I have heard some people say that instead of couples coercing friends and family to finance flashy weddings, they should ask for contributions for something more meaningful. Like building a house or setting up a business.
And while I’m a strong opponent to fundraising for weddings, I believe that it’s not appropriate to ask for, or accept contributions for building a house or setting up a business. These are two core things that should be done without any help.
A home is supposed to provide a lifetime of stability and a sense of belonging to you and your offspring. A home is where you are supposed to live out your old days with your spouse and entertain your grandchildren. It’s where you’re likely to be buried.
So it should be built solely on your terms. It should be designed, located and priced solely according to your discretion.
But that won’t happen if someone pays for your home. They will definitely have a say in the size of the windows, their price and their design. They will tell you how many bedrooms are sufficient. They will tell you that you don’t need a library. They will tell you to buy bricks from their cousin even if their cousin sells poor quality bricks.
You will never truly own your home. You will never sit back and relax and have a sense of pride in what you have accomplished. You will continue to pay psychological rent. And that’s no way to live.
And if you start a business using money granted to you by your friends or family, you will always be indebted to them because in truth people don’t give as much as they invest. They invest in loyalty. They invest in popularity. They invest in social security for their children. And some day they will come to collect.
When they come to collect, they will be the same ones to run your business to the ground.
As your business grows they will expect you to hire their half-wit of a son. They will take goods on credit and fail to pay on time or at all. And you’re not allowed to confront them, complain or say bad things about them. Because that makes you a person who bites the hand that once fed him. They will definitely mention your name and your ‘crime’ as they lament about the ingratitude of humans.
There is a chance that when your friend who gave you money falls on hard times they will come ‘requesting’ for your help. It’s not really a request because they don’t expect you to say no or to respond in any way that is short of falling all over yourself. Because you owe them eternal gratitude.
If your business fails, as most first businesses do, it will most definitely crush your spirit because you are accountable to those who invested in it. It will be hard to ask for help for fear of being seen as a parasite.
So do yourself a favour and build your home or business on your own.