What to Do When Loved Ones Don’t Understand Your Hustle 5 Ways to Build a Network of Support

She wouldn’t admit it at first. But a few minutes into an argument about my job is more important than your job, she said it, “I don’t care what you do.” The first thing that popped into my head at that point? Well then, it’s a good thing I care!

I’ve worked as a freelancer in one capacity or another for a decade. That means that for the last 10 years, this woman, this important part of my family, has known all about my line of work. How long he hasn’t cared, that I don’t know. But waiting until now to tell me that – at a point in which my professional life is taking a slight pivot – reminds me just how lonely our line of work can be.

One of my coaching clients (we’ll call her Elie) is struggling with a similar problem and at the same time. In her case, however, it’s her mother who seems to doubt her abilities, desires, goals, and potential. Elie is an extremely talented writer who’s also pivoting over to something new.

It’s especially at these times that the heart of a hustler needs to feel like it’s okay like even if we fail and fall flat on our faces, it will be okay. Maybe we’re just asking too much. If the roles were reversed and it was a member of my family or Elie’s mom who decided to veer off onto the path least traveled, I think Elie and I would be supportive, respectively, of these important people to us.

And while I can speculate about the thoughts of others all day long, I have to wonder if knowing the why behind the rejection of our work, our legacy, would make anything better. Honestly, I don’t think it would.

In truth, the only thing for a solopreneur to do in this situation is to charge ahead and see it through. If you’re willing to, I have 5 ways to make that happen and find support elsewhere. You’ll do far better faster with an army behind you.

5 Ways to Find a Network of Support

1. Recruit Your Friends

Who are your closest friends? The people who would drop anything and everything if you needed an ear. Who are they?

Pick 3 of them and contact them to ask that they be your group of champions to push you when you need it, celebrate when you win, and keep you going when you don’t. Having that support is everything.

In my case, I have my kids. They get it. They understand what I do. They can see it on my face when I’m having a hard day. And yeah, they’ve been through a lot already just with dealing with my health and a cross-country move.
But we’re a family. We stick together and get through the bad. Cuz no matter how bad it may be, it’s only temporary. Soon come wins we all celebrate together.

2. Spouse/Significant Other

If you have one, great! Count on them to be part of your network of support. Ask that they be your champion and a champion of your career.

Discuss the importance of your biz with them. Talk about your goals and your plan for getting there.

3. Join Facebook Groups

There are several groups I recommend. You can check out a list I put together here. Don’t think you need to join them all. Evaluate each one I mentioned and think about whether you’ll find like-minded individuals within the group.

Have questions? Contact the group’s administrator and ask away.

4. Join a Mastermind Group

I’m a member of one made up of female entrepreneurs. These groups are started within social media sites, like Facebook groups. Usually, groups of 4 or so will break up and work together to help one another move forward in their journey. Everyone has to commit to participating or it won’t work.

Keep an eye out for one.

5. Find a Mentor/Coach

Coaching clients often find me because they’re looking for accountability, advice, or simply an ear. When you start looking for a coach, however, make sure he or she is further along in their journey than you are.

Final Thoughts

In a perfect world, our loved ones would get it. They’d say, “that’s great!” when you win and “that sucks” when you don’t. But you can’t control how others will feel about your work. All you can do is put your best foot forward and pitch regardless of what’s happening around you.

I know how difficult that sounds. But dwelling on what others think won’t help you build your business or achieve your goals.

The good news is some come around with time. Unfortunately, others simply won’t. And there isn’t much you can do to affect that. Instead, work on building your network of support and push through the momentary discomfort. Don’t let it in your head. Once it’s there, there isn’t anywhere for it to go. Give it an out by accepting your loved one’s opinion for what it is: their opinion. Once you’ve done that, remember that everyone has one and keep hustling.


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