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Oct 03

Working Relationships: Why I chose to go into business with a friend!

This 2-part blog post is dedicated firstly to the awesomeness of my business partner Janine (J9) and secondly to the value of establishing healthy relationships.

The idea for this blog (as part of my 31 day challenge) was to write about someone you admire and when it comes to work my lovely biz partner Janine is right up there. She has numerous qualities that draw me to working with her and we make a great team! We have a fantastic working relationship but it is something we consciously work at on a regular basis.

So today I focus on the awesomeness of Janine and tomorrow I'll share some more about HOW we take care of our working relationship and our friendship!

The story of our working relationship

Janine and I have been friends for more than 7 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.


The qualities that drew me to work with J9working relationships - J9 and Jo in 2007

  • her passion and enthusiasm for her work and her life

  • her ability to see the big picture, and create opportunities wherever she looks

  • her creativity, use of colour, flair and adventure

  • her unwavering commitment to her values

  • her openness and honesty – I always know where I stand!

  • her ability to walk the talk and wholly integrate the things she talks about

And there are loads more but you gotta stop somewhere!


Shared vision is crucial for our working relationship

It would be tough to go into business with someone if you don't share at least some level of the same values, vision and purpose. Our business performance and our working relationship are built on the fact that we have a shared vision for our work together.

Now there is no question that we have hugely different strengths and the contributions we make to LYSB are polar opposite (part of the reason we are such a great team) but underneath all that we are on the same page in terms of what we want to create for ourselves and our clients, and also the way in which we want to do it.

Lucky to have such a wonderful, inspiring and fun business partner eh?


Can working relationships with friends actually happen?

There is loads of advice out there about never going into business with your friends….. it will always be the end of the friendship etc. etc. Janine and I have ignored all such advice and for over a year now have been working successfully on our business – and I truly believe our friendship hasn't suffered (although lets be clear we don't always agree on everything!)

So that's the focus of tomorrows blog post – I'll share some more about how we take care of our friendship and our working relationship so that neither are compromised (and even how we get through the wobbly bits and come out the other side still being good friends AND biz buddies).

In the meantime:

I'd love to know more about your business situation.

  • Do you have a business partner?

  • Have you ever worked on a project with a friend?

  • How are your working relationships?

And do come back tomorrow to read more about how we make sure we look after our working relationship.


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  • FosJo, just what I needed to hear right now. Thank-you!

  • Entering into a business partnership is as great, as complex, and as dangerous as entering into a marriage. Either one can make your life grand or hellish, either one can help maintain-sustain-aggrandize-terminate your financial well-being, and either one can lead to mental and physical trauma.
    Use the same criteria to discern the proper partner. And, either way, you enter with more than a modicum of hope!
    Glad yours worked!

  • Staci

    Having a partner is difficult. I have business partners that let me down each day, but I just keep going out there and find ones that have my goals, and try again. I’m starting a business with a fellow blogger from Long Island, I KNOW we’re already a success, since we have the same goal for ourselves and our families. Looking forward to it. This post gave me a little extra confidence boost! Thanks. Glad to be doing the ultimate challenge with you!

  • I might be doing this as well soon… and with someone called Janine! I think that’s the trick – find the Janines of this world and go into business with them! 😉

    Cheers, Marisa

    • Marisa I agree – Janine’s are great! Awesome to hear you have a potential biz partner lined up. There are so many wonderful benefits to having someone to work with, and always challenges as well! I believe the key is in laying a strong, authentic foundation so you are clear on expectations! We have some great processes for doing this so feel free to get in touch if you’d like to know more!

      Jo

  • Meredith

    I would love to have a business partner — but I haven’t found the right person yet. Thanks for the motivation.

  • Meredith

    I would love to have a business partner — but I haven’t found the right person yet. Thanks for the motivation.

    • You are welcome Meredith. It took a while for us to come together on our work, I know Janine really put it out there to the universe and eventually things fell into place! The right person will undoubtedly come along for you too!

  • Thanks for all your comments and insights. Roy I love the comparison to marriage (and think you are right!) – you must enter into business partnerships carefully and set up a great foundation. Staci sorry to hear you haven’t always felt honoured by your biz partners but sounds like are positive about the next one!

    The key for Janine and I has been really looking after our working relationship – check out today’s blog post (out later in the day) in which I share some of the ways in which we do this… and I’d love to hear your thoughts on that one too!

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