Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt. I used to be one of those people who stupidly fell for one of those companies. I was pulled in by the idea of making my own hours, working out of my home, profit while in pajamas, ease of selling, item practically sells itself and all the other bullshit. It was awful. It was really difficult to get anyone interested in buying the product and it was a lot of work. Not only that, but you had to approach people in grocery stores, etc. I don’t want to be bothered while I’m shopping, so why would I want to bother other people? My advice to your friend would be a hearty “don’t do it;” but it is too late for that.
It’s time to talk about friendship. You say you are good friends, so that indicates that you both have an established friendship. You have probably known her for a few years, and have a mutual respect and admiration for each other. Good friends can rely on each other, dry each other’s tears, be available at a moments notice if there’s an emergency, invite you over for Thanksgiving dinner, and show unconditional support… EVEN if they are selling something that you aren’t buying. I think that you should just bite the bullet and throw a party for her.
No, I am not referring to the wisdom of Dr. Seuss’s beloved Lorax. What your question lacks is detail, so I will give you some different scenarios that my imagination came up with. Here we go.
Unless: It is a conflict of interest with your own work/job/business. If you do something similar that would take away from whatever it is that you do for a living, then don’t do it. It is not worth sacrificing your time AND money. It is, however, worth sacrificing a little time for friendship.
Unless: Throwing her a party is going to put you into debt somehow. As in, you are physically unable to throw a frugal party. Usually you can just buy some crackers and cheese, make some iced tea, and call it good. The dollar store is a great place for party supplies. You don’t have to go all out for your friend to support her.
Unless: You really honestly and truly don’t believe in the product. If it is something that you have tried and hate; if it is something that tests on animals which is against your beliefs; if it is something that harms the environment; if it is something that is offensive to you in any way, then don’t do it.
Unless: You are not really as good of friends as you let on to be. Being a good friend means support. Even when our friends do stupid things, make bad decisions, date the wrong person, and get involved in a bad business venture, we support them. It sucks, but we support them. It is part of being a friend. A good friend.
All the “unless” aside, I think you need to figure out what kind of a friend you are to her. Step back and ask yourself if you are being a “good friend.” Would she throw you a party and support you in a new business venture? My mama always taught me to “do unto others…” also known as the golden rule. Put yourself in her shoes and think about her perspective and what she would be willing to do for you.
Now, if you two aren’t really good friends (and you may not be as good of friends as you think you are) then you really don’t have anything to lose by saying “no.” Just be up front with her with the reasons you don’t want to support her business, and word it nicely. If you really are good friends and the answer is still a hearty “no,” take her out for a glass of wine or cup of coffee, show her that you still care, and tell her in person. Don’t text or e-mail, for the love of everything that is holy. Delicate conversations should always happen in person.
Real friendship should be about honesty and support. Figure out what kind of friends you are and go from there. Understanding is another part of friendship so don’t sweat the conversation you need to have. The longer you drag your feet, the harder it will be to talk with her; so go for it!
What did you think of Robyn’s advice this week? Tune in Friday for Skippy’s advice!