Last month I wrote an article about the value of having a strong support system called, Run with the Motors and Leave the Anchors Behind. This post covered the importance of mindfully choosing who we share our hopes and business dreams with and how a strong support system is the safety net that all work-at-home women need.
In the article, I talked about the “motors,” the people who cheer us on and support our endeavors and the “anchors,” those who tend to weigh us down with negative views and their “can’t do” attitudes.
I recently heard productivity expert and author Dr. Ned Hallowell refer to these people as the “lilies and the leeches.” Being a business owner and a Minnesota native, I can honestly say I am familiar with both kinds of “lilies and leeches!” But, wildlife and flora aside, what do you do, when the biggest naysayer in your life just happens to be someone who is the closest to you?
It could be your significant other, a BFF, your parents, or other family members. The people who are closest to us tend to have a tremendous influence on our lives, and we tend to value their thoughts and opinions more than others. But sometimes these thoughts and views can make-or-break our ambitions and cause us to second-guess ourselves.
Once we start feeling uncertain, thanks to the well-meaning criticism from those key people in our life, our resolve can be shaken and that the leap of faith we were about to take can turn into more of a stutter-step.
At times it may be tempting to take the high-road and tuck our dreams and aspirations back into a drawer for “another time,” but don’t consider doing this until you’ve taken these steps to help clear the air.
1. “Show Me”
I read once Missouri is the “show me state.” My husband is not from Missouri, but he acted as a formidable anchor when I was striving to ditch the 9-5 world to become a work-from-home woman. At first, I misunderstood his objections as being controlling and unfeeling. But as I pressed him for details and refused to abandon my idea, he finally admitted that he was simply nervous. Being practical and slightly pessimistic, he had a tough time getting his head around how anyone could make a good (and honest) living from home.
To help him understand better, I made the choice to juggle both a full-time job and a freelance career for a few months to prove to him that it could not only be done but could be lucrative. Thankfully, that was just the ticket for him and once he saw what was possible, and how it would benefit our family, he was on board. As you share your hopes and business dreams with family, keep in mind any push-back could simply be the result of a lack of visual proof.
2. Do Your Homework
Choosing to create a work-from-home business is not all that different from creating an offline business. You still need to plan, have strategies, do your research, and picks the brains of any expert who is willing to help. Once the naysayers see that your decision is an informed one, and not a “wild hair,” their resistance may fade, and they may change from road-blocker to cheerleader pretty quickly.
3. Have a Plan B
This may sound like a cop-out, but it is actually strategic thinking. Before you give notice at your current employer, work to tuck away some money in the bank, preferably enough to support your family and lifestyle for 2-3 months. The next step would be to work on creating a “graceful exit” from your current workplace. In a nutshell; don’t burn bridges. Being honest with your employer, giving proper two-week notice, and not creating a business that directly competes with your current job are all ways to leave your 9-5 life on good terms.
Having this “Plan B” in place will show the naysayers that you truly are serious about seeking your dreams, but plan to do so without bankrupting your life in the process. This forward-thinking and “bigger picture” planning can often help to soothe any frazzled nerves your loved ones may have about your endeavor.
Where ever we go in life, and whatever we choose to do, there will always be “motors and anchors” or even “lilies and leeches.” If the resistance you are receiving is from lack of information, fear or just a simple misunderstanding, those are usually pretty easy to fix by following the above steps and staying true to your beliefs. I would also encourage that you share with those closest to you why are so passionate about working from home, what it means to you, and how you see it benefitting your life. Stay strong, work your plan, and live the work-at-home life you deserve!
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Rebecca Flansburg is the Cover Girl feature writer for HERLIFE Magazine Sacramento & Central Valley, is an avid blogger on her own veteran blog Franticmommy and is co-creator of FREElance FREEdom-a site dedicated to helping women discover life beyond the cubicle.