What Do You Do When Friends And Family Aren’t On Board With Your Entrepreneurial/Career Journey?

December 29, 2021
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You’ve just landed on an incredible new business idea or have a promising job promotion on the horizon, but when you tell your friends and family the exciting news—they are less than thrilled for you. Perhaps they can’t relate to you going out on your own, perhaps their career goals are different from yours…whatever the reason might be, the reality is that it not only stings when you can’t count on those closest to you, but it may also impact your chances for success. So what do you do when friends and family aren’t on board with your entrepreneurial or career journey?

To unlock the most powerful input out there, we tapped into the insights of those who have had plenty of experience going against the grain when it comes to their career choices—20 trailblazing women from the Dreamers & Doers collective. Their perspectives are an uplifting reminder that, regardless of others’ opinions, your journey belongs to you and should be lived out accordingly.

Jessica Sikora

Founder and CEO of SUPERBANDS, a nonprofit dedicated to building a community of hope that lives at the interaction of mental health and music. 

“Find your tribe! You cannot force others to be in your circle if they aren’t passionate about it. So go out there and find the people who fire you up. I promise they’re out there!”

Georgie-Ann Getton

CEO of GSD Solutions, a boutique consulting agency.

“Keep going—they will catch up! When I quit my full-time job to pursue entrepreneurship, everyone thought I was crazy. Now they are my biggest supporters.” 

Mimi Bishop

Co-founder of The Resting Mind, a company that propels high-achieving, 40+ women forward.

“Keep going and find the like-minded cohort that will lift you up and help you on your journey. Share little with those who may not be on board. Your dream is at a critical point and it needs to be protected.”

Shivika Sinha

CEO and Founder of Veneka, a capsule wardrobe styling service.

“Ask yourself: how can I see this person’s doubt as my greatest teacher? What lessons can I carry with me on my entrepreneur journey?” 

Jessica Kelly

Founder and CEO of THR3EFOLD, a SaaS platform for apparel brands.

“Give them grace and realize they want the most successful, stable life for you. They might see entrepreneurship as too risky. They aren’t your customers so don’t expect them to purchase. Instead, lean on them for cheerleading, prayer, and encouragement to keep going.” 

Kimone Napier 

Founder of Kimone Napier Consulting, helping business owners hire their dream team.

“Understand that their reactions most likely have nothing to do with you and come from their own preconceived notions or lack of knowledge about your journey. Instead of looking to them for support, find other business owners in your niches and industry to connect with.” 

Brielle Friedman

Founder of Brielle Friedman Coaching, empowering individuals to build lives and careers they truly love. 

“Get clear and stay grounded in your vision. I’ve learned that when friends and family aren’t on board with your entrepreneurial journey or career choices, it has very little to do with you, and almost everything to do with them and their own fears or insecurities.”

Gloria Chou

Founder of Gloria Chou PR LLC, helping early-stage founders go from unknown to being seen, heard, and valued. 

“If your path isn’t the one that your friends or family wanted for you, don’t ignore it. Instead, think about how there are people in the world who can benefit from you following your true passion and living authentically.” 

Lindsay Gordon

Career coach at A Life of Options LLC, helping analytically-minded people stop doing what they think is “right” and start doing what’s right for them.

“Identify what you want and matters to you so you can make the right choice for you. The more clearly you can articulate why you choose something for yourself, the more you can communicate it to others and have a chance that they’ll understand your choices.”

Ada Chen

Founder and CEO of Chuan Skincare, an affordable, handcrafted natural skincare line. 

“Recognize that they might be reacting that way out of fear or concern for you—not because they don’t believe in you.” 

Dina Kaplan

Founder and CEO of The Path, a meditation community.

“Tell them that founders are dreamers. We see things other people don’t see, and we create the future. It is hard work because we are bringing to life something that never existed before and that perhaps no one has dreamt of in the past!”

Erin Tarr

Confidence Coach at Be the Benchmark, LLC, a coaching and event-based business teaching young girls how to create a life they love. 

“Don’t take advice from someone you wouldn’t trade places with. If they aren’t in the entrepreneurial “arena” also getting their butts handed to them, their opinions shouldn’t be the ones that ring in your ears.” 

Tiffany Pham

Founder and CEO of Mogul, a company that supports diverse individuals and organizations to cultivate meaningful success.

“Find a supportive community of friends, colleagues, or even people on your own team. That will be your community.” 

Grace Blacksea

CEO and Founder at Quench Collective, a community and education platform for modern leaders. 

“Build a community of support. One of the most difficult aspects of dealing with family and friends who aren’t on board with your journey is lack of support. If they don’t understand, find a community who does and lean into that.” 

Meha Agrawal 

Founder & CEO of Silk + Sonder, a subscription-based mental wellness experience for the modern woman. 


“Know when to respectfully ask for boundaries. Your friends and family are often trying to protect you from something, but if they do not fully understand your vision, they may not see that the reward will one day outweigh the risk.” 

Elizabeth Davis

Investor at Anthemis, an early-stage venture capital firm committed to cultivating change in financial services.

“I’ve made some of my biggest decisions with the 10-10-10 rule—how you think you will feel about your decision in the 10 days, 10 months, and 10 years. When making a leap into entrepreneurship, walk your family and friends through why this is the right choice for you.”

Erika Ferszt

Founder of Moodally, providing science-backed solutions for managing employees’ mood in the workplace.

“Join a group of like-minded individuals who are going through the same process as you. I found wisdom and solidarity by connecting with “strangers” who were able to empathize and share the emotions and rewards that come with this exciting but challenging journey.”

Julia Sokol

Founder and CEO of SassClass, a women’s empowerment dance studio. 

“Surround yourself with fellow entrepreneurs and others who’ve pursued careers off the beaten path—even if it’s through small steps like joining a Facebook group or subscribing to a podcast related to your career or entrepreneurial pursuit.” 

Juliana O’Brien

Founder of Sendhula, a curated e-boutique for bespoke gift recommendations. 

“Take notice of who you spend the majority of your time with. Distance yourself from people who talk negatively or are skeptical, as it may be demotivating. Spend more time with inspiring people and other founders who will cheer you on on your entrepreneurial journey.”

Lis Best

Founder and CEO of Lis Best Coaching for Impact, an executive coach for women changing the world.

“Ask yourself: do I want this person’s life? If you’re not looking to replicate your friends’ or families’ experience when it comes to your own life, then thank them for their input and seek out perspectives from people whose journeys you admire.”


All individuals featured in this article are members of Dreamers & Doers, an award-winning community and diverse ecosystem amplifying extraordinary entrepreneurial women through PR opportunities, authentic connection, and All individuals featured in this article are members of Dreamers & Doers, a private collective that amplifies extraordinary entrepreneurial women through thought leadership opportunities, authentic connection, and high-impact resources. Learn more about Dreamers & Doers and subscribe to their monthly The Digest for top entrepreneurial and career resources.

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