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Startup Central: How to Deal with Unsupportive Friends

On this week’s episode of Startup Central, Cory Mosley lends some insight on how to deal with unsupportive friends and have confidence in your startup.


Welcome to Startup Central, the place for entrepreneurs and first time business owners to hear tactics, techniques, interviews and commentary. So they can be the odds and build their business. We go beyond just covering sales, finance and marketing topics but we’ll also tackle the grittier side of entrepreneurship. Like controlling the mindset and dealing with setbacks and relationships.

I’m Cory Mosley, an award-winning business breakthrough strategist, coach and professional speaker and I’m thrilled to have you today as a viewer. So much about entrepreneurship, startups and small business revolves around the technical aspects. Like systems, processes, revenue and cash flow. And while those things are of paramount importance, one of the greatest factors that I’ve seen kill businesses over the years is the mental and psychological aspects of relationships.

Deciding to pursue entrepreneurship is a big decision. When you break out on your own, you need supportive people around you. Those who are enthusiastic about your decision, willing to accept that you might not have as much free time for a while. And even willing to help take some of those extra tasks off your plate. Unfortunately, not everyone is going to be that supportive. I want to share some quick tips for dealing with unsupportive friends.

Step one, be confident in your choice. You didn’t decide to embark on your entrepreneurship journey without thinking it through. Chances are you took the time to seriously consider the pros and cons, plan your journey and make sure that you are financially prepared for the sacrifices ahead. Now that you’re ready, you don’t have to answer to unsupportive friends who don’t believe that you’ll be able to accomplish what you’ve set out to do.

Be confident in your choice and realize that you don’t need other people to agree with you. Especially when you’ve already talked it out with trusted mentors and those closest to you. Step two, choose to skip the arguments. Not everyone is going to understand the decisions that you make. And the truth is, even if you don’t appreciate it, everyone is going to have an opinion. That doesn’t mean, however, that you have to argue with the people closest to you as you embark on your journey.

Instead, simply state, “You’re welcome to your opinion, but I’m content with my decision.” Then move on. When you don’t engage, the argument often loses its enjoyment. I personally remember sharing the news with my grandparents when at age 24, I left my six figure sales job to start my consultancy. My grandmother worked at the same job for 42 years and my grandfather for almost 30. They were simply from the era of find a good job with good benefits and keep it until your pension and gold watch kick in.

They simply couldn’t understand why I would take on this risk. But the moment they stopped trying to understand was the moment that they became one of my biggest supporters. Step three, sort out the difference between authentic friends and others. Now you’ve acknowledged that your friends are welcome to their opinions but you may still struggle with people who are simply unwilling to get behind you during this stage of your life. Or even to keep their mouths shut when you need them to.

On this journey, you’ll learn a lot about who your friends are. When you encounter those relationships that simply aren’t as strong as you thought they were, it’s alright to decrease the amount of contact you have with them, especially during this part of your journey. Weed through the so called friends who aren’t really supportive of you and give yourself permission to spend less time with them. Or dare I say, even end the relationship. You’ll be amazed by how much better you feel.

The social media experiments I love to watch are the ones when people announce their new business to the world and it generates one like. But people seem to really love when bad things or setbacks occur. Think about that in your life. Step four, succeed. There’s nothing and I mean nothing that silences naysayers quite as effectively as getting results. Plenty of people will tell you that you can’t accomplish your goals or that you won’t be able to succeed as an entrepreneur. Some of them can be silenced with the simple request. Others however will need to see those results before they realize, yes you can accomplish everything you set out to do.

When you come back as a successful entrepreneur with a growing business, the ability to set your own schedule and the answer to all of your dreams, there’s only so much they can say. Dealing with unsupportive friends is a serious challenge for many entrepreneurs. Thankfully, you’re not alone in your journey. There are communities of people both locally and online who believe in you and will support you as you work to reach your dreams. And you don’t have to listen to those people who don’t. Learning how to deal with those unsupportive individuals will help free you, giving you more time and energy to put into growing your business and seeing exactly what you can accomplish.

Motivational speaker Les Brown is often quoted in saying, “That some people are so negative that they walk into a dark room and start to develop.” I often say that the only reason people want to rain on your parade is simply because they don’t have a parade of their own.

That’s our show for the day. Please like, comment and share this show with someone who needs to see it and get all of our episodes online at For more information on how I’m fulfilling my mission to help entrepreneurs and business owners create breakthroughs that accelerate growth and maximize revenue, visit me online at This has been another edition of Startup Central with Cory Mosley, exclusively on the Atlanta Small Business Network.


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