How to deal with unsupportive parents while creating a startup?


0

I've been telling myself for many years now I've wanted to create a company of my own and get out of the corporate misery.

I am a software developer by trade, and have worked with a few startups in the past.

Recently (past 5 months) I have been working on an idea, that is already a proven business model, and working on everything myself from the business end to the technical (dev) end.

I've saved up atleast 6 months of money, in order to live at home, and work on my product. My parents do not want this and think I should get a product together first and then quit ... which seems the most logical until..

You factor in: I'm working full time (40 hours) + doing 12-15 hours of commuting per week. This part will only get worse as I am given more responsibility at work and need to work on call.

How have you dealt with unsupportive (close) individuals to you (friends, family, etc.)?

Getting Started Family

asked Dec 13 '12 at 09:42
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Code Talk
253 points
  • Simple: you go raise money. – Frenchie 7 years ago
  • @frenchie - that is surely the fastest way to start and end one at this point. – Code Talk 7 years ago
  • If you cant convince your parents to invest how will you convince a unknown person. Think about that and improve your pitch, model, idea. – Siddharth 7 years ago
  • @Siddharth what's with the language? Its the fourth time today I stumble across comments where people are calling others "idiots"... Three of them are on this question! – Littleadv 7 years ago
  • Sorry, I meant it in a good way :). When you have a idea and want to start up, thats what people think you are, but you keep going because deep down you believe that your idea is good :). Again, I meant it in a good way, encouraging way. – Siddharth 7 years ago
  • In what way are your parents affecting your work decisions? – Henry The Hengineer 7 years ago
  • Well, because I still live with them. – Code Talk 7 years ago
  • @Siddharth - I've convinced individuals of the idea - I have a seasoned entrepreneur as one of my advisors, and just had a salesman contact me a few days ago. – Code Talk 7 years ago
  • "Simple: you go raise money."? Ummm, no...it is not that simple. What's more, being unable to sell your business idea to your parents is proof of nothing. Even if the idea has merit, parents are notoriously circumspective when it comes to their children's well being. – Richard 7 years ago

3 Answers


3

Consider this a funding exercise. I would pitch them like an investor - that is, you need something from them (a roof over your head) and need to get their approval to work this out.

Understanding why they would rather want you to work full-time and addressing those issues directly would be better than dismissing them - unless you have an alternative housing arrangement, or don't mind a turbulent / at odds relationship until you prove your model. (Startups provide enough stress by themselves).

Getting to yes is a skill that is useful beyond this individual issue. Of course, no one here knows your exact family situation, but if it is like most, parents want nothing but the best for their children. Protecting them is also a reflex action - and understanding the situation from their vantage point (bad economy, people out of work, etc.) will help you explain your aspirations - and what plan you have to capitalize on this opportunity (and monitor its progress). If they are not tech savvy, then you have some teaching to do so they understand.

Edit: Here is a relevant inc article on how to convince your parents about your startup dream.

answered Dec 13 '12 at 10:56
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Jim Galley
9,952 points
  • I dont know that there is understanding i can realize at this point. They think i should wait until i have a product and clients but no business is going to invest (e.g. buy) a product that is being supported by some dude (me) working parttime. – Code Talk 7 years ago
  • Getting to yes is a skill that is useful beyond this individual issue. Of course, no one here knows your exact family situation, but if it is like most, parents want nothing but the best for their children. Protecting them is also a reflex action - and understanding the situation from their vantage point (bad economy, people out of work, etc.) will help you explain your aspirations - and what plan you have to capitalize on this opportunity (and monitor its progress). If they are not tech savvy, then you have some teaching to do so they understand. Good luck with your effort (both). – Jim Galley 7 years ago
  • You can convince anyone as long as you can get them to agree with you. – Frenchie 7 years ago
  • Im in a field that you can bounce in and out of (given you're young enough - which I am) – Code Talk 7 years ago
  • My mom is in IT .. developer – Code Talk 7 years ago
  • Btw - AWESOME article. Thanks so much @jimg – Code Talk 7 years ago
  • Jim, I copied what you wrote in the comments to your answer. I felt it was very good and relevant information, and I didn't want it getting lost in the comments. It also flowed nicely with what you already had in your answer. Feel free to edit it to add any additional thoughts you couldn't fit in the comments, or change it in any other way. – Zuly Gonzalez 7 years ago

-2

To answer your question, ignore all of them. My advice to you:

I have dealt with this situation with two of my friends. If you have the option of living with your parents while you do this, take advantage of the situation, quit your job after you've created all of your photoshop mockups and are ready to get deep into code (HTML, server-side, etc), and live on your money, launch within 3 months, and get a part time job after launching if you are desperate for cash at that point. Whatever you do, do not hesitate! It can make or break your chances of success.

I am proof of quiting my job and starting my own company

answered Dec 13 '12 at 10:20
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Mark Entingh
25 points
  • Not good to ignore the people who are housing you. Unless you want to be booted out. To quote Twain “When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished by how much he'd learned in seven years.” – Jim Galley 7 years ago
  • What a wise man, Twain was... but I don't see how that helps to cope with unsupportive family. I'm sure getting booted out would be a last resort, but if his family truly believes in him, he won't have to worry about that. If not, ignore them all!!! To quote no one, "Show me your friends and I'll tell you who you are". Unsupportive friends means get new friends. Unsupportive family means... well, I guess you'll just have to bite the bullet and do whatever you can to get your company off the ground. In short, I strongly believe in ignoring everyone around you, unless they are successful. – Mark Entingh 7 years ago
  • @MarkEntingh - what type of business did you start? Did you leave a well paying job? How far were you into that job? – Code Talk 7 years ago
  • Guys, what's with the language? – Littleadv 7 years ago
  • I built a Saas web development platform using asp.net. I left a few well paying jobs over the past 7 years to build my project. Each job was about 6 months, & freelance web dev in between. – Mark Entingh 7 years ago
  • That is why your post is a lot more useful than other posts claiming to just go get funding.. Thanks @MarkEntingh! – Code Talk 7 years ago
  • All, I edited out all the mentions of the word "idiot". This is a professional site, let's keep the tone and language in sync with that. We don't want to give the impression that we're a bunch of 14 year olds. cc @littleadv – Zuly Gonzalez 7 years ago

0

I get the impression you are serious about this because this catch-22 only appears when you start to try and put more and more time into the project and find your day job is really becoming an impediment. It is very tricky to build something outside of working hours in your "spare" time, because by then you're often mentally fatigued and the day job has gotten the best of your energy.

You can't expect your parents to understand that, but they don't need to. As parents they are predisposed to push you in the direction with the least amount of risk. Don't ignore them outright because they are your support network and in an indirect way they are your co-founders. Like jimg pointed out - think of it as a rehearsal for soliciting investors. If you want to get it off the ground you will have to weather all kinds of resistance and keep going.

answered Dec 14 '12 at 03:45
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Luke Smith
51 points
  • Right, and good points here. The question still is do I just get up and leave the job (given my situation) ? I know its my decision overall, but I am looking for your thoughtso n this as well – Code Talk 7 years ago
  • I can't answer that, I don't think anyone but you can. Will your parents kick you out? You'd then have new challenges competing with your efforts to develop your product. Truthfully there will probably always be challenges. Just do the best you can, it sounds like you're headed in the right direction. – Luke Smith 7 years ago
  • Thanks for the confidence, @Luke – Code Talk 7 years ago

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