Saturday Selects #22: Business with friends

Saturday Selects is a series of posts I write on the first Saturday of each month to discuss something outside the general bookish theme of the blog.

Today I’ll be discussing business relationships with friends, and I’ll be focusing on my own experience. No generalizations.

So I’ve got a “friend”. Let’s call him Richard. Dick for short. (See what I did there?) Anyway, earlier this year I entered into what I thought would be a mutually benefitting relationship with Dick.

You see, he claims to work for the US Chamber of Commerce. He claims to have a business-related Masters degree. And he claims to have started his own private investment firm. I never doubted any of this, but also never verified it before giving him my money. Stupid mistake on my part, I know.

And now I have reason to believe he never invested my money. That he just took it and planned to give me excuse after excuse as to why I couldn’t access what I was supposedly “earning” from my investment. He’s ignored my texts for months. And I’m no longer expecting to ever see my money again.

My only little tidbit of advice in situations such as mine is to make sure EVERYTHING is official. I didn’t, and now I’m dealing with the consequences. But I’m not going to sit here and assume that every business partnership between friends will fail, because I don’t believe that to be true. But I imagine it’d be easier to protect yourself if everything is official and something goes wrong.

Have you ever entered into a business relationship with a friend? I don’t know if I ever will again.

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8 thoughts on “Saturday Selects #22: Business with friends

  1. I haven’t for anything like that. Those kinds of things make me nervous, and I try very hard not to do business with friends, because that’s when people’s canines come out and they start showing their true natures. Maybe even me, too, to a point. I think keeping friendship and business separate is a good idea. That way, people can cherish their friendships without the overhanging doubts of their business cluttering everything up.

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  2. We were having a similar discussion on one of the Facebook writing groups I follow… how doing business with friends or family can sometimes work, but when it goes bad, it’s downright ugly. I’ve never had anything quite like that happen, but I’ve definitely had the case where my family/friends expect a something-for-free-to-cheap just because of our family/friend status. In our discussion on FB, one of the group members said his uncle, who has run a small business for years, would tell people, “Don’t be using that “free” word. We don’t use that f-word around here!” LOL

    So yeah, I tend to avoid the business-with-friends relationship. There are a lot of places you can do business without the added baggage. And if I do decide to do business with a friend or family member, I make sure to do a lot of heavy level-setting of expectations up front.

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    • Yep. It just throws a wrench into the relationship that doesn’t need to be there. I actually had a similar discussion with my coworkers recently about having roommates. I’ve never had roommates and I don’t think I’d ever want to. Kind of the same thing. There’s an accountability that wouldn’t exist if you weren’t living together. And people aren’t always as dependable as they seem.

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      • Definitely… One of my best friends from high school and I decided during college that it would be best *not* to be roommates, because we figured it could make or break our friendship. We didn’t want to chance the “break” aspect. LOL As it turned out, I ended up going out of state anyway… and for the most part, my roommates drove me bonkers. I only maintained a long-term friendship with one of them!

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      • Mhm. I just can’t imagine meeting someone who would really gel with me at home who I’m not in a relationship with. People are crazy. 😂

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