Entrepreneur
Article
By Andrew Neitlich

Mixing friends and business

By Andrew Neitlich

Catching up on old questions/posts. One good one had to do with how to handle friends who become clients to make sure friendship stays solid and yet have the client relationship remain businesslike. This issue applies with business partners (e.g. one of my business partners is a long-time friend; another is a cousin), vendors, etc.

For me, the issue is clear:

Be explicit about when you are being a friend/family member and when you are being a business partner/client/vendor. Avoid mixing the two by being explicit:

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“I’m your friend, but right now I’m talking to you as your web designer….”

There is a great saying I read on a bus in Kenya, posted by the bus driver (in a country where family ties and friendships run deep):

You are my friend, yes.
You are my cousin, yes.
But in my business, I do not know you.

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