Your Friends Matter More Than You Know

If a friend doubts how successful you will be with your business, and voices that doubt to you…repeatedly… it just may be time to give them the boot.  You do not need their negative energy as you are launching and building your business during “normal” times. You certainly do not need their negative energy in 2020.

The Naysayers

You know who I’m talking about, right?  The naysayer. That person in your inner circle who is always doubting your ability to run your business, your decisions on who to hire, what prices to charge, how to market your company, and on and on and on. Or they doubt that you should even be in business at all…especially now.  They are poisoning your confidence. 

I’m talking about giving the boot to the folks who never support you and your ideas, who never encourage you, and who never tell you that you’ve got this, you can do it. They are always negative and they simply bring you down, make you doubt yourself.  You are better off in a desert by yourself. The world has enough drama in 2020 to go around.  Don’t add to it.    

You Need Honest Feedback, Even If You Don’t Like It

Don’t get me wrong.  You do not want to be surrounded by “yes people,” either.  Not at all.  You need people in your inner circle that you can trust to give you the truth, regardless of how much you do not want to hear it and regardless of whether you like what they have to say.  In other words, you need people in your inner circle who will give you constructive criticism and feedback. You need people who will tell you that your idea for that new service is not as awesome as you think it is…and, “Oh, by the way, check out X, Y and Z, the top 3 competitors in that space you will run up against.”  (Thought to self:  What??!!  I looked online and I didn’t find ANYONE doing this! Gulp!)

You also need people in your inner circle who will tell you that your idea is pretty good, but that you might have missed a couple of steps in bringing it to market, and, “As I see it, here are what those steps are.”  They are not saying you must take their advice, absolutely not.  Their feedback turns into data points you need to make your decision about your own business.  But you need that honest feedback and those data points.  Keep those people in your inner circle and treat them as the true friends they are.

What if you don’t have friends like that in your inner circle? Read top business books, reach out to trusted colleagues, join a mastermind group or engage a business coach.  Go talk to your librarian – socially distanced, of course.  By the way, librarians are the untapped heroes of business research.  They *love* to help you find the unusual resource or find the answer to your sort-of-off-the-wall question that could end up being the turning point in your business.  They can be an amazing resource.


When is the best time to give the boot to the naysayers?  Now.  Only you can decide how. 

Keep friends who will be honest with you and tell you what you need to hear, even if you don’t want to hear it.  Jettison the others, or at least move them out of your inner circle. 

Why?  Your friends have a large influence on you, even subconsciously. That influence can be positive or negative.  Your friends matter more than you know.   

As always, if you have any questions or to schedule a free small business consultation, email me at  We’ve got this!


Robin Suomi, MBA, is an experienced small business expert and founder of Startup to Growth. She has worked with thousands of small business owners through coaching, mastermind groups, education and training.  Robin believes success is rarely accidental and her passion is to help her clients set and reach their goals. Working with clients remotely through video platforms, she helps clients answer their technical business planning and execution questions as well as supporting them while they explore their potential. She encourages clients to dig deeper, dream bigger, and works with them to create their tangible Success Steps. Check out the website for ongoing virtual Small Business CoachingSmall Business Blueprint in 30-Days classes, MEG (My Entrepreneurial Group) Connect and MEG Startup mastermind groups. Email with your questions.