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What should you do when your family doesn't support your passion? Say this. And checkmate.
Last Updated September 12th, 2013

Tough question, right?

And I’m sure everyone has struggled with this as some point in their life.

I know I did.

Back when I started my web business, in 2005, I saw how successful it could be with a little work and focus.

So, I marched up to my mom and said, “Ma, I know everyone wants me to go to law school, but I’m thinking of skipping it to start a web business.”

At the time, I was slinging celebrity gossip and selling ads on my blog. Imagine what the mom thought about that.

*Trigger the steam out of the mom-pieces ears.*

“Wait, so you’re going to make fun of celebrities instead of going to law school? Absolutely not. I paid for all the LSAT prep classes…”

So, what did I do?

Here’s the Full Story…

My mom was against my business endeavor, but I kept at it. And throughout 2006, the blogging and gossip thing took off.

By the time I graduated college in December 2006, it was official. I was skipping law school, and by February 2007, I earned more than $20,000 in one month from ad revenue.

It helped that I got a ton of traffic, and was basically a “celebrity gossip celebrity.”

(Heck, I even remember the time I had Kim Kardashian on the phone for like an hour to talk about some store she launched in California).

So the question is:

How did I go from dealing with family and friends who didn’t support me…

…to launching a wildly successful business?

What did I do? How did I deal with people who, at the time, were seemingly trying to “keep me down?”

That’s why I filmed this new video.

In this video I share a simple technique I use to defuse distrust in friends and family.

Then, when you’re done watching the video, I want you to share a time when a friend or family member didn’t support you.

What did you do? How did you deal with it?

Surprisingly enough, we all handle these situations differently, and how we do it has the potential to help out other people who experience these same problems.

So, leave a comment now.

And if you’re dealing with other haters (not family members), I’ve got a video for that too.

Spread the love!

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100 comments Leave a comment

This a great video,love your bubbly happy spirit.However the problem is not lack of support towards a career change,its actually everything. My family doesn’t support me period!. I moved to a bigger city all by myself after selling everything to start off fresh ,by the time I paid for everything I was left with few rands to get me started,i didn’t have any job lined up except an interview for a Sales consultant and I never got the job as they couldn’t pay the figure I asked.I never knew this city, never been here,just came with a few bags ,booked my accomodation online and left my text books and some important stuff in storage,my heart told me to go,my back was against the wall ,it was this leap of faith or nothing!! I nvr got so much as a call to see if I was ok.Its been 2 years living alone supporting myself and I work 3 jobs ,1st as a corporate Membership Advisor at a cooperate Gym,the 2nd as a Hostess Waitress at the biggest Nightclub in this City the 3 Rd I started a Beauty salon of my own from massages to selling equipment, products,beauty services, bridal hair etc.All this to fund a concept Beauty salon that I’ve already started to be the ” gravy train towards my passion of being a creative fashion designer,a dream I wanna turn into reality,I barely sleep,sometimes I work back to back all 3,which leaves me with no social life or to see my long term partner who barely sees me.Im nearly there but I still get comments that I’m offended by,so I stay away,in actual fact living away from my family whom I love dearly,was kinda like being on a high mountain top,i saw things more clearly,i got to see who my friends were,i got to see my family’s other side that to this day I’m having a hard time to cope with.However I am focussed ,i am very driven, I don’t know anything but to fight for this to be thriving in a positive way forward.I tell myself the people that treated me do bad will one day eat those words and apologize, but apologies dont exist to my family especially. I think we all have one life,that the great Lord Above gave us,so live it,fullfill your purpose take care of your body,your family and your health and if even if family turns their back on you,as the way I’ve experienced, leave your door open to them always as it will forever be your blessing and make you the strongest of all them emotionally.Thank you for the happy video..as it made me very Happy.


This seems like it’s more for when your family is outrightly against you. What if they aren’t? What if it’s just that they basically go “Oh, yeah, that’s nice.” and ask you how it’s going every once in a while, but they don’t really care. Or they don’t really help you in any way.
My mother is super supportive of me, but the rest of my family just doesn’t seem to care. They don’t care about my interests, they don’t care about what I’m doing, they don’t care. They have only recently started asking me about one of my interests and it feels more like they ask because they feel they have to, not because they actually care about it.
I love my family so much and I have always tried to support and encourage them in any way I can. It just hurts when they don’t do the same.
I don’t want a situation where my family won’t be supportive until I’m successful because I’m just gonna want to block them out after that. They should have supported me now, rather than wait until I’ve made it somehow.

This all sounds horrible, but it’s more how I feel I guess. I love them and I don’t want to block them out, but I also don’t want to share my success or anything with them once I finally am if they don’t care until then.

