Chioma Nnani: Respect your friend’s hustle
A while ago, I watched an episode of Christina Milan's reality television show.
Her sister – who's a hair stylist – complained that Christina took advantage of her; whenever Christina had no budget (for a shoot or an event), she would recruit her. But whenever there was a budget, Christina would take her business elsewhere. She would suddenly remember that, regardless of her talent, they were sisters and she (the sister) would suddenly become not good enough – with the result that a lot of Christina's celebrity pals didn't even know that her sister did hair. And to be fair, the sister actually did good work on Christina's hair.
Many of us have that kind of … friend or family member.
They remember you when they have no money (or they don't want to spend money) for your products or services. As soon as they get some dosh, they remember “It's just my friend, why should (s)he collect money from me?”
Some of them take advantage of you, then have the nerve to ask you to look for 'a real job'; the reason your job doesn't look real is because you're not making money. The reason you're not making money is because you have friends and family members who don't want your progress.
This thing is common sense.
Someone who wants you to do well doesn't take their money elsewhere (after having used your services), if you are good at what you do. It takes a special level of evil-heartedness to do this to someone who is a friend or family.
One of the most hilarious aspects is when they run a business themselves, expect you to pay for their products and services, but see everything wrong with sending you customers or paying for your own products/services. Yeah, some folk are funny like that.
It's the beginning of a new quarter. 2016 is speeding by.
There is no need for you to swallow unnecessary drama.
While you may give special discounts to family and friends – especially at the inception of your business – there is no need to put yourself in ridiculous situations that will guarantee your poverty. If they don't support your business, when you're really good at what you do – and this is different from expecting people to dole out money for mediocre products and services, just because they’re related – you may need to find some new friends.
I remember this individual for whom I did a lot of social media work pro bono. Not only were they perfectly fine with not paying me a dime for something that they were completely clueless about – to be fair, I never asked – they developed an attitude about it and never did a thing for my own business. It didn't take me long to understand that I wasn't ready to lose my own business and source of livelihood on the altar of a toxic friendship; I moved on, without looking back.
My business and sanity are all the better for it, and their social media accounts have died a somewhat expected death.
If you truly desire a person's good, don't treat their business like crap, just because 'you know them'.
Chioma Nnani is an award-winning author, who also contributes to business, lifestyle and literary publications. One of Africa's most fearless storytellers, she is a two-time UK BEFFTA (Black Entertainment Film Fashion Television and Arts) Award nominee and a DIVAS OF COLOUR 2016 finalist, who lives in Abuja, runs THE FEARLESS STORYTELLER HOUSE EMPORIUM LTD, can be reached on @ChiomaNnani and blogs at www.fearlessstoryteller.com