Not all entrepreneurs have come from a supportive entrepreneurial family background. It’s perfectly okay if your parents won’t see your vision/dreams as you do. There are plenty of highly successful entrepreneurs who haven’t received first-hand support from their parents and there are few who did get the support—like Gary Vaynerchuk. In my opinion, it doesn’t matter as entrepreneurs always find a way!
To convince your parents that you have the entrepreneurial spirit is not so easy, so the key here is to get “permission” from them rather than convincing them. Even doing that is difficult as it can seem like they don’t understand your perspective at all. The most important aspect here is that before you make them understand your perspective, think about their perspective. Your parents want you to succeed, but they are scared about the possible ramifications of failure. Your happiness is all they need. They don’t want to see your future in jeopardy and hence they suggest you take that so-called “safe path”. So does that mean if you make them realize that you’ll be happy going after your dreams, they’ll agree with your decision? Well, as I said earlier, the key here is to get their permission to go after your dreams and you need to do whatever it takes to get that.
After graduating from college, I had a job in a huge multinational company lined up. I worked for barely two months, and then I quit as it was very difficult to manage my startup and day job. During this period, I got the permission from my parents to go after my dreams. Here are a few things that can help you get to that point.
1. Make Them Realize Your True Nature
Entrepreneurs have entrepreneurial traits: stubbornness, creativity, thinking big, leading/not following, grit etc. Making your parents realize that these traits are your true nature and that your profession must compliment them definitely helps as they can see how you’ll fit into entrepreneurship. The trait of stubbornness clicked for me!
2. Show Them Any of Your past Wins/Creations That Align with the Entrepreneurial Spirit
While prospecting new clients, we show them our previous client testimonials and our achievements to help close the deal easily. Similarly, here you are trying to close your parents on a deal that changes your future, so show them your previous wins, remind them again if you already showed them. In my college days, me and six other friends built a non-conventional energy machine and got published in IEEE. My parents got a lot of faith when I reminded them about this and other past wins. If you have any previous achievements that involved teamwork and creativity, then show it to them. This will make them realize that you stand a chance.
3. Tell Them You Need No Regrets in the Future
I recommend you watch this Garyvee video. Getting into entrepreneurship after college, when you are in that 19-25year bracket is the best time to take risks. Yes! Even when you have a college loan, it’s still the best time to take risks as going after cliché stuff isn’t going to clear your college loan. Make them realize this. Having regrets later is the worst feeling ever according to many who didn’t take their chances.
4. Ask Them Let You Take a Trial Run
Tell them you are going to take this as an 18 month or 24-month project. Framing it in this way will really encourage them to give you permission.
5. Show Them Your Bootstrap Results
This is by far the best way. Most entrepreneurs bootstrap and when you show them the results of your current bootstrapping projects—if you have any—gives a lot of confidence that you are up to something. Also, it clearly shows that you know what you are talking about as your results speak for you.
Remember, even after you show some promise, your parents still might complain that you, ‘Should’ve continued with a job,’ or ‘This thing is risky’ or ‘You never know when it can end all of a sudden,’ kind of statements. Like I said, convincing them is not so easy, and these statements shouldn’t bother you as you got what you asked for in the first place—which is a permission from them to go after your dreams.