Cheryl Culbreath

I am a 47 year old married to an amazing man who owns a sign business and it’s going well. A new grandbaby and an awesome son with a girl friend who is great. I explained to my friends how I do not want the stress off working in corporate anymore. I decided to be a travel agent to go along with my hobby of decorating parties and events. I and my friends love to travel and I am great with people socially and very outgoing. Always having gatherings at my home and friends love to come. They eat drink play games cards watch the big screen and socialize all day for free. They even network to gain employees and business. They have a great time and my family enjoy happiness
They call me all the time with issues and conversation and I support them with there business and pay for services. If they need me for moral support I’m there. Problems they have I listen and help. I’m there to support them in every way.
I ask for each one to register on my travel website its free to register–No one did it.
Use me for your travel—No one has
Use me for decorating your next party–They did but didn’t pay.
Instead they will travel and post on FB were they are and what a great time They are having or rent a car from someone and ask me to help them bring it back and take them home. How I handled it.
I did let them know how I felt with no support from them when I’m there for you. I let 2 weeks go by Still communicating with them and still they didn’t register for cheap travel on my site so I removed them from my FB Page and stopped talking to them. I realized they were secret haters who’s businesses were falling or marrages had issues and they didn’t want me to succeed because to them my husband sign business was going good, My marriage had no issues, our home was enviting to hang out with happy times all the time, and a new grandbaby which we adore and love our son and his girl friend mother of grandson unconditionally. Just can’t have secret haters and negativity around me.
Live, Love, Laugh & Travel is my slogan.


I originally wanted to pursue a career in gaming, and I wanted to start out as a video game tester to work my way up in the video game industry because that is what I was passionate about. I told my father that I wanted to pursue that, and he didn’t like that idea and I should consider doing something else. After that, I just lived a mundune life, and doing a routine that felt the same, and as you explained in the video it was something he didn’t understand because it was unknown to him, and. he thought I would be playing games when in reality I had to play it to check for bugs or some faulty levels etc., so that is why I have triggers with my father. Most of the time, in general, I want to tell my parents what I want to do in regards to my goals, and get their support, but I feel like I will get hurt in the end. I just don’t want to regret living a boring life that is not aligned with me. I want that relationship between me and my parents to be great, but if they don’t support me then it won’t help.


I am in a fairly new relationship, with the most amazing and strong hearted man I have ever met. I got pregnant 1 month after we got together, but have know each other for a long time. We officially got together on September 22nd, 2014. He asked me to marry him on December 26th, 2015 and of course I said yes. I was so excited to tell my family about my engagement hoping that they would be happy for me and help me plan every thing and whatnot. . . Boy was I wrong. 1 week after my fiance proposed to me my “one upping” older brother proposed to his woman. Instantly all of the lovely wedding and engagement attention for me went out the window basically. Everytime I try to talk to someone in my family about how bad it bugs me they would say “just elope.” “you dont want to steal their thunder!” They all forgot about me, they wanted me to just get it over with. At first, when they started doing this, I was prepared for the rude comments because that is all I have ever received from them, they used to think I was Pablo Escobar or something.
But, (I know you should not start a sentence like that) when my daughter was almost due to enter our lives I was told that since I am having a baby I just need to push my wants aside and glorify my brother in his time of love.
All I have to say,…. F*ck that!
One year and one month later I have a beautiful, almost 4 month old baby girl. Still not married, which is fine with me.
Everyday I see stupid 500 picture engagement photo shoots for my brother and his Ashley. If that’s not the worst part, my lovely family shares all of the pictures with nurturing words of advice and love. They probably wouldn’t remember that I am engaged too.
So, even though I was told to share my story of how I dealt/deal with it…. I dont.

What the hell do I do??? I wanted to get married in August of 2016, they changed their date a million times and their wedding is now set for June 2016, in the middle of no where… And my family is going to spend all of this money on their wedding, they probably can’t afford to come to mine which is so close in time.
Even though I was engaged first, I got pushed aside and now I have to wait until 2017 to get married. What kind of horse crap is that?!
My question is, should I really just elope and feel this resentment forever? Or, do I plan my wedding for the next year and hope that people/family will show?

What if they don’t show? What if I plan this big amazing wedding and they all stiff me like they did with my baby shower.
Oh ya, my baby shower that I planned, shopped for, made the invites by hand, and decorated the whole place while 8 months pregnant….
The family who did show, gave me dirty looks the whole time….

I am about done.


    I’m really sorry to read that.. my family pushes me to the side too & my plans also dont matter..I also have a brother & I can relate… I know it’s family but I’ve decided to live my life the way it makes me happy without my family’s approval.. distance yourself from then & make it hard for them to look for you.. your distance will speak.. best of luck but you only live once & you also deserve the same love as your brother.. head up & just move forward & screw them! You also matter!


Well my story is I’m young and I and kinda a big kid I wanted to lose weight so I started eating better and exercising and it work for a couple of weeks but then all of a sudden I just didn’t want to do it anymore and felt sad I don’t know why but after a couple months I realized it was cause I had no support system no one ever told me I was doing really good or keep it up they just said good job and nothing else the only real support I had was from my sister which I look up to shes leaving for college and I don’t want her to go she helps me with everything she’s taught me so much and I feel like I won’t have anyone just to hang with and just talk to but I know that’s just life but I don’t what to do cause I want to lose weight but I don’t have anyone supporting me but after watching the video I realized I need to support myself and never give up but I know it would be easier if my family was supporting me I hope one day that will support me and my decisions


I am in the network marketing game. My mum has recently joined me and we are both very excited and more so determined to be successful. I’ve learned more about business in my short time in network marketing than in my business university degree and I am developing personally. My dad is 100% against, outright told both me and my mum that it will never work, we’re wasting our time and that my mum should focus back on her business that she started and has run for 15 years (and she hates it). My dad has literally only 15 minutes ago straight up told me that he doesn’t believe in me, I don’t know what I’m talking about, I have no experience, but he ‘hopes’ I prove him wrong. Although I must thank him because he has only fuelled my burning desire to prove him wrong, he has almost ruined his relationship with me, my 2 sisters and my mum these last few weeks/months and I think he is mentally ill/suffers from narcissism. I feel I’ve lost my dad and I have no respect for him with what he’s said and is not willing to listen to me.

