If You Have Entrepreneur Friends, Read This
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If You Have Entrepreneur Friends, Read This

Being my friend doesn't negate the time and effort I pour into my craft.

If You Have Entrepreneur Friends, Read This
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Whether you are a high school or college student, in the workplace, or a stay-at-home parent, I'm sure you know or know of someone who is an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs make the world a better place. Their creativity often mingled with a desire to improve people's lives makes them a valuable asset to our communities. There is an extremely wide variety of areas for people to start their own business. Maybe you know someone who owns an Etsy shop and sells handmade baby accessories. Maybe you know someone who is a personal trainer. Maybe you know someone who bakes homemade goods and aspires to own their on bakery someday. Maybe you know an artist. While we appreciate our entrepreneur friends and acquaintances, I'm afraid most people aren't supporting them in the ways that matter most.

I would consider myself an entrepreneur. In addition to being a college student and working a regular part-time job, I am a photographer and loctician (someone who does dreadlocks). I even started up a clothing brand last year, but sold it this past summer. I love what I do. My friends do too, and are willing to support me, as long as it's for free or at a severely discounted price. PSA: this isn't support at all! I get it, you're a broke college student, but hey, me too! Being my friend doesn't negate the time and effort I pour into my craft. It doesn't erase the hours I spend editing a photoshoot I only got paid $30 to do. Knowing my boyfriend doesn't mean I can or should do your hair for next to nothing.

If you truly support your friends and their hustles, you will be willing to pay full price, maybe even extra for their products or services. Not only will they be extremely grateful, but it will also take the awkwardness out of the situation for you. I imagine it might get awkward asking for free things from your friend or that girl in class you know does photography.

Most of us entrepreneurs love what we do, so money isn't everything. Like I mentioned above, it is important, but it's not the end-all. I know as a photographer, I appreciate other types of support as well, such as word-of-mouth references, social media shoutouts, or even just tagging me in a picture I took. These are things that are totally free to give, at no loss to you but incredible gain to me. In the past, I used to do free shoots if the model I was shooting was popular on campus or had a decent Instagram following. I stopped this tactic of gaining exposure after a less-than-satisfactory experience. The model, we'll call him "Chad", was someone I'd shot a few times prior. He recently had a birthday and for some reason thought that meant he deserves a free photoshoot from me. Chad isn't really someone I talk to or am good friends with, but I was like, "Whatever" and told him I'd shoot him anyways. Anyways, after the shoot I spent tons of time editing the photos and actually edited them two completely different ways. I have my normal style, but he also wanted the pictures to match his Instagram theme. So, I did both. I put them up on my website under his personal sub domain. And what did I get in return? "Thanks." That's all, just "Thanks." I can't remember, I may have gotten tagged in his Instagram post, but it was nowhere near the gratitude I expected, especially for all the work I put in. Unfortunately, this situation is all to common for entrepreneurs.

All this to say, your entrepreneur friends would love your support. Supporting your friends means being an true customer and showing sincere appreciation for their work, not just looking for freebies.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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