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Did You Know You Have To Be Successful *Before* You Get Support?

And yes, that doesn't seem right to me, either.

By Ellen "Jelly" McRaePublished about a year ago 6 min read
Image created on Canva

Ahh, the business discoveries you make on TikTok. I hate to admit I find as many gemstones in 30-second clips as I do in articles that take months to write. But as a consumer, I'm not fussy about how I discover my wisdom.

Here's one I found lately.

In this video from Emme Essentials, a candle company in New York, the gemstone took me a minute to uncover. Why? Because the message was hidden amongst a positive message of love.

Emme Essentials used TikTok to show behind-the-scenes of the business. One of the most heartwarming parts of the account is how the owner shows off her dedicated staff members. It's her parents, who work constantly to help create products and fill orders.

In case you don't want to watch the video, Emme Essentials are responding to a comment from another video. The comment reads:

"It's my dream to make a small business but my family doesn't support it and I don't have the money"

Emme Essentials responds by saying;

"Running a candle business was not my parent's first choice for me either. But once they see your passion turn into success, the rest will follow."

At first, I loved the video. How nice, right? Parents helping their child with her small business. Rolling up their sleeves for her, when they probably thought their working days were over.

But then I saw the video for what it really was; a bleak reflection of what it's like to be a small business owner.

And if you haven't figured this out yet, I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

Haven't figured out the issues?

This video doesn't show supportive parents. 

I know that's what everyone wants to see, most likely Emme Essentials wants to think that, too. But this doesn't show supportive parents at all.

It shows a video of reactive parents, being supportive now their child is successful. 

It shows parents who've waited until their child has become a success. Parents who've waited for their child to do all the hardest parts of a business on their own, before stepping in.

Now I don't know their story, exactly. I don't know at what stage the business was before they decided to step in help. I can only go off what she's said.

Yet, if this is anything to go by, it shows they didn't invest their time and effort until after Emme Essentials was making money. Or successful, as the owner put it.

Defining support and success

I should point out the elephant in the room here; what on earth do support and success mean? In the context of starting and running a business, everyone has their own definition.

Success means something different to me as it does to you, as it does to the owner of Emme Essentials. Same with this idea of support. What you consider massive amounts of support, I consider minuscule, for example. There isn't a blanket definition that suits every single person's goal.

The definitions of these concepts make up the nitty-gritty detail in this. We could debate this forever.

But for the sake of pointing out why this video identifies a problematic attitude towards people like you and me, getting into the nitty gritty doesn't matter too much.

Why this video is very true

There's an order to when you get the support, you see.

The order in which Emme Essentials details the support is scarily true. Your loved ones wait until you're deep into your business and have proved this isn't a whim, so to speak.

How do I know?

I've been where the owner of Emme Essentials has been. I've had an idea, pursued this idea, and received little to no support until others saw my business was thriving and surviving. 

The funny thing was I launched with customers and made money pretty quickly. Yet, despite having the basis of a successful business on day one, it took a while for people to come around.

Not everyone, by the way. There is always an exception. But more people live by the rule.

Support has to be worth it, apparently.

Not too many loved ones will admit to this, but they're pretty limited on support for your business. It's like they have a reserve of support and only want to spend it when it's "necessary".

For Emme Essentials, my guess is that her parents didn't want to invest any effort into her business until they knew:

  • It was worth their time
  • It was worth the extreme effort (though we don't see it like this because we do that amount of effort every single day, alone)
  • It was worth sacrificing any other parts of their life to be your help
  • It was worth putting their "reputation" on the line for you

Most of the time they judge this based on how much money you're making. That's often their definition of success, as we were talking about earlier. 

They look at whether you can pay your bills from your business and whether you can quit your job and earn a living from this business.

They wait for the full shop

This whole giving you support concept for you is easily visible when you go to your local shopping center. Pretend you're the owner of one of those shops.

People don't want to walk into an empty store and be the only person in there. But when the shop is full, it's then when it seems like the perfect time.

The support from your loved ones for your business happens just like this. Yet, you assume it will happen in reverse. You assume they will be the ones crowding in the store until you get "real" customers.

Why this whole attitude completely sucks

I love honesty. 

I prefer Emme Essentials saying this was how she went from no support to complete support than portraying a falsehood about the way it goes.

Yet, she doesn't acknowledge how it would have been nice if the order were switched. But you can't criticize your free employees, now can you?

But it's not so much about her. The big problem I have with this video is that it demonstrates to a greater audience this is how it goes.

It teaches everyone that you have to gain success before anyone believes in you. You have to be someone of worth before you're worthy enough of support.

And it teaches everyone that people starting a business need to prove themselves to the people they should never have to prove themselves to.

That's not a message I'm comfortable with everyone knowing and believing.

I'm also not a fan of people believing it's acceptable to support your loved one's business when it's too late. That it's ok to chime in when you've already done the hard work and you can afford to hire support.

That's not a narrative that helps anyone.

Why the opposite would be more productive

If I could, I would change this video. Because, let's face it, the way the world works with support right now, for most people, sucks.

I would change the narrative so that people knew the right time to help someone they love with their business.

I would have it so that people supported others the moment they came up with an idea. They didn't wait until later. They didn't wait to get on the already charging bandwagon.

I would have it where the support comes first, where you didn't need to earn it along with everything else you have to earn.

Let's get this straight, for anyone wondering. You need support, respect, and admiration from the very start of your business. Before you've even launched a product or service or whatever it is, you need to know your loved ones are going to be there.

The timing of when Emme Essentials got her support was too late. Ok, I'm sure she's not looking a gift horse in the mouth, but it was too late. 

What her parents are doing for her is amazing but she doesn't it need now. She needed it back when she was full of doubt, and insecurity and when she felt the most alone.

This isn't about Emme Essentials by the way

I want to make sure you know this isn't an attack on this beautiful business. Nothing of the sort. It just happened to be a wonderful example of everything that's wrong with being a business owner in the world we live in.

I hope that people watch this video and read my commentary and think about the people in their lives. I hope they can reach out to the people in their lives when they need it, not when they don't.

The business world, albiet mighty, needs your support before it's too late.

As a business owner, don't accept the status quo. Even if you have to explain it to your loved ones, tell them their delayed support isn't helping you.

Together, let's change the narrative.


If you enjoy this article, leave me a tip, follow me or even share my work on your socials! Any support for me would be appreciated 💜


About the Creator

Ellen "Jelly" McRae

I’m here to use my wins and losses in #relationships as your cautionary tale | Writes 1LD; Cautionary tale #romance fiction |

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