I am embarrassed and ashamed to call him my dad… I never realised life could ever be this twisted. I urge every single one of you, whoever it is, do not let them steal your dream. It is not cliche. It is all about perspective. They don’t know what you know or see. If you have a vision, you will achieve it. The mind is more powerful than people realise.

Nicole Timmreck

I’m presently dealing with this issue, yet again, with the same person in my life. I can’t phase them out of my life because it’s my dad. He is almost constantly a Debby Downer. I guess I was under the assumption that all parents would be excited for their kids to want to attend graduate school (especially when they aren’t paying for it). I recently told my dad the schools I planned on applying to: 3 public universities (2 in the same state as my parents so I could be closer to them) and 3 ivy league. But this idea was not greeted well by him. He proceeded to tell me that I should just graduate my bachelor’s and get a job. I understand where he’s coming from. I’m in my late 20’s and started school late because I was in the military.

Yes, I want to work. I may even take a year and work while preparing for grad school exams and such. But I ended up telling him that nothing could keep me from grad school short of not getting accepted. My parents have learned (because this kind of thing happens a lot) that no matter what they say, if I want to do something, I’m doing it.


The situation you detail in your video is quite different from what I’m going through in terms of a lack of support. Rather than try to talk me out of my dreams, my family and close friends ignore my efforts and seem to take no interest at all.

I’m an artist. I’ve been selling my work online for the past ten years. Occasionally, I’ll post some of my artwork on FB. My family and friends rarely acknowledge it or like it. Even worse, they all ignored my announcement about a novel I published in 2012–I’d worked for years on it. It was the biggest project of my life, and it was very meaningful to me. Their silence really hurt. As a result, I’ve only recently started working on my novels again.

Before all of this, I created content for a popular online company and made a fortune. It all turned around overnight, and I lost everything, including my home. The past 11 years have been difficult–all the more reason why I thought they’d be supportive.

If my cousin, brother, aunt, or close friend wrote a novel or made a living on their creative endeavors, I’d be slapping them on the back, cheering, posting about it on my blog, sharing with my friends, doing all I could to help promote and encourage them.

I confess, I feel bitter about many of these people now.


Thank you!!! I just started a transcription business a couple of days ago. I think my family thinks I’m just bored and filling out surveys on the internet for free gift cards or something.

Of course I don’t have any business. It’s been two days. Come on…

Gary Bloomer

Hi Derek,

My wife and I had dinner with a group of friends in NYC back in May, one of whom was … drumroll please … your Mom! She’s very, VERY proud of you and as a budding online entrepreneur myself, I’m STOKED to have finally found your site, and I’d very much appreciate the chance to connect with, and to learn from you.

Kind regards,

Gary Bloomer
Wilmington, DE


2 years ago i was at the 5th semester of being a mechanical engineer i decided to become a hip hop producer. No experience no musical background but i wanted to do that! I was 24. All of the males were mech. engineers in my family plus we are asians we follow or fathers as they are our commanders. Hard situtaion and i did not talk to my dad until he heard my name. 2 years later i am still not rich and i am still studying marketing but i love what I do. One of the song I produced was featured on WorldStarHipHop, i will be on WWS Magazine and finally I can get some of my beats to some majors. What i did back then when my family did not supported me? I simply kerp believing in my dreams!


Some great advice here, both from the post and the comments. I wish I’d read this back when I first tried to follow my dreams. Back then I tried the arguing technique against unsupporting friends (which, obviously, didn’t work), which led to me just keeping everything to myself instead. This ended up being even more demotivating than the critique I’d gotten, and it was only a matter of time before I gave up.

Thanks to advice like this though, I’ve now managed to turn a lot of the haters in my life around, and recently started round two in my quest for independence.

Maybe if I’d known how to convert the non-believers into supporters in the past, I would have been way further down the road of entrepreneurship by now..

But ah well, never too late to start, eh?

Ash Campbell

Boy this was interesting! Im in the network marketing game *everyone sighs*

relax, im noth here to pitch harp or squeeze my way into getting some sign ups. Im more into the attraction marketing game.

Phew, disclaimer out of the way.

Onto the comment.

Family and friends support is partially valuable, but only in some aspects of life. Sometimes going it alone can be equally.. if not more beneficial than if you have people behind you.

I believe people find a real inner power when they simply aren’t supported, obviously there are people who simply wither and fade.. but wake up, its 2013 ..real world baby, survival of the fittest.

That’s a little harsh, especially for the industry im in. But here’s my angle on it, Jim Rohn audio mentioned “you can carry one, but you cant carry two” or something to that effect. Twisting that saying slightly, could create a thought that people need to support themselves when the time is right.

Maybe I’m being to harsh. I dont know.. i just think that sometimes, A push of the cliff doesnt hurt.

Awful analogy.

Laura Chattington - RebalancedLiving.com

I find myself avoiding talking any business with family and friends… it always seems so emotionally loaded that nobody walks away with any value… sadly I talk less and less to my family and I prefer it that way. Great advice.. Thanks


Great video Derek. Your timing is perfect. I’m about to make a major career change and I know there is going to be some strong resistance amongst friends and family. Im currently a partner in a family biz thats been around for nearly 50 years. I’m going on my own and I know I’m going to get, “you’re crazy, you make a great living and work for an established company..blah, blah, blah…” My time has come. Time to move on and take a shot..

