When you’re building a business, there’s one factor in your success that cannot be underestimated. This business success factor is the one thing that, without it, you’re fighting against the current, swimming upstream. But with it, you can do the most amazing things. Strangely, it’s something that’s rarely discussed.
The One Business Success Factor You Need
The love of my life and me at a recent baseball game. Knowing that Leo believes in me makes my business success much, much easier.
The one business success factor you need, the one that can’t be underestimated, the the one that is talked about rarely, if ever, is family support. Yep, you read it right, family support. When I say family support, I mean the encouragement and reassurance of your family members—those kind words and helpful comments at the right moments and the knowledge that your family loves you and believes in you and what you’re doing.
Why It’s So Important
What Happens When You Don’t Have It
When you don’t have family support, you’re lacking a vital element that leads to business success. Why? Because every entrepreneur experiences doubt. Entrepreneurs who never question themselves are like unicorns—they’re the stuff dreams are made of. Oh, we think we’re supposed to be intensely certain and never have doubts, but that’s nonsense. Every entrepreneur questions herself and wonders if she’s on the right path or doing the right things.
When you don’t have a family that backs you up and supports you, that self-doubt gets bigger and badder and it can start to take over. The questioning, the wondering, “Is this what I’m supposed to be doing?” and “Will I ever make it?” gets worse and can ultimately sabotage your business success.
What It’s Like When You Do Have It
Every business owner has a bad day, even the most successful ones. When I’m having a bad day (or a bad moment), I know that I can reach out to my husband and talk with him about it. In fact, Leo is my first line of defense against the anxiety and fear that creeps in when things go wrong. He’s always there with a strong dose of support and love, reminding me that when a door closes, another one opens, reminding me of all the times when something didn’t go the way I wanted, but I figured it out and made it work even better. Because I know that Leo believes in me, I know that just about anything is possible. In fact, it’s largely because Leo believed in me that I broke a Guinness World Records title.
Your Living Success Inventory
In my book, Business in Blue Jeans, I recommend creating a Success Inventory, a list of all the things that you’ve accomplished in your lifetime. It’s intended to be a living document that you continuously update and maintain, so that you can remind yourself of all the great things you’ve done in life….especially when you need a reminder.
When you have a supportive family, they act as your living success inventory. When I’m feeling low, Leo provides me with a lot of reminders, kind of like, “Remember when this similar thing happened, and you conquered it?” That reminder empowers me to beat whatever has me down this time.
What To Do If You Don’t Have It
Work With Your Family
If your family isn’t supportive of your business goals, before you rush out to complain to everyone who will listen, find out why. Often, one of the first things I work on with my clients is working with family members to get them on-board, so they can provide this all-important support. So if your family isn’t gung-ho about your business, why not?
Sometimes family members have a hard time being supportive when they’ve seen you fall before—when you love someone, it can be hard to watch them struggle. It’s important for family to know that it can be challenging to grow a business, and there will be hard times ahead. You’ll fall down, but it’s important for you to get back up, and you need their help to do that.
Sometimes family members find it difficult to be supportive when a business takes a financial toll on the family. I’ve had clients whose spouses were frustrated because their family needed the income and the business wasn’t yet generating a profit. If your business isn’t bringing in needed income, you may need to take a part-time job (or even a full-time one) temporarily until the business is bringing in that money.
I know some business coaches say it’s a bad idea to have a job when you’re trying to grow a business, but I believe in being responsible and making sure your debts get paid and your family is fed while your business is growing. Certainly, need has a way of motivating people to get off their duffs to get clients and customers, but sometimes a business needs time for those efforts to pay off. So a part-time, temporary job to stave off the wolves can help in the interim and in no way undermines your potential for success. In fact, sometimes a job you hate provides a ton of motivation toward making your business really work, because you know exactly what you don’t want for your future.
Create Your Success Inventory
If you simply can’t create a supportive family environment, always have that success inventory close at hand. Make sure you keep reviewing that success inventory—on a weekly basis (or a daily one, if you need it). When you have a tough day, remind yourself of other tough days when you’ve battled your way back. When you have a problem, find a similar problem that you’ve successfully solved. Be your own cheerleader.
Build Your Own
More than being your own cheerleader, you must find others who will support and encourage you. As a business coach, being a support partner is a big part of what I do. Reminding my clients of problems they’ve solved, successes they’ve had, and being a living success inventory for my clients is a critical piece of the puzzle (of course, my clients would be annoyed if that’s all I did, so I also act as a consultant and advisor, providing business expertise as well).
My group coaching members often create their own support network, and from there, deep and abiding friendships develop, so that they can reach out to one another at any time for the motivation, support, reassurance, and encouragement that they need to achieve business success.
Look for where you can create the support you need to be a business success.
Family support is a vital business success factor that is rarely talked about, but without it, you’ll be struggling to keep your head above the waters of insecurity and self-doubt. With it, though, you’ll find it much easier to achieve the business success you’re after.