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Business vs. Friendship (is it possible to separate?)

Updated on January 31, 2013

Friends don't let friends be business partners

Why the two just don't mix.

Life is full of experiences. If you can learn from others and save yourself some heart aches then you will have less to learn on your own. More and more people are getting into the self employment world. Joining friends and family in a special quest to solve all financial problems. Unfortunately this isn't always the case. Research your dreams first. Take your passions and see if you can share them with the world. Sometimes it is just better to get to the finish line on your own, it's a scary world out there full of rejection but every now and then you're going to shock yourself

The seed that starts it all...

So how does it start? Most likely you were sitting around one day looking for a way to change your own life and your best friend or friends all wanted to help and be a part of a new venture in your own life. I mean, why not? You do everything else together like shopping, laundry, even family dinners, so why not a business? Most times your friends are on the same brain wave as you, you think a lot alike, but believe me there are hidden reasons to not let this happen. Before starting a business with anyone read this and really think about it.

First off, if you are even thinking about working from home I'm sure you have exhausted all the "work from home" ideas. Now finally you might be on to something and want to talk about it with the people you talk to about everything else just to get their opinion. People are notorious for wanting to ride on the coat tails of others, especailly in this economy. And of course you'll feel like it's better to have a partner or partners to hold your hand through the process.

WORKING FROM HOME INVOLVES MORE HOURS THEN A REGULAR JOB WITH LESS PAY...FOR SURE

Things to take into consideration of yourself and your friends/partners....

-First look at the word FRIEND - it ends with "end"...never forget that, most friendships DO end

-ask yourself how well you actually know someone, have you ever caught them in a trumped up version of the truth? Maybe they flat out lied about something even if it didn't have to do with you and you just left it slide.

-does your friend have champagne taste on a beer budget

-kids...how many

-married

-jobs

-EXs???????

-do they cheat the system? Taxes, Welfare, the grocery store

-do they judge people

-are you a synical person when you are around them? Do you judge people just to appease them?

One thing about being self employed that I can promise anyone that is reading this is that one very true fact that you WILL work longer hours and make a lot less money, and so will your friends.

Your life vs their life

Everyone walks in a different pair of "life" shoes. If you haven't walked a day or more impressively a month in your friends life then don't assume that they'll be a good partner. looking back on things now after starting this business I realize that the things that I over looked because I am a friend are the same things that make my friend not a good business partner. or maybe it was because I was a friend that i thought my friend could use something that made her feel like she had a purpose in life other then just being a mom to three small children and a husband that didn't help her around the house with any of it. MISTAKE NUMBER ONE. Children take time, if your partner has children then let her/him raise them first, then maybe later in life they too will find a suitable home based business. I'm not saying that people can't work from home with kids, but if you're just going to sit at home and do data entry then great, you can do that at night when they are sleeping, but these jobs really don't excist. But if that is the home based business you are starting then this isn't the article for you, I'm talking about a real job, a real business here.

Ask yourself this...can you or your partner be on the phone with a client and NOT have a screaming child in the background? If not, then go get a regular job outside the home. Nothing is more annoying then trying to talk details with someone when there is a screamer on the other end of the line. I am already stressed out to the very max, and trying to talk to someone as a client when they are trying to calm down a screaming child is not helping either of us. I know one lady that actually locks herself in the bathroom in the evenings just to talk to her clients without ever hearing her children, KUDOS!!! I'm sure this sounds harsh but it's true, do you think Donald Trump has ever conducted business with a crying two year old in the conference room? Chances are he hasn't so why are you thinking that you can.

Not only do children have needs but chances are if someone has children they too have needs. Women who have newborn babies that stay at home and "mom" need their kids as well. Without quality time with the kids mom's get very frustrated very easily, and instead of focusing their attention on business they are longing to be with their kids.

Before I go any further with you as a reader thinking I am a cold hearted women know that I am a mom of a 23 year old, I've raised my child, been through hell and back, and I am a Military Wife, so with that said know that I have lived my part of life that was for everyone else, this is "my" time, this is the time in life where I get to make the decisions on my own life for me, so I do respect what other moms are doing and understand the tedious trials of their everyday life.

Life isn't easy for anyone, but as a true friend you if you know that what venture you are about to take your friends on takes more then they've got to give then just be strong and don't make the offer. Friendships are hard to find, they are by far one of the most valuable assets you have.

