Building a business with a friend can be a beautiful thing. It can also be a disaster.
Growing up, my parents often cautioned me against working with friends or family because the repercussions are not always worth the potential dangers. Many a friendship and family has been torn apart by a business deal gone wrong, but most people only think about the good possibilities when considering the option.
That said, working with a friend can also be very rewarding. Today, I want to tell you the story of one such friendship.
Six years ago, almost to the day, I was working from home as a legal document coder (basically we’d look at scanned legal documents and enter the relevant information into the appropriate fields, like data entry on crack). I made a mistake on a batch of documents, and I was suspended for several weeks.
(I’m trying really hard not to worry about explaining my side of the story here, but suffice it to say that I still don’t quite understand why the mistake caused the suspension, as I hadn’t received any prior warnings.)
At that time, we had a company message board, and I mentioned my suspension in the water cooler area of the board.
A few days later, I got an email from a girl who also worked for the company. She offered to share some of her contacts with me so that I could hopefully replace the lost income. (I didn’t find out until recently how hard she worked to track down my contact information in order to contact me.)
Over the next few months, we quickly formed a strong friendship. We had baby girls that were very close in age (my first child, Tara’s first girl), and we bonded over milestones, a search for the perfect baby sandals and juggling kids while working at home.
In the years that followed, our friendship continued to grow. We cried during each other’s miscarriages, called each other after the births of our subsequent children and even vacationed together.
We also discovered that we were kindred entrepreneurial spirits. As work-at-home moms, we shared leads and tips and brainstormed various business opportunities (most of which took a lot of hard work and resulted in very little money).
We’ve probably created more than a dozen different business models together in that time, some that are still alive and well and some that we’ve laid to rest.
Tara was the one who introduced me to transcription, and I first shared the idea of blogging with her. We learned both industries together, sharing the things we learned and our ideas along the way.
Hardly the End
To date, we’ve worked independently side-by-side, together as partners and I now work for Tara as an independent contractor at Deal Seeking Mom while still working with her on other projects.
We’ve been on a few more vacations together, and our husbands (both of whom are stay-at-home dads) are really good friends as well.
To say that our friendship is unique is probably an understatement, but it is possible.
And when it happens? The opportunities are endless!