There’s a really cool store in Ponce City Market in Atlanta called The Village Market.
It carries products by Black-owned businesses and Black entrepreneurs.
It’s a really cool store and even cooler concept.
They have this fabulous wall, the feature point of the store, highlighting their slogan in giant neon letters - Support is a Verb.
I was so struck by this phrase.
And I have been reflecting on it, can’t get it out of my head, for a while now.
It has had a profound impact on me.
Apparently there is a truth that many, many entrepreneurs have learned, but no one really talks about.
I have been feeling the effects of this truth for quite some time, but didn’t have the correct language to put around it.
Now I do.
The truth is, I have been shocked and disappointed to figure out that many of my relationships (friends, colleagues, family, etc) are cheerleaders, not supporters.
The hard truth I’ve learned, and had backed up by some mentors, is that most of the relationships in your pre-entrepreneur life cannot or will not support you.
Either because they aren’t in a position to, don’t know how, or don’t have it as a priority in their lives.
And, I guess that’s ok, I just didn’t know.
I had misaligned expectations.
I fell victim to this particular plight of an entrepreneur.
Because Support is a Verb.
Being an entrepreneur - especially a sole proprietor - the rejection is often silent.
No one in my life is saying, "Oh, she’s going to fail. Oh, she sucks."
Here is what IS happening:
They aren’t answering my emails.
They aren’t hiring me.
They aren’t giving me referrals.
They aren’t interacting with my social media.
They aren’t giving me a testimonial after I work with them.