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Top 10 Pros and Cons of Working with Friends and Family

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Being your own boss is an amazing feeling but there always comes the time when some of your jobless friends and family members start asking you for “a little favor”, even those whom you’ve only recently befriended on Facebook.

Running a business and working with family or friends seems like a great idea at first, but it also might turn out to be the worst decision you have ever made. Many people would say that mixing business with pleasure could destroy a growing business. Others will argue that having such people around can give you the support and encouragement you need to be successful.

If you are thinking about taking on a friend or someone from your family, do consider the following pros and cons before you make the final decision.


  • There is no get-to-know-you period. If you are lucky, you will get to work with someone you really like and get along well. You already know their strength and weaknesses; you know what tasks they can do well and what will motivate them best.
  • Trust is a given. When you work with someone whom you know well, you do not have to worry about whether or not this person will have your best interests at heart.
  • 24/7 availability. They are available 24/7, Sunday through Saturday. They will not hurry to shut up shop at 5pm sharp and they will probably not mind a call at the weekend.
  • Comfortable social environment. You can relax and be yourself around such people. You can even share a glass of beer with them and discuss some work issues over lunch and that will not look awkward.
  • Enjoying the benefits of gratitude. Being wholeheartedly grateful, these people will do their best to help you achieve your business goals and become successful. They will work hard not to let you down!


  • You cannot remain equal at work, unlike anywhere else. Some people who have had the experience of working with family or friends say that enforcing discipline and rules upon relatives and friends is pretty much a challenge. Sometimes they just reset your authority either explicitly or implicitly.
  • They can get you 24/7. You are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They will not feel uncomfortable about calling you at unsociable hours, on weekends and holidays. You had better get used to always staying on-call and never being able to switch off!
  • They do not like to abide by your rules. Though they realize they are employed by you, they do not take you seriously when you mention a strict deadline, they might get a little loose over the course of an important business dinner or they even can expect you to understand when they have some errands to run instead of work.
  • Work might ruin your relationship. In some cases, too much time spent together is a bad thing. This can be true when you work with a friend or a family member. You do not want to end up feeling unhappy at work because you suddenly found it hard to get along with a family member. The relationship that you develop inside work can seriously affect your other relationships.
  • If you fire them, you will feel very guilty. While firing one of your employees who cannot perform his duties well is usually not a problem, when it comes to giving the sack to a friend or a member of your family, things might turn very nasty. Even though you simply make a smart business move, you are likely to become the bad guy here.

If you do not want to risk putting your job or your personal relationship on the line, you had better consider all these pros and cons very carefully. Do not let your feelings get in your way!



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