When Your Family and Friends Don’t Get What You Do

When Your Family and Friends Don’t Get What You Do

When Your Family and Friends Don’t Get What You Do

My husband a has a close group of guy friends he’s known since their undergrad years. They’re more like brothers than “friends.”

I love all of them because they love him, and they also look out for me and for our girls.

These are great guys, who I’ve known for more than a decade. So imagine my amusement when one of them came down to visit from Chicago and was shocked to discover I really do write books.

Darryl sat in the club chair in our living room and picked up the stack of books on our coffee table. They were all books I’d written, co-written, edited, or coached the author to write. I’m proud of my little babies, even those for which I was only a guardian.

“These are real books!” Darryl said, flipping the books over and over in his hands.

I laughed and asked, “Well, what did you think I was writing?”

“I don’t know,” he said. “I just never imagined real books.”

Le sigh. We’ve gone on couples’ trips together. He’s stayed in our homes on both coasts, and we’ve stayed with him and his family in Chicago. And he really has no idea what I do.

But it’s okay. Darryl’s a great friend, but he’s not my dream client. Besides, if you asked most of my relatives, they couldn’t tell you what I do either. (My mother might have a slight idea, but I talk to that old lady every day.)

When you have an unconventional career or a non-traditional business, the people closest to you might never fully understand what you do.

They may not know how to support you because they’ve never taken that kind of leap, and they can’t imagine how you might support yourself doing such a thing.

When you say you’re writing a book, but you don’t have the finished product in your hand a few months later, some people will write you off as blowing smoke.

Heaven help you if you build an online business and work from home. Most people will imagine you spend most of your time on social media or Netflix. But that’s okay.

Don’t worry about forcing people to get what you do. Focus instead on finding the people with problems your book, your service, or your story can help solve. They’ll get you just fine.

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