In my experience as an entrepreneur, I have found lots of MUSTs; crucial things to do in order to be successful. However, most people do not talk about their FAILURES. That hidden timeline, here summarised as a list of things NOT to be done, is as important as the ones to DO.
NUMBER 1: Keep Friends and Family away from your Start-ups
When developing our own business for the first time, we tend to look for support in our friends and family. Our circle of trust has always been there for us and therefore, we believe that asking family for advice or money is a low risk, smart idea. However, reading about my experience and a long list of shared notes from other entrepreneurs might broaden your perspective. Let me tell you why.
A. Most people do not understand what a start-up means.
Warning: This might even be you.
A successful start-up usually means colossal effort, constant rejection, hundreds of doors closed in your face, constant frustration, the practice of tolerance, going around problems, income inconstancy, unreliable providers, mistakes and more mistakes. Getting up every morning just to be beaten down until you collapse back into bed each night. Finally, one step forward and the cycle restarts.
Most people who have been living their lives in the security of a fixed income (from a job) are not made for this. Start-ups mean putting a puzzle together in a limited time and with limited resources, so be prepared for STRESS. And we are just getting started.
B. People are anxious
The loved ones, who have put their money and trust in you, will constantly ask about your progress. This will put you under pressure, causing more stress and frustration. People have the right to ask where their money is going, but it might get tough as projects take time and people get anxious. Probability says that most of your loved ones will see a change in you during this process, and that change might not be nice. They have never been through a start-up process and do not know how involved a serious entrepreneur can become. When projects suffer delays, you will feel bad about taking their money, but you will keep trying to succeed day and night.
Our family also belongs to our safe haven, which may cause another problem. When you need to disconnect you will come home and your loved ones will start asking questions. Your concerns about start-up delays and other issues may grow as family members express their own fear of losing money. This stress carries the risk of expanding into every aspect of your life.
C. People are afraid of what they do not know.
This is another reason to keep family and friends out of your businesses. They may provide love and support, but people are afraid of what they do not know and experience shows that resentment grows in a fearful heart.
Money, like business, will come and go. Family stays.