Everyone has that cousin, Aunt, or nephew who is either a struggling artist or an enthusiastic idealist with an exciting new business venture every few years.
We might also notice that when this family member eagerly unveils their latest project to the family, eyerolls abound and their ideas are gently -or not so gently- rejected. Other, well-meaning family members might encourage them to, "be more realistic" and "think about getting a real job."
After repeatedly hearing such advice, you see your creative relative get a little down and you want to help, but you sort of understand the reasoning in the advice to "be more realistic."
So, how can you be sincerely supportive?
The art of LISTENING
There are few things more valuable than time.
We probably check the time on our phones even more than we check the balance of our bank accounts, right?
It makes sense that we do this because time is the essence of life.
So, giving someone your time is tantamount to saying, "You are an incredibly valuable part of my life."
Along those lines, one of the best ways to support the struggling artist in our family or group of friends may very well be to give them a call and say, "Hey, remember that idea you mentioned the other day at dinner? Why don't you come over tomorrow night and tell me more. It was interesting."
You're not committing to anything other than listening, and you're showing that you respect and support them.
In fact, as you take an hour or so to listen intently to their idea, you might even be able to offer practical suggestions that would help them see their vision through.
Giving someone a listening ear is usually all it takes to make them feel supported and valued!
FOLLOW & SHARE their endeavors on social media
Most freelance artists use free social media platforms to build a fanbase and even acquire customers. So, if your creative family member invites you to follow them on social media, take the opportunity to do exactly that.
As they share posts that sincerely resonate with you and that you feel are appropriate, share them with your followers.
Even if this doesn't result in driving loads of customers their way, it lets them know you care.
Reality hurts, but love heals
A statistic cited on the business insurance site Embroker states that, "About 90% of startups fail. 10% of startups fail within the first year."
That reality hurts.
Whether your creative family member/friend's new venture falls into the categories listed above or eventually goes on to see wild success, support from loved ones will make them feel wealthier beyond measure.
I'm saying all of this from the perspective of that wacky family member who tends to have idea after idea. Over the years, I've created dozens of websites and multiple business ventures. Each one is exciting and gives me a sense of adventure as I pursue it.
And let's just say that after years of doing this, I'm still incredibly far from being a millionaire. But I feel rich in another way.
Family and friends who make me feel like my ideas have a place in this world and really can contribute to the community is far more precious than making tons of money.
They listen when I excitedly stumble through explanations of my ventures and offer excellent suggestions to help me carry out some of these ideas.
And every time I try my hand at something new, I learn more thanks to these kind family members and friends.
If any of you are reading this, thank you.
Or perhaps you're reading this because you have an idealistic creative in your family with lots of big ideas and you're not quite sure what to do with them.
My suggestion is to make them feel loved by listening to them and following them on social media to be supportive to any ideas that just may take off.
Even if their plans fall through, the loving support you provide will lift them up and allow them to keep moving forward.