I have been asked by my sister and her friend to help them launch the same type of business I own. They want me to share every last detail and best practice I’ve worked years to perfect. I am VERY conflicted because I do not want to be unhelpful, yet if I do, I will create a new competitor that will affect my business.
Is it wrong of me to think this way? I am trying to see the positive side of helping and cannot seem to do so. HELP! What do I do? What do I say to her? How do I gracefully get out of helping?
Thank you in advance for your time and advice.
Dear Feeling Guilty,
Our feelings are not wrong…they are simply our feelings. What we choose to do as a result of our feelings determines our character. Again, not knowing your history with your sister, this is more challenging to address. Have you asked yourself the tough questions?
- Am I really afraid of the competition, or am I afraid my sister/others will be more successful?
- Why do I believe there isn’t enough business in this marketplace for everyone?
- Choose to help your sister and friend fully and believe in abundance. To share only pieces of your success creates many future awkward conversations. Best to be fully transparent, own your success, and believe there is plenty of business for everyone. Having said that, have you considered bringing your sister and friend on to your team as employees where you receive a percentage of their business as a result of your training and experience? What if she only served locations or towns where you did not? Perhaps there is a way to make this situation win-win you’ve yet to explore.
- Choose not to honor your sister’s request. Again, without my being privy to details, only you know if this is the healthier choice. At this point, you need to address your sister directly and speak your truth. “(Sister’s name), you’ve expressed a desire to get into the same business as me and want me to share best practices. This makes me uncomfortable. I’ve worked hard to grow my business to this level and would prefer not to have additional competition.” At this point, your sister most likely will give you push back or get angry. Stand in your truth, stay calm and repeat, “It would make me uncomfortable.”
With any decision we pay now (upsetting the relationship you have with your sister) or we pay later (bitterness and frustration because we didn’t listen to our body and soul). Get quiet. Listen to your body and do what it says.