Why It’s Best Not to Tell Friends and Family Your Business Ideas

Every entrepreneur has likely experienced the same scenario at one point: sharing a great idea and execution plan among friends and family, only to be told bluntly that it wouldn’t succeed.

It is frustrating, and in some ways heartbreaking, to hear these criticisms from people we have grown to respect over the years. Though their arguments and points may likely be well founded, it’s also important to remember that these very points are based from their own belief systems which are contrary to your own.

They do not believe they themselves can succeed in what you are doing, or they’d be already doing it.

False consensus is defined as a cognitive bias, whereby a person tends to overestimate the extent to which his or her opinions, beliefs, preferences, values, and habits are normal and typical of those of others.

What does this mean?

Suppose your business idea is to create a mobile app which gets local dog trainers in NYC customers, or a nationwide service that prints company t-shirts.

Family and friends will tell you why it won’t work, or why they would never use it.

Interestingly enough, your family and friends are hardly your ideal customers. They do not represent your future consumers who will reach in their wallets and potentially throw money at you.

“Most people have to see it to believe it. What separates entrepreneurs from the rest is we believe it before we see it.”

People closest to us will mention things like competition and the opportunity cost. All true, however, competition validates a market like Wal-Mart versus Target, and opportunity means you could be working on something different.

People fail to realize that the time with what we do with our lives will pass regardless, and anyone is free to do what they want.