Friends and business, a recipe for disaster?

Friends and Business
Image Source: Google Image

There is a fine line that must not be crossed when working professionally with your loved ones. You know them…

Hewlett and Packard… Ben and Jerry… Larry and Sergey… History is filled with stories of friends who became successful in business partners. Then there are many, many others, who’ve never heard of for a reason. Things did not work so well.

Mixing business and friendship can be the key to your success or an absolute nightmare. However, it is something that every entrepreneur will have to deal at some point. It is something that has its own set of challenges and difficulties. However, combining the two could be one of the best moves for your home. This article will help you to look back through good and bad, to find the best route for you, and advice on how to proceed if your worlds collide.

Is it worth mixing friends and business?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American spends 8-9 hours at work. However, a study conducted in the UK revealed that employers, on average, spend 63% more time at work than others, working from anywhere between 52-62 hours a week. I am sure that number will sound familiar to many of you reading this article.

Just take a look at teams like founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin of Google, or Bill Gates and Paul Allen of Microsoft. For a more recent example, they are Justin Kan and Emmett Shear of There are many more cases of incredible studio where best lifelong friends came together to build wonderful startups. His trust in others led them through all the tough times and allowed them to become successful entrepreneurs.

However, it is also because of the confidence that things can go very wrong, very quickly.

The thing about trust is that you can make blind to the faults of a few others. Often you look with pink lenses, and unconsciously you overlook some flaws or give a free pass to the errors that might be committed. This is dangerous, especially if you have other employees who are not friends. Once they see you playing favorites, low morale immediately, your company loses productivity and your performance drops.

In addition, while a team of friends can have many benefits in starting the long run may not work. Teams of friends often have similar perspectives or skills sets, and this can be dangerous because it is absolutely necessary diversity as part of your team at your beginnings.

You may be interested to read another article on LifeStyleQA: 7 Principles for Becoming a Successful Millionaire

Then there is the fact that friendship itself could not last. Although there are many stories about friendships became stronger as a result of trade associations, I can guarantee that there are more stories of broken beyond repair any friends because of all the stress involving the early companies.

Does the yin and yang, or blood and guts?

A recent study found that, through the observation of the different teams of entrepreneurs in five years, number one that keeps a close team factor is the compatibility of work styles. It was found that personality types do not matter as much as their ability to work together, especially when it comes to performance and productivity.

Just because you can help someone move into a new home does not mean you have an excellent working relationship with them. That is especially true in a high-pressure environment such as starting a business, where you should spend at least 50 hours a week together seeing the faces.

Many people have two identities, their social self and professional self. Unless you have worked with someone before, do not expect to understand how in a professional environment.

Do yourself a favor and instead of bringing your best friend on board right away, try to get an idea of ​​what a professional environment. The best way is to work together on a small project, something with low risk, to see how committed they are to a project and what your work style. If you are not impressed or not makes you click, there is no reason to go ahead with a business relationship.

We need to talk…

Unless you are a complete sociopath, humans naturally want to avoid conflict. I have yet to meet someone who enjoys those tense conversations where you’re not sure if you’re giving the right amount of eye contact to the situation, but do not want to be looking at your feet either.

Most people assume that just because they have a history with someone, be easier to bring difficult conversations. Most people would be wrong. The only thing you really have to ask yourself is whether you will be getting or not first, business or friendship.

You may be interested to read another article on LifeStyleQA: The 7 steps that will come in handy whether you want to create your own business

The disadvantage of working with friends is that it can be difficult to separate from the professional social. Conflicts at work can easily spill over into the personal sphere. An erroneous argument about logo design and the next thing you know is that someone is conveniently forgets to bring the potato salad the next picnic.

However, in all seriousness, it is dangerously easy to generate resentment at work, feeling the comments about your professional work as a personal attack. That is why you need to have difficult conversations in the beginning. Imagine you have a stone in my shoe. Sure, the top is a bit annoying, but understand that you cannot ignore it. It is not until you are walking for hours starts to hurt and you begin to wonder why you get no first. This is how these small problems affecting trade relations. Deal with them now or see become an unbearable pain later.

So to speak, preferably with the advice of a lawyer and start airing dirty laundry before the odor persists forever. Here are some of the issues that will need to play in the beginning. You could touch a nerve here and there, but this is vital if you bring someone, either a friend or co-founder.

  • Who is the Boss? First, define functions. Who is the designated leader? The business is not a democracy, must choose a person to lead and make the final decision. It may be strange to suddenly have your friend as boss and vice versa, but get used to it, and quickly.
  • Let us talk about money. One thing you should know quickly is that money changes everything. Let us be honest, who is more valuable to the team?
  • Go or die. Well, “die” might be extreme, but the point is you have to make sure everyone is on the same page when it comes to values ​​and motivation. Is everyone in the long run? Will it be full time? Startups usually take three years to take off, so it is best to start planning on what it is you want to do.
  • What is the protocol? Inevitably, there will be conflicts and feelings get hurt, so start setting the ground rules for how they will be handled. Do not assume naively that you two just going to talk and you will be fine. If you need to establish a waiting period of a few days, so they can both have their cool heads, do it, it is about business and not your egos.


You may be interested to read another article on LifeStyleQA: All you need to know before creating your company


In summary…

There is a fine and complicated when mixing friends and business online. It can be very good or very bad, depending on the circumstances. The main thing to remember is that it is not something that can be decided with some common wisdom.

Normally, it comes down to the people involved, and how to carry it out if you go down that road. Things to consider:

  • Make sure there is a bond of trust, but do not let trust blind to problems.
  • The diversity in the founding team crucially not you might associate with one of your clone.
  • To mix well, are more important their work styles, their personalities.
  • Look how does the situation with a test project first?
  • Ten difficult at first conversations.

I hope this helps you find a solution whether or not to work with a friend. And remember to leave your thoughts about mixing business and friendship in the comments below!

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.