Why your fam isn’t supporting your new venture

Do you remember your bookish little cousin Sean? What about unfunny Uncle Harold? Sort of? Not really? You can pick them out of a line-up but maybe you are more like acquaintances.

The people that know you the longest generally have a preconceived notion of who you are. They remember the you that they last interacted with. Not specifically the last time you saw each other at your frat’s wedding but the you from way back when, when you still wore the original Guess jeans, circa 1993. You’ve tried to catch up a little and it spawned a new Facebook reconnection of kiddie pics, recipes, and occasional political discourse.

You’re working hard and creating your brand. The new campaign you just created is LIT and you decide to try it out with friends and family first. You post. You wait the obligatory 3.5 seconds and check. No activity. You make a cup of Plantation Mint Tea and come back to check. Nothing. You refresh your feed and check again. Still nothing. You create a cute album of the campaign and text it to your peeps, including Sean and Harold. Crickets. Every audible notification coming from your Android only highlights the truth — no one likes it.

A lot of times when we don’t get a response from our friends & family or when our posts/tweets/blog sits un-liked by a single soul we tend think we’re a failure. You’re not. This isn’t even malicious inaction by your loved ones.

When we believe we have changed, shifted, grown, whatever label you want to put on it, those people in our lives will always remember you — the old you. They remember the Guess jeans wearing version of you. They don’t really know you, you. Not the edified 21st century you with your shiny new title. They don’t know how much research you’ve conducted or even the debt you racked up expanding your brain. How could they?

Back to cousin Sean and uncle Harold. You probably remember them but maybe you don’t really know them anymore either. Do you remember way back when; when you were an especially lovable teenager [read sarcasm]? Was that the last time you saw dear uncle Harvey, uh Harold? It has been at least a decade (or three). So the picture you have in your mind of Sean or the nerdy way he laughs or maybe even the strong odorous cologne you remember of uncle Harold’s helps trigger a memory for you. It is an old memory. Again, from at least a decade ago (or three). If cousin Sean starts a spectacular new charity for former state wards or uncle Harold all of a sudden became an expert in your field you would probably know much more about them. On the other hand, research and awkward family phone calls would be in your future. Suffice it to say, your level of motivation, or lack thereof, is closely related to whether you know about their present or just have that decades old Polaroid in the mental Rolodex.

Cut your loved ones some slack. Although they are motivated through love and friendship it may not mean that they have the time or ability to figure you or your solo entrepreneurship out.

I know. You have explained it over and over and over. They don’t get it. They maybe won’t get it. Give it some time. Continue to share who you are. Actions do speak louder than words.

Don’t take my word for it though. Watch it play out in your own life. Let me know how it goes. Maybe give them a call and ask whether they still like Isaac Asimov or Drakkar Noir.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s