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Oct 04

Working Relationships: How doing business with friends CAN work.

In yesterdays blog I shared why I believe my fabulous business partner Janine is, indeed, fabulous. Today I want to share a little of what we do to take care of our working relationship and our friendship to ensure that we don't compromise either.

A little about our journey:

Janine and I have been friends for more than 8 years after we first met while working with a New Zealand based outdoors youth development programme. Since then we have worked on various programmes through NZ and internationally, and finally became business partners 18 months ago.

Over the last 18 months alongside growing Love Your Small Businesswe have both relocated from the UK to New Zealand, Janine had a baby and we have both been settling down into life back in New Zealand.

We now live in separate cities and both have busy lives outside of our work. We have some outrageously stupendous goals for our business (and for our lives outside of work) and endeavor to have at least one adventurous retreat together a year so we can reconnect with our values and our sense of friendship!

From the beginning, we have clearly stated that our relationship (both as friends and biz partners) is of number one importance, and we consciously take care of it.

How we take care of our working relationship:

We don't just expect our working relationship or our friendship to remain smooth without any conscious input. We keep a constant focus on this as part of our work together and believe this is a huge part of our success.

 

Top tips for relationship management

So here are a couple of the things we do to ensure a positive and healthy working relationship:

  • check in on a regular basis as to how each other is doing out of work – e.g. share what is going on, what is causing stress, what we are looking forward to etc in our personal lives
  • Share our personal goals this is a great one cos we can honour each others' priorities, understand if there are clashes with work priories and encourage each other to be our best out of work too
  • share what we value about each other – we are often our own worst critics, and beat ourselves up over small things, so it's great to have a business partner there to tell you why they value you and your skills!
  • speak up if we are feeling out of sorts with the way things are going! This was a bit of a challenge initially but becomes easier and it's so clear when we do that we move over our issues way faster than if we bottled them up
  • ensure we make time to hang out as friends and deliberately DON'T talk about the biz. This is where our parking lot comes in very handy.
  • Focus on living our values – part of our annual plan is an adventure. Last year it was a 24 hour solo retreat…. who knows what's in store for this year!


The key is making it important!

If you are thinking about going into a business partnership with a friend, then believe us, it CAN be done in a healthy way… but don't expect it to all work swimmingly without a little input and focus.You must place importance on working on your relationship to ensure it remains strong.

And we'd love to hear your ideas!

If you have things you do with your business partners (or anyone else for that matter) to prioritise healthy, sustainable and fun relationships that honour you both as individuals, we'd love to hear from you so please leave a comment below!



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