Have they Cheated or lied in the past??

even if they didn't do it to you

Even if you feel like your friend has never cheated or lied to you doesn't mean that they haven't either to someone else or to the system. One thing that I have always noticed about my friend in particular is her stories of how she spent all kinds of time in casinos and stories of being a manager in this retail chain or that, stories of Land Rover's and spare apartments in major cities.

Now when I was being told all these stories I can honestly say they I listened and took every word with a grain of salt. I did listen though and I did react like a friend, I never said but I certainly did think many many times...REALLY??, then how come your living here and you have such a crappy life now? Your friends want to impress you, well at least most friends do, especially if your life is something they want to be a part of. Let's go back to talking about Mr. Trump for a second. Let's say you meet him and you want to be associated with his everyday life. First off look at the way you are dressed right this minute. Yes yes, I know, labels labels labels. I didn't make the rules, We the People made the rules. There are many terms that describe this situation, hang around stink and you'll smell like stink, and that's putting it nicely. You can't expect people that conduct business at 7am in a thousand dollar suite to talk to you about business while you sit in your pj's...they have already been to the gym, had breakfast, and an hour to take a shower and fluff for their day, all by 7 am in the morning, and that's every morning. Even Mr. Trump "works" his business. He's probably not well liked and many things are said behind his back, if your serious about your venture then be prepared for that as well, no one likes the boss. I have even been told by a child that I am mean, that was my friend/partners daughter that said that. Mean? No, but very serious about my business. I can't have a meeting with my team and have an 8 year old girl needing attention because she can't find a hobby for 10 minutes. Meetings can NEVER include children!!!! My meeting agendas do not have a line in them that says everyone hold the baby and take turns bottle feeding it and burping it. Does it sound like I am venting??? Probably. More so I am trying to get you to realize that these things are a reality. If you gave this serious thought and you found an article like this one it is because you have serious doubts about starting a business venture with a friend and you are looking for someone to tell you how to make it work. Trust me, keep your friends out of it. Again, friends are your most valuable asset.

Going back to the original reason for this paragraph. See how easy it is to get off track? Okay so you know your friend wants to think that this time in their life isn't the worst it's ever been so they continualy tell stories of their wonderful life before kids, vacations to exotic lands, blah blah blah. Do you want to know why they are doing that? So they can reassure themselves that they once had a life and it's not always going to be like it is today. I've been on a ten day cruise, best ten days of my life, but while I was gone my home froze over and all my pipes busted, and that's the story I tell, because it's the truth and it's the ugly truth. I can honestly say I've never cheated anyone or the system, I've written long essays on people that have cheated the Welfare system and can say that it was all just to get it off my chest. learn how to remove the stress learn how to NOT add more stress. If someone has cheated at anything they will cheat you too, in one way or another. Even if they don't I promise that down the line something will take place that makes you wonder if they are cheating you or taking off the top of your business. Everyone has heard the term cut throat, and business is just that. What happens when a friend is no longer your friend in business? Competition.

Bottom Line...

Best piece of advice I can give...keep your friends close, you'll need them. Don't talk to them about business. Find someone that is your age and also works for themselves to be your conversation wall. Choosing to talk to someone that is already working as hard as you do will do a lot of good in many different ways. First off it's Networking, this is the most important, you have contacts ad they have contacts, you can help each other. Don't be your friends boss, would they like it if you bossed them around before being in business? No, plain and simple. Everyone has a way to live their lives, and the same is true with business. Not everyone is cut out to run a business, running a home is not running a business. People that can't control their laundry can't control the tiny details that are required either.

Friends and business do not mix...like I've said before, be strong, you can do this, you can start a business on your own and if your friend is truly a friend they will support you every step of the way. Think about this, you'll be a favorite among your friends children when you have all kinds of money from your business and you can spoil them with paid trips to an amusement park or Chucky Cheese, or be able to pick up the check on Girl's Night out to a favorite restaurant.

Books on all things you love

Finding your niche in life is hard. Reading a few good books on home based business is a great way to research. Think about what you are really good at and run with it, be careful not to kill a passion by turning it into a business. If you love playing in make up then read some books on becoming a makeup artist, you can now earn degrees online and in most states aren't require to be licensed. Or maybe you love teaching children, try your hand at writing a children's book. Books can be found online for a fraction of what they cost in book stores and I personally have had nothing but good quick responses from Amazon.

Enjoy!!

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    • Tamara14 profile image

      Tamara Kajari 5 years ago from Zagreb, Croatia, Europe

      Couldn't agree more. I've seen both friends in business and businesses with no friendship background and my experience is in favor of what you're saying here.