the hidden truth about dream crushers
We’ve all been hit by the Dream Crusher Express once or twice or 99 times. And you know what sucks? It’s usually the people closest to us who are driving. Have you ever talked to a friend or family member about an exciting new business venture, but left the conversation feeling like a watered-down whiskey at an airport bar?
There are people in your personal life who you’re never ever gonna be able to truly talk to about the nuances of your business because they just. Won’t. Get it.
For entrepreneurs like you and me, there’s a very, very fine line between work and life. It’s not that we’re workaholics, it’s just that we enjoy what we do so much that it’s always hovering in the back of our minds. We’re EXCITED about it, okay?! But I’ve noticed most people without businesses don’t really understand that. For them, work is work and life is life.
So when someone asks, “hooowwwww’s business?” we can’t help but launch into a 20 minute word vomit marathon about our trials and tribulations of the month, our huge epiphanies about our industries, and our big goals. But then their eyes start to slowly gloss over, we can see their attention drifting… and we end up feeling defeated instead of energized. And it hurts, if we’re being honest, because OF COURSE we want to feel supported by those we love!
But we gotta give them a break. They don’t know all the things we know. Entrepreneurship seems so obvious to us because we have spent THOUSANDS, LITERALLY THOUSANDS of hours immersing ourselves in it. I mean come on, we read business books for fun. But people without businesses haven’t spent thousands of hours – they can only apply what THEY know about working to your business, and that usually doesn’t jibe.
There’s something to be said about growing a thick skin, but in my experience that’s easier said than done (especially with friends and family). So I caution you to protect your dreams and ideas when they’re in their infancy because if they get crushed early on, there’s a possibility that you’ll give up on them before you even get started. And not to be dramatic, but that would be a fucking tragedy.
Truth Cocktail: Most dream-crushing doesn’t come from a place of resentment or belittlement. Usually when the people closest to us shit on our dreams it’s only because they’re trying to protect us. Having a business is risky, and it takes a leap of faith not everyone is willing to make. So they think they’re helping us with advice like “hope you have a Plan B” and “be realistic,” but they’re really just projecting their own fears onto our situation.
But this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t talk about your business at all – find a group of biz besties you CAN talk about all the nuances with! People who are excited about your new marketing campaign. Who understand that there are micro-niches within your industry. Who roll up their sleeves and help you figure out how to achieve your big, stupid, unrealistic dreams instead of attempting to talk you out of them.