Casey Demchak

Right on, Derek! I ask myself one simple question every morning: “Where will life lead me if I listen to my heart instead of the opinions of others? ” It’s amazing what you can manifest when you have enough common sense to listen to that inner voice that’s screaming at you. Thanks! Casey

Connie Habash

Derek, you’re so right! (noticed how I validated you)
Seriously, that probably would have been a better way to deal with my mom about 20 years ago.

I told her, while in graduate school to become a counselor (which I did become), that I wanted to be a yoga teacher, too. Her response was (I kid you not), “Don’t you have anything better to do with your time?”

I could have asked her questions, found out what her objections were, validated her, and then the “I’m young and I want to try now” deal. Might have been better.

Instead, I did the well-therapised response of telling her how hurt I felt by what she said and distancing myself from her. For a while.

Well, 20 years later I’m still both a psychotherapist and a yoga teacher with a full counseling practice and busy classes, and I teach yoga philosophy and Sanskrit in 3 yoga teacher trainings in the area.

I’m glad I didn’t let her disapproval stop me – no regrets!

Corey Pemberton

I’ve found the best way to deal with this is to fly under the radar as much as I can. People in my life can know about this stuff on a “need to know” basis until I get my business off the ground.

Another thing that helps is to remind myself that most of the criticism or negative comments don’t come from a place of genuine malice. People see you taking risks (where maybe they didn’t), so they lash out through uncharacteristic comments. I try to just let them roll off and not to take anything too personal.

If I get the feeling that someone really is toxic and working to undermine my success, I find ways to distance myself from them or cut them off completely if I have to.

Great video, Derek. Thanks for uploading!



I find it easier to simply avoid telling my friends/ family about my plans, except my husband because he is directly effected.

I agree that trying to justify any life-choice to someone skeptical is a waste of time.


When I first heard about Derek I was a little skeptical. But I still went ahead and subscribed to his mailing list. I’ve been on the list for about 6 months now, and his advice is very precise with great case studies. Amazing content!


Okay, so teach us how to slowly phase out a husband while spending his money on this startup!!! πŸ˜‰


Your video is timely Derek. I just watched a movie with the same lesson I’ve learned from this video. Grow Up. Take charge of your life. Be all that you can be.

Christie Roome

Derek – this one is great! I have been having this battle with the older generations in my life and with some friends my own age. Transitioning from my ‘steady eddy’ to the life I really want is all about going out on a limb where all the fruit is. Those in my life who need to feel safe, I think, feel threatened by my desire to take a risk. BUT, I know that it is riskier to stay in the ‘safe’ place where I can not even see my dreams.

Oh, and I do have kids and my ‘gotta do it now because’ is all about showing my kids that you can create any change, at any time, at any age…

When I was doing Marie Forleo’s B-School and talking it up with my family, my 7 year old decided he should get a website to sell his paintings.

So, taking risks can be contagious. Thanks again for the great script!

Molly Blazor

This is fantastic! I have indeed spent too much of my time arguing with people in my life over what I’m trying to achieve.


My family didn’t support me during the selection of course to join college, but they realized their mistake 2 year latter and I’m behind 2 years from my success.


Great post Derek.

My family (mom, Dad, older gen) love me, and believe in me, but cannot understand the significance of what I’m doing and how it will translate into making a living.

My core family (husband, daughter, son) are super supportive. Especially my husband.

I have responsibilities, and I have kids, but you are SO right!

If I don’t try this now, while I’m still young and energetic, I’ll regret it for the rest of my life. I too, don’t want to regret anything.

Sean M

Haters gonna hate! πŸ˜‰

A tough spot for sure. I feel lucky to have always had my parents’s support for whatever crazy ideas I get… (except for that time I dropped out of college mid-semester. That was bad times!).

Fred Jinkins - HappyOldArtist

This is a great subject. I am 84 and have severe critics in my own family.
I have put up with it for years. They have never stopped me from painting and I have had some success with my art. My advice for others is Never, Never Give Up! If you stick to it you will succeed. Best wishes,
Fred Jinkins – Happy Old Artist
I am on Facebook. also on Fine Art America, Red Bubble, Art Wanted.


Great video Derek! I’m dealing with this anymore, I just refused to justify myself to others. When asked, I say I’m a portrait photographer. And when the negative comments fly, I just smile and nod and reply with every business has it’s obstacles. It has worked for me. I have found that when I surround myself with people who don’t just support me, but also lean on me for support as well – I’ve built kind of a tribe. Maybe because they’ve dealt with it to and we all realize that those negative comments or non-supportive gestures are really others coming from a place of fear. I took a lay-off to pursue my dream, we live on one income and all my profits go back into building my business, we even moved to a new state and I had to start fresh. What I need and am is to be surrounded by yes-you-can’ers.


    “I’m NOT dealing with this anymore”


To be Frank, this post is useless to me. Coz, my family always support for my work! ^_^ Anyway, enjoyed reading it Derek! Cheers πŸ™‚

    Frank Casanova

    Then you are one of the few lucky ones Anirudh… but you might have a bit of compassion for the others here who may not be so lucky.


