205: Why You Should NOT Expect Your Friends to Support Your Business

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Here’s the thing, the biggest disappointments in life are often the result of misplaced expectations. This is especially true for relationships and business expectations– expecting too much from others is a recipe for disappointment. Where am I going with all of this? Well, you shouldn’t expect your friends to be your customers. Yes, you shouldn’t expect them to buy anything from you. They might choose to buy from you, but it shouldn’t be a requirement. Higher than normal expectations can do a lot of damage to your relationship. And as humans, we often miss the mark and shatter the expectation to bits. So, release the expectations altogether, go out and find customers outside your immediate circle. It’s more sustainable and rarely leads to strained relationships.

Why You Should Not Expect Your Friends to Be Your Customers – 01:00

When it comes to dealing with friends in business, there’s never a right way to do it. Some people argue that your friends should be your customers and others argue that that shouldn’t be the case. For me, I believe that it doesn’t matter how you choose to approach this, but you should never expect your friends to be your customers. Yes, you read that right. Your friends are your friends, and for the good of the relationships, they should stay friends. Now, they might choose to support you and your business, but it should never be a requirement. It should come from them wanting to do it. 

Think of it this way, say you’re selling a product or a service, but your friend is not at all interested in that product. They don’t need it, so why would they want to buy it? If you expect them to buy from you automatically, you’ll be disappointed. And this might put a strain on the relationship. So, lower your expectations and not be mad when they choose not to buy from you. After all, not all your friends will fit your ideal buyer persona.

Business From Friends is Not Sustainable – 10:10

The first people new entrepreneurs contact when they plan to start a business are their friends and family. They are usually the first because they are easier to convince or offer valuable user experience reviews. Plus, they might choose to invest in you as their way of encouraging and supporting your hustle.

But here’s the thing, your friends and family can be your first customers, but as I said, it shouldn’t be a requirement, and more importantly, it’s not sustainable. For example, my main source of income comes from speaking engagements, right. So, that would mean I’d need 100,000 friends to achieve my goals. Does anyone have 100,000 friends? No! Would my 50 or so friends require my services every other month? Of course not. So, if you want to grow and scale your business, you need to think big. And frankly, your circle of friends is not that big enough to sustain those dreams. 

Why You Never Mix Business With Pleasure – 14:30

The one entrepreneurial concern that never seems to go away is the idea of mixing business with pleasure, and in this context, mixing business with family and friends. Some entrepreneurs vehemently warn against doing business with loved ones. But then there are others who’ve had a lot of success having worked with close family and friends. So, while there might be no good answer for this dilemma, I believe professionalism is the way to go. If you’re in business with someone dear to your heart, put your feelings to the side and activate business mode. If there are contracts to be signed, always ensure they’re in your best interest. Remember, countless close relationships are killed by business deals that end in lawsuits. If that’s something you’d want to avoid with a loved one, be prepared to separate business from pleasure.