Supporting the Unsupportive: Some Things Grow Well In Shade

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When I first started Local Collaborative in March 2018, the amount of excitement and support I found was addicting. People were cheering me on. They were sharing, liking, commenting and encouraging. In conversations I would be shy to say ‘I own/run/lead a Branding + Marketing Company’ but they would exclaim how exciting that was.

As with anything new and shiny the lust eventually wore off. Probably because it didn’t pertain to them working their 9-5 or the fact they just passively glance at social media, the once vocally raving fans welt away. Once my initial promotion died down, I also saw my business wind down. I wasn’t worried as it lined up perfectly with a big move across country but I found myself still trying to bring in leads and this included inspecting my current practices.

 

I had long since realized that being physically far from friends and family impacted my interaction online. It was funny how people in the same town were talking more than those who had moved to another state or country. Once the excitement of change wore off they went back to being ‘just’ so-and-so. Not so-and-so who just moved to Germany, who just went on vacation to Hawaii, who just filmed her slot on the game show. These changes can make you feel like you’re an imposter in your own life and in pursuit of your own goals.

I noticed friends hadn’t liked my business page. They weren’t reading my posts and they sure had never, ever shared anything. I noticed past acquaintances lurking and observing but never outright supporting even if something did resonate with them.

WHY, as one of my best friends, does she not like my posts? I like every one of hers. And she likes everyone else’s stuff.

WHY, as someone who I know I should be collaborating with, schedule that call?

 

I felt selfish and petty. It’s just social media.

But no, not to me. As a home-based business serving digital platforms I am solely based online. I NEED comments, likes, shares and reviews. I would love to have that support and encouragement from someone close to me especially when they’ve heard how hard things have been. I’ve had to do a lot of realization.

You have to realize that what you’re trying to do

is bigger than those opinions.

If you wouldn’t trade places with them then why are you worrying about what they think? It’s easy to realize they are not my target audience but it is difficult to see people you view as your support network not supporting.

I quickly realized that they thought I had changed because they were left behind. Because I quit settling and living a life that they were accustomed to. When I challenge them to find a job, a better partner or the healthy body they always want…it requires too much and they shut down. I am consistently recognizing myself in situations where someone will try to pick up years-old stories, insecurities or complaints in hopes of some kind of agreement.

But I don’t want the only thing we agree on to be being miserable.

 

You can still love them without agreeing with them. You can still love them even if they never send you a referral. You can still love them and be friends (or family) with them even if it’s not the easiest thing while they’re being unsupportive.

You have likely started a new venture knowing you will grow and change. You are going to see changes in yourself and in your business; that’s good. You’re going to have to hang tight and hold close the reality of what you are doing and how that’s bigger than any judgmental eye who will see it. You want to know why? Because someday when you do get that breakthrough, they will come back. You cannot wait to be happen ‘until then’ or ‘when’ something happens; you need to realize that the work and words you’re putting out now are bigger and more important than the opinions of people behind a screen who will never be happy with anything you do.

Who is paying your bills? Them? NOPE. Go do what you do afraid. Do it unapologetically. Do it without reassurance or thunderous applause. Do it because you know you’re amazing and you’re doing awesome.

Don’t hide your products and services just to annoy people less!

I’ve also worried about this and I find it’s a hurdle for many of my clients. In reality, not every person will see every post you put out. Don’t dim your light because someone is afraid you are challenging them. Not every person will understand why you like painting signs, writing blogs, taking photos of your outfits or sharing your health journey. But out there, somewhere, and usually a stranger is your biggest supporter. If you don’t put what you have out there that person will never see it. 

 

So what is more important? That person’s snide screenshot to their partner in misery or leaving your legacy.

some things grow well in shade.

some things grow well in light.

 

Let the shadiness be in the shade where they thrive. They’re sad, hurting, insecure and filled with negativity. I’ve read that friends like this are similar to shadows in that they will stick around during your brightest hours but disappear when during your darkest hours. They like the dark to hide problems and find companionship with hate, sneakiness, gossip and failure. I hope you choose to be and spread the light. I hope you choose to serve people, guard your time, share your knowledge and build a network who supports you. If you’re circle isn’t applauding for your successes and instead showing up when you fall short….get a new circle.

 

This world is mindlessly scrolling through pages and there’s no interaction. No wonder engagement and interaction is down on every platform for every business! When is the last time you sat down for 10-20 minutes to engage with someone?

Write Happy Birthday and a personal note on the friend’s pictures that day.

React and comment to someone’s article share after you ACTUALLY read and check it out.

If you’re a business owner it is so important to reach out and help people, solve problems and get the solutions out there. That is how you are going to grow.

If you’re not a business owner and you’re not going to buy from your friends good or service support them by engaging with their posts. Getting a review or comment literally makes me ecstatic. It’s a reminder there are real people out in the world I am currently viewing out of my second-story office window.

When you comment on my posts, I literally break out in a smile. When you schedule a call, I literally dance around. When you want to move forward with monthly projects I literally hang up the phone and say ‘Thank You, Jesus.’ By doing something as simple as this, it might not seem like a lot, but you really do make someone’s dream come true.

If you’re struggling with finding a network I would love to support you! Drop your info in a comment below or reach out on Facebook or Instagram. I would also love to hear about your networks to join.

 

Cheers!

Marin

WOW What an awesome response so far! For the entire month of March 2019 we are celebrating our first birthday by giving YOU a present: FREE Discovery Session + 50% off your Branding + Positioning Strategy!

Schedule your call here and get ready to transform your brand. 

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