In generations past, the common way to secure stable livelihood was to learn a trade, get a higher education, find a job and stay there long enough to retire and cash in on investments you made through your employer. However, there’s a growing rate of side hustles being started, small businesses being born, and anything else that will allow us to follow our dreams, pursue passions, and become our own boss.
As a new full-time entrepreneur, I was on a personal search to learn more ways I could or should expect support from my family, friends and associates. I wanted to see if I was being realistic or overreaching. So I polled over 30 of my entrepreneur friends, from a wide range of backgrounds, to see what they felt were the best ways to receive support. I was surprised to find that most of them had the same concern and desires of what it meant to show support. Below I’ve compiled a list of the top 7 recurring themes. I’ve also quoted a few, so you can hear directly from their hearts.
I encourage you to read the list with an open mind. You may be surprised to learn some new ways to express your genuine support to your family and friends who’ve taken that brave leap into Entrepreneurship!
Top 7 Ways to Support an Entrepreneur
“[One] way they can show support is to get the word out about your business. A lot of our work over the years has been through referrals and word of mouth. Small businesses, just starting out, don’t always have money to invest in advertising or marketing, so relying on their network to send them leads and potential clients is really helpful.” -CG
“Referring people to us is a good one! They don’t necessary have to spend money…just send people who will.” -TC
“I would say #1 Encouragement (from spouse, friends, family). #2 Trust (that people trust me to guide them the right way)” -JD
“One of the top ways friends and family can support on a venture like this would be to not cast judgement on taking on such a risky venture. Deciding to be an entrepreneur and be your own boss is a very risky process, but if you feel like it’s your calling, then it is 100% worth the pursuit. But, sometimes, people don’t understand why you would want to take such a risk. They’ll throw out comments that maybe it would be safer to work for someone else, or they’ll cast doubt on your goals and dreams.” -CG
Social Media Love
“It’s hard in the cyber world so I know everyone may not be able to afford to buy a product but sharing my content, liking post, commenting well let’s just say engagement is HUGE for me” -TW
“In my experience, I don’t need monetary support, but I appreciate a spec of time. If I start a social profile, follow or like it. If I post about subscribing to my emails, just subscribe lol. It can literally go to your spam box, but that shows me that you understand I am working hard and even if you’re not interested – you engage. I see people so readily follow a celeb who has done nothing for them, but won’t follow a friend who’s building a business.” -PP
Show Up to Events
“…being present, anyone can encourage by words, but to see the faces of your supporters, them being in the building whether they buy something or not, its everything to know you have someone there just for you.” -TBB
“Show Up? Even just to say hello or show interest… Follow along. Everyone loves hearing that someone they love knows what’s happening before they’ve gotten a chance to tell them (social media wise). Ask if someone needs help, sometimes the answer is prayer, sometimes it’s a helping hand. Both are needed.” -JS
Make a Purchase or Use Their Services
“If you support me “vote” with your dollars at my business instead of another one. Even if it may be a little inconvenience I’ll always go with someone I know IF the product is good” -SM
” A. Buy our product B. If you’re not buying our product tell us why (feedback)” -SW
“As an emerging leader what I’ve experienced is many have lost the art of servant leadership. For me a typical turn off is being asked for something and they’ve never made an investment in my business, know what I’m about or offer genuine support to build relationship. Those who have been most supportive such as my business mentor offers me her building to host my classes at no charge, my business peer asks how can she grow my business just because she wants to see me fulfill my call or my website designer who didn’t charge to build an entire new site because he saw greater. That’s what support looks like to a small business owner who has zero angel investors.” -KK
“A lot of people throw out the phrase “if you need anything let me know”. Though they mean well that’s not always true. Some of my friends will only give time because they don’t have money to spare. Some will only support by contributing money because they don’t find themselves crafty or creative enough to help with being a sounding board. Being specific about what you have to give is extremely supportive for me.” –JJ
Be Respectful of Time
“To us, the biggest support is understanding and being flexible with our schedule since it’s not your usual schedule.” -AG
“Understanding that just like you wouldn’t expect me to drop everything at the spur of the moment if I had to clock-in to a traditional job, the same goes for a stay at home/work from home mom.” -JJ
How did you find this list helpful? Do you have any tips of your own to add? Comment below, I’d love to hear your feedback! Also, do me a favor and share this post and blog with your friends! You never know who would be glad that you did.
Here are some of the Entrepreneurs I polled. Check them out- and tell them you heard about them on SincerelyMrsMommy.com!