Support from parents can make a huge difference for many of the young entrepreneurs emotionally, practically and even financially. At times it is not so easy to make mom and dad understand as to why, instead of getting a “real job,” you’re putting everything on the line to create a new start-up. Parents may not always welcome the idea of start-up in case of both daughters and sons. It may be due to the fear of failure or financial instability. Mothers’ have mostly been considered the support system of their children. They deal with their children with more emotional intelligence. The key to convince is always “Better Communication”. However, the key areas that needs to be focused during such conversations, thereby ensuring the financial, emotional support are as follows:
1. Explain what is the difference between business and start-up – Many moms may not know the difference between start-ups and small businesses. So the first thing you should do is to explain to her the basic difference between the two. The primary difference between Start-ups and small businesses is product or service innovation. Small business does not make any claims as to uniqueness. The existence of a start-up is based on innovations. The sole purpose of is to create something new and to improve what already exists. For instance, a new business model (Airbnb), one may develop a new class of goods (wearable device), or a technology no one knows as of yet (3D printing).
2. Why start up? – Explain to your mom that you want to start-up because you believe that you have the capability to solve a problem. Make your mom see what this means to you. You can explain to her in detail the factors, incidents that brought the idea of starting up. Showcase the positivity that your start-up will bring to everyone, including family. Paint the larger picture of what you hope to create and share the vision with them. Your primary motivation should be around your idea and your dedication to pursue the same.
3. Do your homework. Scott Thompson started a business 5,000 miles from home as part of the entrepreneurship program Start-Up Chile after leaving a comfortable career with a good salary and excellent health benefits too. “After their initial reaction of shock, sadness and worry, they quickly came around to being the #1 fan of my start-up, Bungolow.com,” Thompson says. His parents provided expertise in graphic design, including helping design the company’s first logo. “Their support was influenced not only by unconditional love, but also the fact that it was clear I had done my homework, and that it was not just a spur-of-the-moment decision,” says Thompson. “I was thorough in explaining why I wanted to do it, and why this was the time to do it.”
4. Walk her through the plan-
Make her go through your plan in a detailed way. You should try to answer her queries in a softer way and respond until she is convinced. You should always keep calm and do not think, she will not understand. Take this conversation with your mom as a practice of convincing you about your plan to a larger audience, as once you will go into the execution phase, you might need to answer them. While you are sharing your future plans with your mom, be confident and assertive. In this journey always be open minded and ready to take up their ideas and views of your mom. It is always advisable to leverage their life experience, which usually comes handy in your start-up journey.
5. Share real life examples closer to your thought process- Children need to share the stories with their mom, which can take up her apprehensions in a positive way. Mothers will be able to relate to their children better if they become storytellers and quote examples from their near and dear ones. They need to tell her how start-ups have great opportunities to grow in this time for her to support such initiatives. If possible, get someone close and who has already sailed in your boat to talk to your parents. It is important for you to also remind her about all the good work you had done in the past with your business acumen.
6. Don’t gloss over potential problems-
It is very important for you to understand that while dealing with your mom there’s no place to hide. She knows you very well. So the primary thing you should do is to be honest with her. You should tell her clearly about your shortcomings, where you might go wrong or potential problems in the business. She will appreciate it, because someone who doesn’t have a good grasp of his/her shortcomings can never address them, and thus won’t realize when he/she is about to fail.
7. See her perspective. “Until my third year of being self-employed, my parents – who are baby boomers – thought I was out of my mind,” says Faiyaz Farouk, whose company, S2 Leadership Consultants, advises businesses on working with Gen X and Gen Y employees. Farouk said that the strategy that won them over was to understand and respect where they are coming from, use their values and talk to them from their perspective without losing your ground on your decision. It is important to incorporate and use your mom’s suggestions because from her experience may suggest something which you could have not thought of.
8. Just ask for support-
You mom is used to you asking her for things like increases in your allowance, starting any new hobby class and permission to go on outdoor trips. It will be nothing different to ask her for support, even though it may be daunting. Explain to her well how much this start-up would mean to you if she could help you or support you with your start-up dreams. Amanda Palmer, an activist, author, and rock star (at least figuratively), mentions in her book The Art of Asking that the inability to ask for help paralyzes a lot of people’s lives and relationships. Mothers are more intelligent emotionally, so use that to your advantage to explain to her how by starting this start-up you will become more confident and independent in your life. Tell her about the personality changes you will experience if you pursue your dreams. Tell her about your role model, their journey and what you learnt from their journey which you want to apply in your life to fulfil your dream to start a start-up.
9. Express your gratitude and say thank you- It is extremely important to thank your parents for the amazing upbringing. You should acknowledge their love, affection and not the typical life-style they offered you. You should give your mom the credit to make you independent and also inculcate qualities of having clear conversations, trust and faith to stand out of the crowd, and you owe all this success to her. You should be aware of the fact that parents are always protective about their kids so do give them a backup plan, what if your idea fails. Your mom will be more convinced if you give her a stronger exit strategy. Give them a time bound strategy of your start-up plan. Also assure her that you would like to experiment with it for some-time, and would be ready to work according to her choice if something goes wrong. This will result in making you confident and will prepare you for the worst as well.
Convincing your mother will be only difficult if you don’t have an honest conversation with her. Being rebellious won’t help you in convincing her of your idea of start-up. Parents always want to protect their children and work in a safe environment. So the key to convince them is to be patient and explain to them well about your idea of start-up with facts and give examples of successful near or dear ones or any other person who is now famous and doing well in their lives. Explain to them about the economic condition of the world like in this global pandemic. It is a great opportunity for you to start an innovative start-up which will be digitalized. Tell her about the niche market for which you are starting this start-up. Also have a successful back-up plan so that your mom cannot counter you back for the risks you will be taking by starting your start-up. So don’t waste time, give wings to your dreams and go ahead for an open conversation with your mom that might turn out to be the most beautiful conversation of your life!