The power of personal support for an entrepreneur

by Jeff Hilimire on August 21, 2013

I’ve been incredibly lucky with the support I’ve received from my family since I started my first company at the age of 21. From my mom letting us camp out in her basement, to my aunt patiently showing me how to run the finances for the business when I didn’t even know what a “receivable” was, to my in-laws still cheering me on while I made almost no money for years while their daughter and I started a family, to my incredible wife who hung on tight through it all, even when in our second year of marriage we moved back in with my mom. I’ve been truly blessed to have the support of those around me.

Perhaps my biggest supporter, or at the very least she’d fight anyone who said otherwise, passed away today. My grandmother was 84 years old and routinely knew more about how my business was doing than anyone else in the family. Her boundless interest in what I was doing always gave me strength and I will miss her forever.

It’s really made me reflect on how important the support of the people who love you is when you’re an entrepreneur. I hope all of you who are starting businesses are lucky enough to have that kind of support. There will be hard times and harder times throughout the journey but if you have people supporting you, you’ll be just fine.

Side story ~

While at the hospital these last few days, my mother said that when she shared this article with my grandmother in which it explains how I funded the early years of my company with credit cards – to the tune of $75,000 – that my grandmother was very upset that my mom never told her that so she could have given me the money. Of course my mom explained that even in the article it says that I never told my mom (which is true), it didn’t stop my grandmother from giving her grief about it. I thought that was particularly funny.

  • Danny Davis

    Absolutely. The support of your loved ones and those who believe in you can give you much needed fuel. She was always amazing to all of us. As one of the few who also benefited from your grandmother’s enduring faith in you and your friends I morn with you, and I will always remember her.

    P.S. – One of the things that made working in the basement endurable was being around when your grandmother visited.

  • Venesa Johnson

    The personal support is much more essential for an entrepreneur because if gives you a foundation and support in hurdles. What option you choose for your business doesn’t impact on your strategies but the support of loved once in your decision will boost your energy more. Just like me I supposed to start a small business after completing high school and in this decision, my father and mother gave their full support to me. My father suggests me 123franchising business franchise opportunity for a better way. I respect the suggestion and fixed the meeting. With their support and co-operations, I feel relaxed and started my franchise business soon. That was my great experience and I am thankful to my father.

  • Stephanie Critchfield

    First — so sorry for your loss. My grandparents have all left the Earth. I regret that I didn’t have a better relationship with them. It sounds like you had a special bond with your grandmother; let that bring you peace.

    Taking risks and plowing through the tough times all require personal strength. You certainly have that. Still, the support of family and friends can really make or break you. You have good people around you, Jeff!

  • Jeff Hilimire

    Thanks, you know I do!

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