You’re slaving away on a passion project. You are just about ready to release it to the world, but you hesitate….
You start having doubts
“Who’s going to like this?”
“This is so stupid.”
“No one is going to support me.”
“I just wasted all this time on something no one is going to give a damn about.”
Imposter syndrome is alive and well within you. Somehow, you overcome it and you reveal your labor of love to the world. You reach out to family and friends first in hopes that they will not only like it, but also promote it. With the exception of mom and dad, grandma and grandpa, you hear crickets. Just as you feared, no one seems to care. You get the occasional stranger or acquaintance that loves what you’ve done and support you, but you can’t shake this nagging feeling of disappointment that those you thought would be your greatest cheerleaders don’t seem to be all that interested.
I’m speaking generally, but I think many of us can empathize with this scenario. The truth is, we jump at the opportunity to support celebrities and big business in their entrepreneurial pursuits, but when it comes to friends and family, we silently criticize with a sneaky side-eye.
Why is that?
It literally takes us less than 5 seconds to challenge our friend’s legitimacy and worthiness. Meanwhile, we support strangers who we rarely do our homework on before opening our wallets or lending our undivided attention. Again, why is that?
Make no mistake, supporting your friends’ endeavors does not always mean you have to buy what they’re selling. Oftentimes, you don’t even fall into their target audience, but there are other non-monetary ways we can support our friends that don’t take that much effort or time.
Consider these 5 ways of supporting your friends:
Listen to their ideas
Sometimes, a listening ear is all anyone desires. They want to know that someone has “heard them out”. What are you really losing by taking just a little bit of time to listen to your friend’s idea? We waste more time idly scrolling through Facebook or watching Netflix series. The most valuable currency we have is time. I’m sure your friend will appreciate the time you spent on them far more than the money.
Go to their events
There is nothing more horrifying than organizing and hosting an event that no one attends. The feeling could stifle a person’s dream entirely, especially if they aren’t used to disappointment and rejection. Showing up to a friend’s event can be a powerful act of support and love. They will remember and appreciate you forever. Again, it’s a sacrifice of time, but ask yourself how you would have spent that time otherwise.
Share their posts
Social media marketing is a monster nut to crack. It’s extremely hard and intimidating for those who are trying to market their products and services. With Facebook and Instagram constantly limiting the organic reach of our posts, your friends rely on your engagement to get their posts in front of as many eyeballs as they can. Sharing a Facebook post, liking and commenting on a picture on Instagram takes less than a minute, but could make a huge difference in your friend’s business.
Celebrate their success
If you ever got a phone call from a friend sharing a huge win with you why not propose a celebration? Offer to take them out for a celebratory drink! Maybe this requires a little bit of money, but you would have probably gone out anyway. Making the outing about them, is a small shift that could have a great impact on their momentum and confidence.
Encourage them to keep going
I received an encouragement post from one of my sorority sisters the other day. The post couldn’t have taken more than 30 seconds to write, but it meant so much to me. It actually inspired this blog post! Think about that for a second:
One 30 second post of encouragement from a friend actually inspired me to produce an article. Who would have thought someone’s kind words could lead to productivity?
MOS Support Your Friends Folks!
Life isn’t about grand gestures; it’s about small, consistent acts of service and kindness. The next time you spend your money in a mall or restaurant or spend your time binge-watching a series on a Netflix, ask yourself,
“Have I done anything to support a friend or family member today?”
I am not judging those who shop or watch TV. I do those things, too. This article is just as much of a wake-up call for me. I am not claiming that I’ve mastered this. I do plan to take my own advice though and began supporting the ones I love first, before supporting strangers.