The risks of mixing business and friendship

The concept of combining friendship and business can be a controversial one, depending on who you ask. It’s a fickle verdict regarding the matter; there are folks who have had nothing but positive experiences in terms of mixing business and friendship, and there are others who might say they would never do it again.

When a friend of ours owns, operates, or offers a business we may be in need of, it makes sense that we are inclined to support our friends by providing them with our business. Why wouldn’t we? If we identify as their friend, and when in need of a specific service seek out others aside from our friend, it is understandable to perceive ourselves as shitty. We may even feel as though we are betraying our friend, in a sense.

On the other hand, when we mix business and pleasure, we run the risk of the business not working out as planned and ruining a friendship in the process. Perhaps we aren’t satisfied with the service provided; we can voice our concerns to our friend and likely offend them and upset them by doing so; we can say nothing and in doing so allow our friend to believe that their business fulfilled our needs, which may result in us settling for something because we were too afraid to speak out.

In short, you’re fucked either way.

I myself have dabbled in the combination of business and friendship and have had both positive and negative experiences. I have learned things over time that will benefit me in future friend/business interactions, and I actually had a conversation with a businesswoman on the matter who granted me some sound advice. She stressed to me a rather common saying; business is business. She stated that this ideology exists whether or not the person you’re doing business with happens to be a friend, and, further, if your friend is a true one, they will not be offended by an unfortunate outcome regarding you and their business.

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