AWESOME!! I needed this video right here and right now! πŸ˜€ I was avoiding talking about the topic as much as I could, but now taking the “I have to try, and now is the time..” is PERFECT for me and my situation right now.

P.S. LOVE the cracking whip sound.. Made me laugh! LOL!


Hey Derek,

great Video! There were so many people in my life during the past 2 years, who didn’t support my idea of greating an online business. I.e. my dad, my best friend, or even my girfriend…

I did ignore everyone of them, and just made my thing!

I mean I’m far away from being rich ;), but I make more money like in my old job. And instead of 50 hours I work about 20 hours/ week and I love what I’m doing.

And although most people still don’t really understand what I’m doing, at least they stopped annoying me, once they saw, that I can live from my online business!

If you really want to do something and you can’t convince the people around you, you should ignore them!



this is perfect timing I am in the middle of deciding whether or not I should share my blog which I have had for more than a year with my family and friends. Honestly I’m just scared I have succeeded at a few things in the past and my family didn’t support me then imagine how they would feel when I throwing my time into something that I am a complete novice at!!! I think in the end I have to support/believe in my own choices first before I get other to do the same

Amy Scott

This is SO helpful, Derek. I’ve been really lucky that nearly everyone has supported my crazy ideas to quit my job to travel, then start my own business, move abroad, etc.

I know a lot of clients and other people who struggle with not having the support of friends and family on the way to creating their ideal life, but because I’ve never been in this situation, I haven’t been sure how to help them handle it! I’ll be sharing this video with them right away.


Hi Derek, great video. Lots of knockers in life so thanks for the encouragement!

Just wondering what has happened to the Podcasts? Enjoyed listening to them.


Bravo, bravo, bravooo! Way to go Derek, you have managed to escape the atrosity of giving up on your dream like so many of us have! Just because of our friends and families telling us this very thing! “IT WON”T WORK” God, how many times have I heard that! I only wish I would done exactly what you did! I commend you my friend! Keep up the “positive” mindset! Dream on!


I think this was a good presentation but I was hoping to see the next phase of lack of support which is a more subtle lack of support – the friends and family who tell you to “go for it” then disappear once you get to work. I’d love to hear how you handle the disappointment with friends and family and supporters who go poof in the night.

    Frank Casanova

    Well, Christina… I’m wondering if you going to “go for it”, why you would allow yourself to still be dependent on what others think? This is about you and your dream, goal, etc. You should not force others to be your constant supporters. That’s what we’re all saying here. Don’t look to others for the pinning of your foundation. That should come from within you.

Allen Maddox

This video is very timely for me. I’m facing this right now. The advice is sound and I will be using it. You rock..


I was talking to my mom over the phone couple of days ago when she asked what I was doing and how everything was. Even though I already have an AS in Computer Engineering, she still cannot give up the idea of me becoming a doctor one day.
So when I told her about the tech blog thing I’m doing now she was skeptical. I was excited that my website was starting to make some money, and I know that $2/day is nothing, but I believe that it is going to be something much more one day. So she laughed and asked me: “Have you found the place yet to keep all that money?” I wasn’t mad, but there was something like “I will show you” kind of feeling…

liz edgecombe

fantastic video
i only wish i had seen this video when i was going through my divorce it really would have helped me to understand the way in which people respond to your choices. i gave myself a lot of grief worrying about other people until the penny dropped.

Romuald Fons

Or… you can simply don’t give a duck about what other people tell you and use energy to fulfill your goal.

When you succeed, they acknowledge.


How timely, putting up with negative family members at present. Always been a little different and always wanted to do something out of the norm but they aren’t just sure of how successful I can be. Initially I was defensive, but have come to the point where I believe cutting this negativity out is the only way. That way I can focus on building myself up. A bit like good riddance to bad rubbish, unfortunately because they’re family ill still have to be in touch, but will not be sharing my big ideas there! Thanks for this video!


I have some incredibly supportive friends but relatives… pffft. It’s been almost 3 years since I started selling my graphics online and I still hear…. “Do you still do that computer thing?” and what was worse, one relative asked my daughter “Does your mom just play on the computer ALL day?” They even went as far as throwing my business cards away because they thought it was a joke. They thought the cards were fake. Ouch.

Now I never bring up my business the few times I do see them. No point in trying to talk about it when all it does is bring me down.

BTW I think the Canadian joke was a hoot πŸ™‚ Living in MN, people who hear my accent on the phone will ask me if I’m Canadian. Happens aboot once a month.

Chris Picanzo

Thanks Derek, This is one I can relate to. Although I am married have kids and great responsibilities lol So I guess I’m going to go with the I don’t want to regret it phrase πŸ™‚ Great tips once again and thanks!
I created a contest giving away a custom branded to your brand Facebook tab if it’s ok to share with your readers πŸ™‚ https://www.facebook.com/Flipit4uMarketing/app_512541485429310
Maybe I can help your business with a little boost!

James Petzke @ Living Strenuously

Good advice Derek. I deal with this a lot with my parents, who are both teachers and of course are shoving a huge amount of school down my throat instead of my business. Can’t wait to prove them wrong!


You had me until the Canadian joke, dommage!

Meg Sylvia

This is great advice. Arguing definitely only makes it worse, and it’s so draining! When my family makes comments about my business, I usually just smile and change the subject πŸ™‚ Plus, I simply don’t bring it up around people I know are going to try to bring me down with negative comments.

