Do you ever have the feeling that people in your inner circle aren’t supporting your choice to grow a coaching business?

It can be subtle … family or friends seem not to take interest when you talk about it. Their eyes glaze over or they change the subject quickly.

Or it can be overt … someone directly questions your wisdom in starting a coaching business or taking a bold step in it.

Or it can be in shadow where someone teases you about coaching.

Coaching is misunderstood by most people. The field’s reputation has been damaged by too many people calling themselves a coach who aren’t and it’s been made fun of in the media.

It’s one of the reasons why I encourage coaches not to sell coaching but rather target a narrow viable audience and solve a problem. You’ll use your coaching to serve your clients but not try to convince prospects of the value of coaching.

Skepticism Is About the Skeptic Not You, Coach

Sometimes, skepticism comes in the form of strong opinions about what you should or should not do in your business.

Sometimes as I’m working with a VIP client to build their business foundation I’ll hear that their spouse or a trusted friend has criticized their move to target a narrow audience and focus their niche. People who aren’t in the know about marketing and business often think niching is counter-intuitive – that’s an amateur blunder.

Narrowing and niching is highly strategic. Counter intuitive moves often are highly strategic.

Another scenario with skeptic is that you ask directly for support — such as asking friends to share your posts on social channels — but you get no takers amongst your inner circle. Just silence. And it feels awful.

And sometimes it’s just a look in someone’s eyes. Let’s say you decide to invest in an expert to grow your business and you get a baleful look as if it’s crazy to invest in your success. Well, it’s not. Investing in business startup is not only normal but it’s also smart and unavoidable.

Whatever the situation, it feels lousy when you encounter indifference or skepticism for your choices. And, it can derail you from your vision.

I call these folks and situations “petty tyrants” – it’s a concept I’ve taken from Carlos Castaneda. A petty tyrant is a naysayer that can sometimes be downright cruel about it. But most often that person means well. They love you.

What’s really going on is that person is concerned for you because you’re taking a risk they would not take.

Or more likely they are envious because you’re taking a risk they wish they had the courage to take themselves.

A Test of Your Resolve to Be a Professional Coach

Ultimately, petty tyrants are in your life for one thing – to test your resolve.

To be a successful entrepreneur you need to grow a pair. You need thicker skin because your resolve will be tested many times.

A couple of years ago, my husband was deeply skeptical about me starting a podcast. It was out of love. He didn’t want me to pour energy into something that wouldn’t pay off. And he didn’t really know anything about podcasts. But guess what? I stuck to my decision and it’s paying off big time.

Launching my podcast was a lot easier for me because I was part of a few peer groups of podcasters.

Support is important and that’s why I strongly suggest to coaches that you create a group of peers — like minded people who will be vulnerable with you and support you as you support them to grow business.

And, also consider finding a mentor to guide you too.

Finally, give yourself credit for your courage. You’ve taken big steps — to enroll in coach training, possibly to quit your job or to take advantage of losing a position, by doing what you’ve always dreamed of doing.

You’ve seizing the day!

YOU are the hero here. YOU are the one following a path less traveled because you value meaning over status quo.

So, square your shoulders, raise your chin and smile lovingly at those petty tyrants. You will prove them wrong and you can do that with grace.