3 ways to deal with unsolicited business advice
Here’s something that almost every entrepreneur can relate to - getting unsolicited business advice from friends and family.
We’ve all been there, and it sucks.
Maybe your loved ones have you doubting your services and second-guessing your prices…
Maybe they just don’t get what you do at all...
Today we’re going to talk about why unsolicited advice is such a problem, and three suggestions for dealing with it.
Because, here’s the thing...
People love to give advice.
But well-meaning “advice” from friends and family doesn’t always feel so… supportive...am I right?
Honey, wouldn’t you be better off going back to your job?
I’m just not SURE you can make a living doing that
My friend tried starting a business like yours, and he FAILED... (and now he lives under a bridge!)
Don’t you need more qualifications before people will pay you for that?
At important times in your business journey, you’re incredibly vulnerable to this kind of negativity.
And it can feel nearly impossible to tell people that you just don’t want to hear it.
It’s natural to want to share what you’re doing with your loved ones.
And let’s be fair to your family for a minute.
A few years ago, the businesses most of us now run didn’t even exist!
Just imagine what my family thinks: “Oh, Denise just talks to people on the internet about their money blocks.” WHAT?!
Your grandma probably thinks you’re doing something weird or dodgy.
Your sister might well think that blogging is a made-up thing.
It’s not their fault!
I’ve said it before: the single most important factor in successful manifesting is your mindset.
And listening to negative comments from people you care about is one of the quickest ways to derail that positive energy.
Most of us have our own negative chatter going on inside our heads, so we really don’t need external negativity too.
So here’s a question for you...
Are you actively inviting unwanted feedback?
Are you oversharing about your business?
Maybe hoping for a gold star or a pat on the back?
Are your friends and family successful entrepreneurs too?
Do they study business as much as you do?
Your friends and family just don’t need to hear the minute details of your business or problems with your clients.
So don’t tell them everything, unless you’re prepared to hear potentially unwanted advice.
And unless your Uncle Bob is either an ideal client or an expert in your field, his thoughts on your pricing structure just don’t matter.
Sorry Uncle Bob!
Get your business feedback from your coach, or confidence-boosting validation from your mastermind group.
That’s way more appropriate than expecting a pat on the back from your friends and family.
So here are my top three favorite ways to respond to unwanted feedback:
#1. Focus on the positive:
If someone asks how your business is going and you KNOW they are going to say something triggering, just smile and say, “It’s going great, thank you for asking!”
Even if they ask something specific like “how many clients do you have”, you can answer in the same way.
“It’s going great - thanks for asking”
Remember that your family doesn’t need to hear everything about your business.
#2. Turn the question around:
If you need to head off a potentially negative comment, ask THEM questions,
“Business is awesome, thank you! How’s everything in your job/life?”
People love talking about themselves.
#3. Completely change the subject:
if you know someone’s likely to trigger you, change the subject before they can get started.
Practice saying something like, “Everything’s going great, thanks. You got any holidays planned?”
Remember: it’s super important to have a safe place to share wins and to get feedback on challenges.
That’s why I really recommend having a mastermind of like-minded entrepreneurs or a well screened business coach to help you navigate the normal ups-and-downs of business.
Otherwise, your business is LITERALLY not other people’s business.
Trust your own wisdom and experience: you’re in the business trenches every day, so you know what’s best for you.
Here’s a bonus tip. My family totally didn’t understand what I did until I wrote a book.
THAT they understood!
So, self-publish an ebook, and then Grandma can tell her friends at Bingo that her granddaughter is an author rather than some sort of weird online thing they think you do now.
Now - I have a free resource for you.
I think that being in business is basically just a string of potentially awkward conversations.
How do you have boundary conversations with people?
Whether it’s a client, a supplier or a friend who wants free advice, I’ve got some great scripts for you in a free ebook.
Download your free book on how to have awkward money conversations at denisedt.com/awkward
I can tell you that learning to set boundaries has absolutely changed my life and business.
If you need help to have some potentially awkward conversations, you just need to practice a few phrases and they work like magic.
Hope it’s been helpful today - and that your next interaction is way less awkward.
It’s your time and you’re ready for the next step!
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