I think your method makes a lot of sense though- will give this a try next time.

    Derek Halpern

    It’s funny how we watch ourselves around people who we know will make us feel uncomfortable. Then you start wondering, why do I even hang out with these people, heh.


Thank you very much! It’s really useful, not only for business purposes.

Nice Canadian aсcent!

Bethany Lee

Great video and great advice! That is, if you aren’t married. What happens when your spouse has a hard time supporting you–you really can’t take the approach you suggest here and phase them out of your life. And then something else, what happens when the thing you want to do takes up time that you would otherwise be spending with your family, or taking care of family/house/personal matters? What happens when the only place you have to do your business with clients is in your home and that means your spouse or family doesn’t have their home space anymore? Dealing with non-supporters that are family, but that aren’t your spouse isn’t that difficult. Dealing with non-supporters when they are your spouse and your dreams interrupt their lives–now that’s hard. Why don’t you make a video about that one?


Hell, no! This is the first advice Derek gives that does not work or help me.

I am married, two kids, and with an old stubborn mother. Dropped psychology major, computer major to “succeed” in the web.

I only stopped hearing complaints or “suggestions” to find a job when I rubbed in their faces the money I am making.

My mother is still amazed when I sneak and pay her bills without her knowing.

Sometimes, your success is the best way to shut them up.

    Derek Halpern

    Heh. Sometimes people do need stuff rubbed in ;-P


As always, great video! I dealt with this issue for years with my then husband. I was brought up in a entrepreneurial family, he wasn’t. I am wired to do my own thing which he never understood and lets just say it didn’t end well. So yea, it can be really hard especially if the people who don’t believe in you are your spouse or significant other.

Ivo Dimitrov

I am saying to them that everyone is right for himself.


I usually talked about how I didn’t want to do the same boring work and working my butt off only to get harassed by superiors and having co-workers destroy my work or taking credit for it. I’m an artist, that’s who I am, that’s what I do and I need to be in the field that is going to serve me well in allowing my creativity and artistic skills grow. I also would talk about how my goals would give me something to be proud of later in life once I accomplished them, versus working a regular office job that’s just going to make me regret the wasted time not making something of myself and not allowing me to grow.

I still faced opposition with people telling me how “nobody cares about art and that the traditional job market would provide better job security.” Both are false, especially the latter. The job market does not give anyone job security and I haven’t been able to get another job through the normal means for 5 years. The traditional job market is failing.

Crazy enough people ignore how I couldn’t get a job for 5 years by the normal means and still think that road is somehow better.

I had to ignore all that, stick to my guns and just do it anyway. Now that I have my own business legally setup, CPA picked out, all that good stuff, people are very slowly starting to see that what I was saying was true. The business isn’t growing as fast as I’d like but I am working a day job while starting a business so…But people are starting to recognize that I was damn serious about doing what I’ve wanted to do. I face less opposition now.

    Artist in Making

    I know how you feel. I am going through that right now.
    some relatives and friends are unsupportive.

    I am ignoring them and working towards my goals.
    Nice to hear that someone else perservered and is following their dreams.

    Artist in making


I have a more subtle form of non-support that I’m trying to deal with right now. My family wont tell me that they don’t think I should do what I’m doing and they won’t try to coerce me into doing something else. However, they are either intentionally or inadvertently always placing themselves between me and what I want to accomplish. If I need time to work on the things that are important to me, they will start to demand every second of my time. My time is not important because I have to spend it with them and Im a terrible person for not doing so. If I need to save up money for an investment, all of a sudden I’m being expected to spend all of my money on their trivial needs. It’s like a passive aggressive obstructionist mentality. I haven’t figured out how to deal with it yet. If I confront them on it, it will turn into the argument that I don’t want.

    Sonia Quinones

    I come from passive-aggressive family, so in my opinion, confronting doesn’t work. What does work is finding a way to disconnect yourself from seeking out their approval, which is easier said than done.

    For me, I found that the first thing I needed to do was to cultivate a network of people who had their own businesses or were in process of launching one. I spend a good chunk of my energy supporting those people and letting them support me (as well as working on my business).

    Where you focus your time and energy matters. And if you focus it on trying to persuade people to support you that don’t want to, then that is a waste of time and energy you can’t get back. It’s also a way of giving away your power and embracing helplessness. Neither one is useful. Neither one will bring you closer to achieving your goals.

Tony D

This video fits perfectly into my current situation. I just dropped out of graduate school to try, see how I used the word try, to create an online business. I actually haven’t told my family, yet. I’ve been waiting until after school started so my family couldn’t talk me into returning to school.

What’s the best way to tell my family? Do I need to tell them?

Jon Giordano

Nice post and video – you’re absolutely right. In Zen, this is summed up with the saying,

“What you resist, persists, and what you allow to be disappears.”

If you push, they push back. Embrace the challenge and use it any way you can shifting it to your advantage. They may be right, for them. And you may be right, for you. Who owns your life?


Sonia Quinones

My god, this is exactly the script I used a few months back when I finally told my parents (who are in their late 70s) as well as my friends and coworkers that I was quitting my good paying job to become a full-time freelance writer! I knew telling them would be upsetting: I’m single and live thousands of miles away from my family so I know they worry about me constantly, never mind that I’m in my 40s. To your parents you’re always their kid.

