean something to people in order for them to support you in the way you want. They have to connect with you and what you are offering.
We all have things going on in our lives that are equally important to us as your business is to you, and that’s what we choose to spend our time, money, and attention on.
So you have to figure out a way to capture their attention; only then will you gain their support.
Like this blog for example, you are reading it because it interests you in some way. If you like what you are reading, you may start to read other blogs and will eventually start to gain interest in what I am saying, then you may begin to support me on other platforms.
But if you don’t like what I’m offering or what I’m saying, or maybe how I am saying it does not resonate with you, then you may scroll to the next one of my posts that comes across your screen.
Your target market
If you have started a business of any kind, you should know who your target market is. If you do not, then I would suggest you figure that out before proceeding with your business.
This may be one of the key parts to your business success. You have to know who you are targeting and who you actually want to get support from.
You may be selling a product or service that your family and friends don’t resonate with. But that’s okay, because you might not be targeting them as potential customers.
You need to learn that you want to spend time marketing your business to people who have an actual interest in what you’re doing. Anything else is a waste of time.
Sometimes we are begging for support from people who are just not that interested.
Just another perspective
This is MY CURRENT perspective/situation: I have done a lot of research and have learned the importance of keeping the dollars circulating in our own community. Ever since I Iearned that, it has been a goal of mine to support black owned businesses as much as I can.
However, I am currently overcoming financial challenges that don’t allow me to support my community in the way I would like.
There are so many women empowerment and networking events that I have missed out on due to not being able to afford it. There are so many products and services that are being offered by black owned businesses that I want to support, but just can’t right now.
I do my best to share post on social media, but I want to actually experience what the people in my community are offering and I want to support them financially.
If you are reading this and think you are not getting the support you need, sometimes it may be because people don’t have the money to do so.
Again, I know there are one offs and scenarios where people can afford it and just choose not to. I’m not one of them; I don’t go asking for discounts or for anything free.
I have owned a business and I KNOW the amount of hard work and consistency it takes and that is something I will always respect. I think it’s disrespectful when people ask for a discount on something you have worked so hard to build.
So no, I’m not that person, and I’m not referring to that kind of person.
I’m not talking about the people that are like me. There have been a lot of events that have black owned business vendors and sometimes I don’t even want to go and learn about what they are offering, because I know I can’t buy anything and I don’t want to waste people’s time.
If it’s a free event or something low cost, I do my best to make it and show actual support, not just sharing a post on social media.
You get what you give
I’ve stated this a few times in this post; everyone has something going on and everyone is busy promoting something.
Sometimes just offering your genuine support to another business will bring that energy back to you.
Even though I can’t financially support black owned businesses like I want to right now, I do my best in supporting them in other ways. For example, when people ask for recommendations, I will refer them and when I do have extra money I do my best to spend my money there, then I provide feedback and a review.
You just have to focus on giving the same thing you are asking for and you will receive the same thing in return. But this will only work if it’s genuine.
If you are a person who is keeping track of who you supported and when, just to see if they reciprocate your behavior, then get upset when they don’t then you were only supporting them for your own personal gain.
Question of the week
Do you think it’s important to give as much support as you ask for?