I don't have kids. My business is my baby. For real. I think about it non-stop. My money goes to supporting it. My personal and social needs are no longer priorities in my life. Sleep is a luxury. Some days I forget to shower and dinner has become throwing random items in a pot, drenching it with hot sauce like some dark episode of Janky Top Chef. And guess what? I wouldn't have it any other way.
I mean yes, I want to sleep and food that isn't some Texas Pete-Aldi hybrid, a hot shower and the freedom to live tweet How to Get Away With Murder, but I can't. At least not right now.
Consider this the newborn stage. Everything is new, and I'm trying to figure it out before someone gets hurt. Meanwhile, everybody and their momma wants to give advice on what I should do, pointing out what I'm doing wrong and rarely giving positive feedback.
Example: "Great blog post but you forgot a comma right there!" Really? That's what you took from my 1,000 word think piece on The Top 10 Feminist Moments From The Hills?
See what I mean? Sleep deprivation. Who would write a think piece on The Hills and Feminism? Let me stop fronting; it 's probably going to be my next post!
The point is, it's hard out here for a pimp! I would benefit from more support, less judgment, fewer distractions, and empathy.
I'm the minority in my social circle. I don't have kids, but I tried my best to be there for my friends and supportive when sh*t hit the fan (literally, babies can be some nasty and spiteful jokers.)
I tried not to bother my girlfriend with my dating dilemmas while she was a new mom struggling to stay awake while pumping breast milk. Although I love her deeply for scheduling our girl chats during her pump breaks once she got the hang of it.
Like stay at home moms, I think entrepreneurs struggle with societal judgments that imply all we do is sit at home watching judge shows and Teen Mom repeats. Not the damn case at all!
So here are some tips on how to support your friend who works alone and for herself. Oh and I think these work for anyone going through a lifestyle transition.
1. Fewer questions, more encouragement
"What did you do today?" Take a wild guess! You can bet on the answer being the same for the next few months. If something exciting is going on, that means I get to see actual humans and wear makeup; I 'm telling errrody! Instead, try something like, "I hope you have a productive day! If you need me, I'm here for you."
Where is a praise team when you need them? That right there covered all the bases. Encouragement, support, acknowledgment and space.
2. Never ask about my money.
Are you Suze Orman? The Sharks on Shark Tank willing to invest in my company? I'm not saying you've got to pull a Cookie and fund my dreams selling crack.
But if you aren't throwing coins in the account, fall all the way back before I start asking you if that itch you caught from Ol' Boy at homecoming is gone.
3. Don't compare my progress to someone else.
"Did you see so and so just landed a deal with that company you've been following for years?" How is that helping me? You just gon' strum my pain with your fingers?
Instead, give me some leads on potential clients or remind me that I won't be eating potted meat forever. I'm joking about the potted meat thing. I'm not Carl from The Walking Dead,
but I will cut you like Michonne if you try to shade my efforts.
Encourage them and be willing to listen when they need you. No one likes being judged and even if you don't mean it, sometimes comments like the ones mentioned above can come off the wrong way. I can tell when someone is nurturing vs. nosey. Don't be that friend. Besides, showing support and helping your friend in the early stages of building their empire can get you that coveted Gayle King position, BFF of the HBIC.