The twist for me was that about 12 years ago I was diagnosed with Stage IV Hodgkins. And while I’ve been cancer-free all these years, that diagnosis changed everything about how I interact with people around me, my priorities, everything.

So when I spoke to my friends, family and colleagues, I specifically reminded them of that cancer experience and how I had the learned the hard way that life changes in an instant. I said I didn’t want to get to my 60s or 70s and regretting not having the courage to live my life the way I’ve always dreamed of. That I had to give it a shot. To my surprise, I got 100% full support from nearly everyone I told.

After watching your video, I better understand why that happened. Thank you, Derek! Will so be sharing this video.

The Get In Shape Girl

I’m very fortunate to have nothing but people in my life who believe in me and support me. When I was a trainer at a local gym my boss didn’t really take my online personal training biz too seriously, but I understood why (small minds can’t think big) and it gave me all the more reason to push harder so I could GTFU of there!!

Frank Casanova

One of your best videos… EVER! Wonderful when you can get your message across and be entertaining at the same time. I try to do the same. I wish I had your advice 40 years ago when I did this same argument with my Dad. It unfortunately resulted in our not speaking for 10 years. We’re great pals now, but it was two stubborn people in locked struggle with neither giving an inch. Not to best way to life life. Thank you Derek.


My 14 year old son started his own company when he was 9 years old and he’s fought off incredible pressure from our family & his friends to give up. Thankfully, he refused to allow himself to listen to their unsolicited “advice” and has been featured in all of the local media here in Phoenix. Now he’s preparing to film a feature for his company on a very popular national TV show (not allowed to say which show yet) and, of course, all the people who stood against him for so long are now coming out to “support” him.

As long as you listen to your own intuition it really does pay off to persevere and ignore all the naysayers. Those people have no real investment in your future and may be trying to sabotage you because they are insecure about their own path in life they created for their self.

Ravi Peal-Shankar

Excellent video Derek. Your topic reminds me of the term ‘crab mentality’. The term β€˜crab mentality’ is widely used amongst the Filipino community. The concept of crab mentality evolves from bucket of live crabs. If one crab attempts to get away, others will pull it down, instead of allowing it to go FREE!

Keep your video’s and blog coming !

Carole Bozkurt

Hi Derek – I love your blogs and I am sure your mum is incredibly proud of you. Being a smidgen older than you – ok a lot – this type of thing has happened to me quite a bit and I got to the stage where I found myself not saying anything and just getting on and doing it. I found I didn’t put myself under any pressure to deliver so if it didn’t happen within the time frame that was ok because I hadn’t said anything to anyone. Btw i like to deliver. Then when people noticed what I was doing and said things in a non-supporting way I was already doing the thing and it was difficult for people to be negative or non-supportive.

    Derek Halpern

    Hey Carole, thanks for sharing this. Most people do this, too. They end up not talking about what excites them because of the negativity from their friends and family.

Josh @ Form Your Future

Hey Derek, I definitely faced this. I always argued and it’s weighed so heavily on me. The issue now though, is that I do have a baby on the way so I do have the responsibilities, haha.

So now I work a job full time and at the same time I’m working to build my business. It’s tough, but I guess you gotta do what you gotta do.


Perfect timing of this video… Same situation in my life…
But sometimes you have to give up your try too (for a while) to support your family like mine..

Amal Rafeeq

Hi Derek,
I’m a 17 year old with lots of dreams of becoming an Entrepreneur and I’m being haunted by people around me too. They thinks I’m wasting my precious time on the internet.

Uff! πŸ™ But this was really a motivation. Thanks mate.


    George Siblesz


    I’m 20 years old and most people don’t take me serious despite telling me things like, “wow that’s a great concept,” and, “you’ve really got something good here and you’ve really through it through.”

    Unfortunately it is what it is. Want people to start taking you serious? Make the necessary steps to creating whatever business you are looking to create. Slowly but surely people have started to treat me and my business endeavors a little more seriously.

      George Siblesz

      *thought it through

      Sorry for the lazy typing there.


i spoke to my little sister about this dream of mine so i get a smaller picture of the bigger situation! she was like “but would you get time to study? and how well are you prepared to face people? its not as easy as you think it is!” (yeah she is my ‘younger’ sis!!)
i don’t think if i go and tell my family about my dream RIGHT now they would ever think i could do it
so i decided to create a base and get AT LEAST 3 customers and THEN and only THEN i would look them in the eye and be like “mom, i have to tell you something which you have to accept!!”

Syed Balkhi

Coming from a South Asian family, my parents definitely wanted me to be a doctor. For the first year in college, I was actually in the pre-med program.

As I went into my second year and the school work load increased, I had to make a choice. I could either shut down my multi-million dollar online business or quit pursuing the medical degree.

You know which one I chose. I explained to my parents this way:

I know that you want me to be successful. I know that grandpa wanted me to be a doctor, but I’m already successful. I make more money in a month then doctors do in a year. I’m also very happy with my life.

I can spend time with you guys, other family members, and friends. Do you know that my friend who’s going to med school doesn’t even have time to sleep let alone take holiday breaks. Do you want me to be like that for the rest of my life? Or would you rather have me do what I love and spend time with those who I care about (i.e my kids that I will eventually have).

They were disappointed at first, but it worked out.

Now everyone is happy πŸ™‚

    Derek Halpern

    You turned out just okay. Ha ha.

    What’s up Syed!

