Respect the Hustle: How To Support Your Entrepreneurial Friends

by Brea Finney

We all know where we were when the world stopped and Beyoncè dropped the iconic pregnancy photo that broke the Guinness World Records of most liked image on Instagram. I'm sure we all reacted the same way - utter shock, instant screenshot, reposting on social media and then mass text messages in the group chat. While this was a fantastic way to kick off #BlackHistoryMonth, there was a bit of criticism that followed.
When scrolling through Instagram, I saw a post where a user penned insightful commentary wondering, "How can you support a celebrity that doesn't know you, but never support that one friend who has been hustling for years?" I’m sure that is the question of the hour, day, month and year, and one that is rightfully asked. It’s almost impossible to not have a friend that is creating something with their name attached to it. Whether it is music, freelance writing, creating YouTube videos, making a product or simply blogging, it is fair to say that your friend is making strides. Don’t ignore their efforts; instead find moments to celebrate them with these three easy steps.
1.    Share on social. It does not take more than a few minutes to do this: repost, retweet, comment and like. Those are the basic options to take on social media to show your audience that you fully support your friend. The number of likes or comments you receive on the post are irrelevant. Focus on the act of showing your friend that you are in their corner both in person and on social.
2.    Buy the product or donate. Whatever your friend is making, buy it at least once or contribute in some way. Building a business is not an easy feat and it takes time to create a customer list. Take the initiative to be the person who kicks off the reviews and make your circle aware of what is in store.
3.    Be there. It’s as simple as that. Be present in every moment that you can, not just the times when your friend’s success has reached its peak. Show up when they reach a creative block or need to take a step back to reconstruct the direction of their project. Find time to check on their well-being and to share that you’re in the corner, but more importantly take the time to listen. Every action doesn’t have to involve a ton of work for both parties.
Support can come in a variety of ways and it does not all have to be monetary or a constant showcase. Sometimes your presence alone speaks volumes to someone embarking on a journey that involves them putting themselves out to the public. Beyoncè gets your attention and unconditional love all-year round, but so can your friends. Make meaningful moments count and bring that Beyoncè energy to your circle! 

Lead, LearnKaren Spears