Q - My dad is a nationally well-known business man, and I’ve recently qualified in business studies. I really want to start my own business and have plans in place. My big fear is that I’ll never match up to his success and that he’ll be disappointed in me, and I’ll feel like a failure. It’s getting in the way of me making a start. My mum says that he’ll be proud of me whatever I do but it doesn’t feel like it. I feel like I’ll always be in his shadow and never be accepted as successful in my own right.
A - It can be hard to separate from our parents and create our own unique identity – particularly with strong dominant parents and those who are well-known.
I’m glad to hear that your mum says that he’ll be proud of you no matter what. I hope that you will hear this directly from him too.
Is he trying to steer and advise you or is he letting you find your own way?
He may have a wealth of knowledge about business that he could share and help you with – especially about his own business model, whatever that is.
This may help or hinder you – depending upon how relevant his knowledge is in today’s technological age, and how open or resistant you - and your inner child - are to receiving and acting upon what he might share with you.
Remember that it’s not a competition between you – and you have nothing to prove to him or anyone else.
I wonder, is your surname well-known and do you intend to use it in your own business to add credibility?
(If it’s an unusual name that you don’t want to use, you could use a different name altogether– without the need for a legal deed poll – celebrities do that all the time!)
Let people see the unique ‘you’ and your ‘brand’ – in person as well as online. Show what makes you different from everyone else (particularly if you have competitors in your market for the product or service you offer).
Build your business as if your father wasn’t who he is in the business world.
As for him being disappointed with you – why might that be?
Did your father ever fail at anything? Of course he did!
Most of the very successful entrepreneurs, inventors, scientists and sports personalities have failed many times before they became successful and well-known. The traits they share are resilience, courage, determination and persistence in the face of setbacks.
If you’ve had an easy life with few challenges to withstand and overcome then these qualities may not yet be developed enough in you – but you can always learn ‘on the job’!
Don’t let your fears prevent you from being the best you can be.
Focus upon what business brings to you - Passion, Purpose and Profit – and you won’t go far wrong.
To read more about different, and sometimes toxic, relationships with fathers please see my earlier article HERE
Maxine Harley (MSc Psychotherapy) - MIND HEALER & MENTOR
www.the-ripple-effect.co.uk - a series of 10 online self-help workshops including one called 'Understanding Yourself' which will help you to develop your own individual character, personality and identity
www.qpp.uk.com - my own therapeutic method called Quantum Psyche Process - which changes the deep-seated sub-conscious belief system.