Seriously. My take on being business partners with my sis is that it’s both totally the best and absolutely the worst thing you can do. So I’m gonna ramble on about how I feel about working with her, and what I think of the idea of a ‘family business’ in general (although I guess our business isn’t really a family business the way you’d imagine).
Inc article about how to avoid conflicts of interest and drama.
Here’s one from entrepreneur.comÂ basically saying it’s a bad idea (uh oh)
First and foremost, the great thing about doing biz with my sis is that I totally, completely trust her. I never have to worry about her doing something to take advantage of me, or embezzling money or anything crazy like that – I know at the end of the day, she’ll have my back, and I think that level of comfort is pretty difficult to reach even if you’ve been in business with the same partner for 20 years or whatever. I mean, I know many siblings who just aren’t that close, and most brother/sister pairs probably wouldn’t be able to say that about their siblings, but for me and Lisa, we’re super close and we’d never intentionally try to hurt each other – especially not for $$$.
Another great thing about having my sis as my partner is that when stuff is going well, it’s just so great. We can share in the joy of doing well – it’s not like at the end of the day, work is over so we each go home to our respective lives. Clearly, that kind of relationship with colleagues/business partners is really common, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but one of the real perks of working with a family member everyday is that you really share in the joys together – and when I see that my big sis is happy, I get happier as well – it’s like a big old circle of happiness.
On the other hand, the flip side of sharing joy is that when things are going badly, well, we fight – and it can get pretty nasty. I think there’s something about family where a lot of the time you know that they’ll eventually forgive you, and that almost gives you license to say really mean things to them? I don’t know. Anyways, business is tough and we have a disagreement or argument, it can devolve pretty quickly into a really negative situation. I think I’m probably more emotional than her, so it’s likely more my fault, and that’s really something I have to keep in mind after a rough day/week/month.
The other issue with working with your sister is that stuff outside can sometimes affect the work. I mean, I think we’ve both improved on this a lot, but at the start when we would be fighting about something outside of work, that would spill over into working hours and we’d just not talk at all and be really frosty towards each other, and basically it was bad for us and bad for the business. I think this is something to really keep in the back of your mind if you’re planning to do business with family or friends – when you argue, it will impact your business unless all of you are like on the spectrum or something. It really takes some time and practice to get used to the idea that family drama needs to stay out of the workspace, and if you can’t get to that point then maybe it’s best you don’t pursue the business with family/friends path.
Anyways, that’s basically all I wanted to blog about today, hope you gleaned some useful info from it, and if you did, stay tuned because there’s way more coming your way =). I’m also gonna include a few great links that I found about the subject – I found them super interesting, maybe you will too!