Dealing with Unsupportive Friends When Running a Business!

With a fed-up culture of Black people being mistreated, overlooked, and suppressed, communities are coming together to support black-owned businesses. In having advanced technology, various social media platforms for marketing, and dedication, this is the perfect time for Black women to prevail at being entrepreneurs. On the flip side, being a businesswoman can have obstacles such as issues with customers, dealing with the same business competitors, or even lack of support.

Not every business owner will deal with support issues, but what if the problem is not with strangers? What about the fact of getting little to no support from your very own friends? Yes, I am talking about those best friends, also known as besties, those individuals you call “sis” and “bro.”  

Here are just a couple of signs that you might have unsupportive friends in your circle:

  1. Whenever you try to tell them about new ideas you have for your business, they blow you off or always have something negative to say.
  2. When you have events, they never show up or always have excuses for why they could not attend.
  3. They never share any of your products, promotions, or events on any social media platform.
  4. When someone is asking about the service or products that you offer, your friend does not take the opportunity to share your information with that person.
  5. They have not once purchased any of your services or products.

These are some gestures when evaluating if you have unsupportive friends, and if you do, here are ways to help you deal with them.


Sit down and discuss the issue

No, I do not mean via text or email. I mean, sit down with your friend face to face and express how you feel and your concerns. When it comes to proper communication, this is sometimes the best way due to the fact people can misinterpret text messages or emails. If you do not feel comfortable face to face, the next best thing is a phone call. This is a time for both parties to talk and get everything out on the table with honesty and proceed from there.

Evaluated whether you should keep the friendship

Once you have had a discussion with your friend, it is time to evaluate whether you should keep the friendship or let go. An unsupportive friend can have issues of jealousy, insecurities, or they could be having personal problems themselves and do not realize they are coming across as a non-supporter. There is a saying, “the same people who started the journey with you are not necessarily the same people who will be there at the end.” That statement is powerful and real. I cannot tell you how many businesswomen I know who have a toxic friendship, but due to the fact they have history, they continue to deal with that individual. A successful businesswoman will have a solid foundation, and if someone in your camp doesn’t support your dream, vision, or want to see you win in life, it’s ok to let them go or love them from a distance.

Find new friends

Growing up, my aunt always said that sometimes new friends could teach you things that some of your old friends cannot. When you decide to run a business, you will evolve and sometimes your mindset will jump on a different path from where you were when you first started. This is when you need your support system the most because you will begin to have new ideas on how to invest in your brand and how to grow it. If your circle is not right, they can discourage or distract you from proceeding to new levels. This is why it’s essential to have like-minded friends, for example, friends who are also entrepreneurs or friends that have goals as well. It’s also good to develop new friendships that can help you with your creative side, maybe bring in new connections and lift you up on your journey.

At the end of the day, every choice is yours to make, but remember the wrong people in your circle can distract you from your mission or from having a thriving business. Real friends want you to succeed in life, in which they will help you in any way they can, even if its just encouragement. So, evaluate your friends and drop those negative/ non-supporting individuals who are only dead weight.

Jelia Hepner

Jelia Hepner is an award-winning journalist from Fayetteville, NC. A former newspaper reporter and radio personality using her creative-informative writing talents to give the spotlight to various topics in the black community.

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