My best friend wants to go into business with me, but I don't want to with her. What should I do?

I am not sure how to deal with this one and I am definitely staying anonymous about it.

My best friend wants to start a business with me and I don't really want to.

She was thinking of something child-related as we both have young kids and on the face of it, sounds like a great business idea and I am not against it.

I can see a lot of positives and I think I would enjoy it.. fits in with our lives and all that sort of thing.


I have lots of reasons to say no to her but most of all I don't want to fall out with her and lose our friendship

We have known each other since Junior High so I know her inside out.

In short and the main reason is

I am worried she won't come through... she is a bit flaky and unreliable and I am completely the opposite...

Tidy, organised, I turn up on time, do what I say I will...

That sort of thing

Probably a bit anal about stuff but I know myself well enough to know she would drive me crazy.

I would end up getting left with things to do and she will lose interest part way through.

How do I get out of this one without hurting feelings and losing a friend?

Comments for My best friend wants to go into business with me, but I don't want to with her. What should I do?

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by: Jackie

Sorry, not sure the link was correct, here it is again

The Founders Dilemma: Anticipating and avoiding the pitfalls that can sink a start up

by: Jackie

Ah, the age-old dilemma of should you start a business with a friend?

And you already know you can only say "let me give it some thought" for so long..!

You could be blunt and brutally honest and come right out with it which could be hurtful or you could try to explain your reasoning to her and frame it as incompatibility.

And really that is what it is.

Your perceived flaws (which they are not flaws by the way!) are actually your strengths in a business setting.

And your friend has her own strengths but they would be better used in another environment, where her relaxed attitude is more suited, which may be working for herself by herself without a partner and possible not in a business!

Commitment is a given for anyone working for themselves, as clearly you know.

It can be tricky with friends, you need to be sure your business buddy is stable in life outside of work, you definitely need trust as the number one trait and someone has to be the decision-maker.

There has been a Harvard Business School Study, and it has been documented in a book by Noam Wasserman called: The Founders Dilemma:Anticipating and avoiding the pitfalls that can sink a startup

The study suggests "a business started by friends is the least stable!"

When all is said and done business is business as they say so if you want to keep your friendship, have a warm, honest but gentle chat with your friend

Don't point out her differences as "faults".. use them in context of strengths instead.

Perhaps even suggesting your strengths would drive her mad, where you would be expecting her to be on time, not flake, pay attention, be available and so on.

Frame it so it doesn't come across as criticism of her

Can you see what I mean?

It may not be a problem in the future with someone else more suitable but this one definitely sounds like a no-no.

If it feels off, then listen to your inner self, you know best of all what is right for you.

I speak from experience on this one, if you suppress your feelings to please others or save face or avoid embarrassment, they will come back around and bite you on the backside, no matter how hard you try to try to hide from them...!

The very best of luck with your future whatever you decide to do

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