What has family and friends got to do with building a successful business? What influence do family and friends have in the life of an entrepreneur? This may be your outburst on reading the title. Well, before taking a stand or drawing conclusions; I want you to please on.
It’s well known that family and friends have a big influence on your personal life. Also when it comes to business, their influence may be felt either directly or indirectly. The nature of the family you came from will determine your life pattern. And the friends you keep will also determine whether you will succeed of not. Am I the only one that shares this perception? My answer is a resounding no.
“Be careful of the environment you choose for it will shape you. Be careful the friends you choose for you will become like them.” – W. Clement Stone
“Friends are not as important as family. Do not confuse the loyalty of friendship with the bond of blood.” – The Mafia Manager
“A man that has friends must show himself friendly; for there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.” – Proverbs 18: 24
I hope the few quotes above have further proven the importance of family and friends to your personal life. Now I want to highlight the relevance of family and friends to building a business. But before I proceed further, let me ask you the following questions:
Have you ever gone all out to do something, not because you wanted to but for the sake of a loved one?
Have you been inspired in the past to achieve success by a family or friend?
Have you been on the verge of failing but on remembering a loved one, you picked up courage and applied more effort because you can't afford to break the news of failure to your loved one?
Have you ever noticed that athletes, when on the track usually have their family and friends by the side cheering them up?
If you answer the questions above truthfully, then I believe you will begin to see where I am driving at. From history, it has been observed that humans are sometimes inspired by people they love or respect. As an entrepreneur, I have also been motivated by loved ones.
Family and friends can be an added advantage for you in the entrepreneurial process of starting a business or building a business. When you start a business, your family and friends can be leveraged in the following ways:
The Importance of Family and Friends in Building a Business
1. Your family members can inspire you to press on even when things are not going as expected. On many occasions, I have heard this statements "I am doing it for the kids" or "I can't afford to let my wife down." I have seen men take risks they wouldn't ordinarily have taken on their own; but they simply took it all in the name of love.
Robert Kiyosaki, in his book “Retire young retire rich” calls this sacrifice the “WHY” of undergoing the entrepreneurial process to financial. When we have a strong feeling of commitment to someone we love; we strive not to disappoint. I am writing this from my own personal experience.
I have taken business moves and made strategic investments not because I wanted to; but because I felt an obligation to do it for those I love. I want to give my parents a taste of the life they never had before they leave this earth for good.
I want to be a man my lover and soul mate will be proud of and I want to leave a legacy for my forthcoming generation. This is why I became an entrepreneur and this is why I stay in the game of entrepreneurship and investing despite the challenges, failures and setbacks.
This points I made above is my own “WHY.” Have you found your “WHY? Finding your “WHY” is very important to the process of attaining financial freedom or anything worthwhile in life because without a strong “WHY,” you don’t have anything worth dying for.
Helping my protégés find their own “WHY” is the reason why I begin my talks, write ups, consultations and seminar interactions with questions about the “WHY” because I know how powerful it is. Before I begin any business consultations or render any advice, I usually ask questions such as these:
Why do you want to start a business?
Why did you become an entrepreneur?
Why do you want to become rich?
Why do you want to become a billionaire?
If you can’t find a concrete answer to questions like the one asked above, then your success in life and business will be limited.
“I began to learn what poverty meant. It was burnt in my heart then that my father had to beg for work and there came the resolve that I would cure that when I got to be a man.” – Andrew Carnegie
"There is only one fuel that drives me forward in my quest to achieve success and that fuel is Love." – Ajaero Tony Martins
“I am very prudent financially because of those hard times I went through. I spent nothing. I had a haircut every three months. I shaved my head like a monk. I needed to save every penny; I needed to be strong, and needed to find some way to secure a future. That’s why I am always conservative. I never forget to maintain stability while advancing, and I never forget to advance while maintaining stability.” – Li Ka Shing
2. Your family and friends can be a source of encouragement to you in times of challenges. That’s why the bible said that “Two is better than one for when one is down; the other will pick him up.” Business challenges are a phenomenon that is sure to surface in the entrepreneurial process and sometimes, we feel like throwing in the towel. But with one or two family and friends standing by; we may be encouraged to keep going.
The love for my family and loved ones keeps me going through my darkest hours. Sometimes, things become so tough that I will be on the verge of giving up but instead of killing myself with worry; I will simply discuss my problems with my soul mate and before you know it, I will pick courage.
3. When you have positive thinking friends, then it is certain that they will influence you positively. Good friends can boost your spirit. I am talking about friends who believe in possibilities, not friends who believe it can't be done.
4. It is said that blood is thicker than water and that’s the truth. Your family has a great influence on your life; whether you admit it or not. Have you noticed that children tend to follow in the footsteps of their parents? A family of educated intellects will raise kids who will end up becoming intellects and the entrepreneurial family will raise entrepreneurs.
Aliko Dangote, Mike Adenuga, Donald Trump, Ted Turner, Debbi Field’s, J. Paul Getty, Li Ka Shing, Orji Uzor Kalu, Cornelius Vanderbilt, Rachael Ray and most of the drop out billionaires had their entrepreneurial traits developed by their families; even though were unconscious of it back then.
Some famous entrepreneurial families are the Walton’s, the Dangote’s and Dantata’s, the Ibru’s, the Ambani’s and the Rothschild’s. So whether you like it or not; your family is going to influence your life directly or indirectly, either in the positive or negative direction.
5. Family and friends are always the first point of call for entrepreneurs who are trying to raise seed capital for their startup business venture. Even without a strong business plan and feasibility study, family members will still give you money to kick start your business out of love. So therefore, your family and friends can be a strong support structure especially in your startup phase; if only you play your cards.
In conclusion, I want to point out that your family and friends should never be ignored because they can turn out to become lifesavers in the future. So treat family members and friends cautiously with love and care; and they will reciprocate when need be.