Dear Aunty Aurora,
My name is Diana. I am 26 and currently running a small business of my own with which I maintain myself and also support my family. I started my little trade in human hair while I was still in school and decided to go into it full time since I wasn’t willing to work for anybody. The business has been doing okay and I think it is why my family members are demanding more. The other day, I got home from work only to be confronted with power supply bills. What I don’t understand is why I am expected to pay that bill when I contribute towards everything else. I am worried that this might eventually affect the business in the long if I continue pulling cash from it to support my folks. We will all have to pay the price then but what can I do to stop this from happening?
I am glad to know that you are entrepreneurial in your thinking and if you continue this way, we can expect big things from you. Not many young people are willing to start from the scratch and climb their way up and this is the reason why I will try to advice you to the best of my ability. There is absolutely nothing wrong with helping your family out financially when they need it especially if as an income-earner you still share an apartment with them. Your concerns are well founded and I believe this when you need to think of setting boundaries. Family members might not intentionally set out to exploit you or run down your business but you as the business owner will be the one to call them to order once they are stepping out of line. This is even more important because your business is budding and it is very easy to dip into your capital while trying to meet up with commitments. Here is what you should do; make a list of those financial obligations in the house you can comfortably take on without having to touch your business money then communicate this with your family members. Explain to them the benefits of keeping your business alive and what it means if the business runs down. Also let them understand that you are willing to take on these obligations without being reminded to and then stick to your word. They might not come around immediately but overtime everything should settle between you and them. This doesn’t mean they will stop asking you, but you would have made your stance clear beforehand when you say no.
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Dear Aunty Aurora,
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