In a recent online interview I talked about pouring from an empty cup. I don't feel like one can fully understand my perspective and I wanted to elaborate, in hopes that someone can learn something from my perspective.
When you become an entrepreneur, you believe you have a product or service that people will gladly pay for. You also believe the people that love and/or care about you will support this venture. Not always through purchase but by offering advice and/or showing moral and virtual support.
A lot of entrepreneurs take a risk and invest in themselves to start a business. We know we won't be millionaires overnight but support from your friends and family helps to show others that you have a good product and/or service.
In my personal experience, I invested in myself as a photographer, because I am trained in photography and known throughout my community as always having a camera and capturing good images. My community desperately needed a new school to cater to the children and all you had to do was visit Virtuous Academy and you knew it was a special place. Not to mention I was a reliable and passionate babysitter, daycare employee and educator for years. Making the decision to stay in my community and use my talents and gifts was largely in hopes that the support would come from the community for starters.
In fact, what it did was alienate me from my family and the community. Majority of the kids enrolled were from families that needed an alternative and the community chose to not support the events, make a donation or even visit Virtuous Academy. My "friends and family" went elsewhere for photography services. So ultimately everything I poured into the community never produced what I planned and I experienced a lot of people turn on me. They chose to gossip about my imperfections to ignore and downplay the actual good being done.
So I learned the lesson that sometimes giving is not always better than receiving. Sometimes giving, is actually being taken for granted and you have to be around people that understand reciprocation. I don't give to receive but I think about the people that pour into me and I now choose to be around people that do the same.
I mentioned my staff staying on the job during financial hardships because they were strangers that saw what was being done and valued their position with the children and the structure of our amazing school. I have "family and friends" that never gave a dollar or supported an event. The past is behind me and I appreciate the lessons learned, hopefully telling my story will help someone move from where they are to a place where they can be successful. You deserve a cup that runs over!