Is doing business with friends a danger zone?



You have a million and one business ideas.
They are all genius…because…your big, creative brain doesn’t mind map anything less than brilliance.
(Pat yourself on the back. You deserve it).
Problem is.
There’s just one you.
You’ve summoned your clone. But s/he never shows up.
Your personal assistant took an extended vacay.
(That’s right… he doesn’t actually exist).
So, you and your smarty pants brain decide to partner up with a friend.
(Because, two brains are better than one, duh).
And, s/he knows you well, so it’s a clear fit. (Sure it is). *sarcasm intended*
Or, maybe you aren’t partnering with a friend on a project, but s/he wants to hire you. (Lovely).
You normally charge [insert rate here] but for them…well you’ll give the world.
(Good luck).
Friends as clients can be great, right? They know your personal struggles so clearly they’ll pay invoices on time.

*Massive sarcasm*



I asked a few creative + lifestyle entrepreneurs whose work I admire, their thoughts on doing business with friends. And, here is their advice for you.


Listen + learn….


“Friends can be great business partners, if you create the proper boundaries. I have started dozens of businesses with friends and some work, and some don’t. But it always always, always comes down to setting the expectations and boundaries in advance.”

-Makenna Johnston of The Bliss Doula


“Collaborating with friends is great. I’ve learned that collaboration>control. There’s an old proverb that says, “If you want to go fast go alone. But, if you want to go far, go together.” This especially rings true in business. I haven’t taken any friends as clients, yet. Jesus said it best, “a prophet has no honor in his own home.” I’m paraphrasing, but I think they’re waiting to see me on the OWN network before they make a transaction with me. They do, however, support me and make referrals. Some people I know offline have asked me to promote and share items that just don’t make sense for my audience. Overall, when partnering with friends, I encourage people to make sure it makes sense.”

-Monique Brown of Motor City Moxie + Feminine Allure Academy


“Business and friends can mix, but proceed with caution. To make it work, you must have clear expectations, communication, boundaries and written contracts, just like you would with anyone. However, when it works, it’s fun to grow and expand in your professional and personal lives together. My event planner, and dear friend, and I have been working together for two years. We have clear communication, mutual respect and value each other’s gifts. The question to ask is this: am I willing to lose this friendship over a business deal? Go with your gut!”

Tonya Leigh of French Kiss Life


So what is the lesson in this?

Choose wisely, be clear about what’s expected of the business relationship with your friend, and get it in writing. [Click to Tweet]

Sometimes, friends make excellent business partners or clients, and other times they don’t. If things are going left, don’t be afraid to draw the line in the sand for the sake of your friendship. Good friends last a lifetime. You can always find another business partner.

Have you ever had a business-friend relationship gone sour? Tell me your story.

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