Family and friends can be a massive asset to your business life or a negative drain.
You may have friends who pop in for a coffee because they know you’re at home (conveniently forgetting that you’re at home working) or you may have family who post less than business like things on your Facebook business page.
It can be very distressing when a problem is caused by those we love and cherish the most, and therefore it’s all too tempting to ignore it. However, for your own positive peace of mind it’s much better to address potential problems with family and friends.
Here are some common problems and some suggestions for how to deal with them:
- Not respecting ‘work’ time
If you work from home make it clear that this is what you do – WORK from home. Make it clear to family and friends that when you are working you cannot answer the phone or door. Invite them to send messages or emails if you don’t answer the phone. This way it empowers you to receive communication at the best time for you.
- Expecting mates rates or freebies
Family and friends may also sometimes expect big discounts or free products. They may even expect you to do favors for their friends. The easiest way to handle this is to determine a set discount for family and friends and stick with it. If you get asked for freebies or to do favors, refer them to your special discount price so you don’t get sucked into doing or providing things free.
- Mixing personal and professional
This is more difficult. Your nan posting a picture of you naked as a baby onto your business Facebook page is something you probably just have to deal with and grin and bear it. However, your sister posting about your boozy weekend or strange uncle posting some radical political ideas is something definitely to be avoided. Manage expectations from early on. Make it clear they can post on your personal page, but your business page is purely for business.
- Not supporting your business
If your family or friends aren’t taking your business seriously, you will prove them wrong over time as your business becomes successful. Imagine being able to show a doubting husband your bank account balance or tell a unhelpful brother that your business just paid for your new car. Until that time you may have to make a compromise. It might be that simply not talking to them about your business is the best way to go. There are plenty of private groups which provide a supporting and friendly way to connect with like minded people.
Being part of a community of like minded positive people is a great way to kick start your positivity.