Janelle Page

This is EPIC! I’m new to Social Triggers, but am already a raving fan! Thanks Derek for a timely post.

I love your suggestion to slowly “phase” out any friends who may be secretly jealous so that you can make room for more positive and supportive people.

Such keen and gentle advice.

I remember starting my first internet business back in 2006 and no one seemed to care because it was just a hobby. BUT when I decided to leave a good corporate job and re-enter the internet marketing world this year, I was met with considerable resistance from family members and friends.

Despite the obstacles, my business is growing steadily and I’m totally adopting the “Now is the time” and “I don’t want to regret a thing” mantra. Thanks so much!

Janelle Page
The Self-Improvement Trainer
Visit http://www.PagePositive.com for your free copy of “The Morning Self-Improvement Secret”

    Derek Halpern

    Welcome ;-D


Your theory is sound, especially younger in life. Try doing that later in life. You get a cavalcade of “haters” because many people are afraid of looking at themselves. Remember, they aren’t really worried about you. They are worried about their own regrets and uncertainty. My enlightenment came when I realized people talk but they don’t live your life day in and out. The sidelines are safe but you experience the real sweat and tears. Your life to live with passion and no regrets.

BTW: All Canadians don’t say “understoood” by the way. We’re 33 million people with widely different sounds. Come visit the second largest country on earth.


This can be tough situation to deal with, especially if you’re still living with your parents. I’ve already told my niece and nephew that I would support their dreams and goals, no matter what. As long as they’re not illegal. πŸ™‚


I was in this situation and handled it the wrong and right way. I too got angry because I was tired of my family telling me what to do; I did what I wanted to do anyway.

Today, I don’t get angry or argue. I point out that making a living in 2013 is different from 1950. That it’s important to have multiple streams of income, e.g., your own business and investments because the company you work for could go out of business. Most of my family understands this, now. But it was a different story in 2008.

    Derek Halpern

    That’s always a great point. Times have changed, and sometimes people don’t.


      People do not change. There are always the steady, money making types and the wowie money risking types, and sometimes they end up in the same families. It’s the montagues and capulets and the Hatfields and McCoys and my husband and me, over and over and over.

      Oh did I say “my husbandandme?” Oops.

Wendy Merron

Hey Derek, love the way you handled that situation!
I remember when I told my family that I was going to become a Certified Hypnotist. “What? Are you nuts?” was the most common response. Or maybe it was “What? Well, you’ve always been nuts.” My dad’s response “But can you make money?”
Sure could’ve used your advice back then!

    Derek Halpern

    Heh – but it seemingly turned out for the better, right?

John Shea

I was at a friend’s house one night reading your blog, I had brought my laptop over to game with some friends. While waiting for a PC game to load I started watching one of your videos.

One friend turned to me and said “You gotta give that online S$*t up!”

I told him he was wrong for doubting me for wanting to build a business online.

I simply just choose to spend as much time as possible surrounding myself with like minded people, that in my opinion is the absolute best way to stay motivated. I’ve run into the same problem with fitness routines and having close friends be negative about my desire to spend time working out rather than sit around and play video games.

I also suggest for anyone struggling with this to checkout the book “The Magic Of Thinking Big” by David Schwartz

    Derek Halpern

    This video was actually inspired by a Facebook comment you left. Thought you should know πŸ˜‰

Darlene with BlogBoldly

Mine may not be the “right” answer but I have a tendency to pull away from people who don’t support me. I love building up and helping other people achieve their dreams, and so I really notice people who aren’t supportive.

If it’s family members, I just don’t share what’s going on.

It it’s friends, I spend less time with them.

If it’s business associates, I cut them loose.



    you are so right!! and it WORKS pretty well!!
    at least i think so!!


I’m really lucky that this hasn’t happened – perhaps some of my risk-averse friends warn me of the doom and gloom that /could/ come with a lack of job security and no idea what things will be like even 6 months from now. But my friends and family are generally really supportive of what I’m doing. Now that it’s been 3 years, even the skeptics are backing off!

Several of my former work colleagues, though, scoffed when I told them I was starting a business writing company. They said “you’ll never make a real living off of writing! I hope you’re okay with the starving artist lifestyle.”

Starving artist? Not likely. I’m proud to have proven them all wrong.

    Derek Halpern

    Funny that it took 3 years though, right?

Borja Obeso

You truly have to be brilliant and understand your audience, to come up with the idea of doing a video about this.

I also blog about entrepreneurship and I know how hard it is to please your audience.

Magnificent job man!

Also, I love how you make your videos unique and interactive with a plain seamless background.


Linda - The Traveling Doctor

Thank you for this video.

I needed to hear that. I have a PhD and teaching part time making about $800 per month and relying on my husband’s income. This is the choice I made to pursue my own travel business. I know and believe this is temporary: I will succeed.
This is the time. I don’t have kids now. This is the time. I dream and think about my business all the time. This is the time. I will be successful, this is my passion, this is me.


    Derek Halpern

    That’s what I like to hear Linda

    Jon Giordano

    “Do the thing, and you shall have the power.”
    – Ralph Waldo Emerson


FEAR of the unknow!! They have it to for you as well as for themselves!

Great post and tips!
Thanks Derek!


    mike taylor

    “Understude”? WTF.
    Where the hell do Americans get the idea that Canadians talk like that?
    You totally rock Derek, but that last line is the only thing in the vid that actually got my attention.

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