Business Magazine

Entrepreneurs Need More Relationships And Fewer Friends

Posted on the 08 February 2016 by Martin Zwilling @StartupPro

business-relationshipsSuccessful entrepreneurs understand the difference between a good business relationship with more people and having more friends. In fact, the focus on social networking platforms, starting with Facebook, has destroyed the meaning of the word friend and even changed it from a noun to a verb. It’s now common to have hundreds or thousands of friends online -- but no relationships.

In the world of entrepreneurs and startups, professional relationships are critical. You can’t start a business with friends alone. You need business partners, investors and customers. Of course, we all need friend relationships in our private lives, and some of these may evolve from or lead to business relationships. Here is my summary of how business relationships relate to friends.

  1. Everyone needs private friend relationships. Most psychologists agree that starting from a very young age, friend relationships are critical to building social skills and lead to a balanced view of morality, integrity and right versus wrong. These should never be confused with social-media friends that you have never met or hardly know.

  2. All business relationships need not be friends. The best professional relationships may also involve friendship, but entrepreneurs need to be able to manage relationships with competitors, partners and customers who have no interest in being friends. Friends are motivated to help you, while business people want to help their business.

  3. With friends, quality is more important than quantity. With maturity, most people actually shrink their circle of friends to focus on a few trusted ones who become confidants. There is some evidence that the average circle has grown smaller over the years, as the level of trust in other people has dropped from 77 percent to 37 percent.

  4. In business, you can’t have too many relationships. More professional connections means more credibility, more insight into the market and more customer clout. This fact is the basis for the business axiom -- “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” Many entrepreneurs will admit that they get almost all of their business through relationships.

  5. True friendship requires a personal emotional connection. Friendship is a person-to-person relationship involving mutual affection, the ability to be oneself, express feelings and make mistakes without fear of judgment from the friend. Many entrepreneurs find their role lonely due to the fear that business and friendships simply don’t mix well.

  6. Business relationships depend on accentuating the positive. The first rule of business is that spilling your troubles won’t help your business, your leverage or your relationship. Some entrepreneurs assume that they can make everyone their friend by exposing shortcomings -- only to find out that these are often used against them.

  7. Social networking friends have real business value. Free mobile and online technologies will find friends at no cost, with no emotional investment required, so they have very little personal value. Ironically, these friends have real business value since they may become advocates and write testimonials or influence their real friends.

  8. Online networking alone does not build business relationships. Networking may identify an opportunity, but personal contact is normally required to build a real relationship. It’s too easy to create a false persona online, compared to the authenticity of connecting face-to-face, comparing beliefs, goals, point of view and personality.

Friendship with emotion is the glue that makes personal relationships work, but these same emotions often get in the way of decisions in a rapidly changing business requirement. Business relationships, on the other hand, are more logically tuned to expediting business transactions. If your business seems harder than it should be, maybe it’s time to stop focusing on friends.


You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • The Watchmen Live At The Danforth Music Hall, Toronto

    Watchmen Live Danforth Music Hall, Toronto

    The Watchmen came to Toronto on Friday night, taking over The Danforth Music Hall and putting on a show to kick-off the weekend. It's been 30 years since The... Read more

    The 16 December 2018 by   Phjoshua
    LIFESTYLE, SELF EXPRESSION
  • Cornstarch Christmas Ornaments

    Cornstarch Christmas Ornaments

    Since we moved to our new house it's pretty hard to find things. Lots of boxes are still packed and at a storage unit. We moved at Christmas last year so I... Read more

    The 16 December 2018 by   Kalamitykelli
    FOOD & DRINK, RECIPES
  • Silverstein Live At The Opera House, Toronto

    Silverstein Live Opera House, Toronto

    Silverstein rolled into a hometown Toronto show Saturday night at The Opera House and was greeted by a sold-out crowd eagerly waiting to scream back every singl... Read more

    The 16 December 2018 by   Phjoshua
    LIFESTYLE, SELF EXPRESSION
  • The Hedonistic Taster: Troon Vineyard

    Hedonistic Taster: Troon Vineyard

    The Hedonistic Taster Troon Vineyard – Applegate Valley, Oregon by L.M. Archer “Wine should not be regarded simply as a beverage, but as an art of living, a... Read more

    The 16 December 2018 by   L.m. Archer
    CULTURE, DRINK
  • George Bancroft: What a Star, What a Character!

    George Bancroft: What Star, Character!

    Big, blustery George Bancroft was in his mid-40s when he became a film star, breaking out in 1927 with a linchpin performance as mob boss "Bull Weed" in... Read more

    The 16 December 2018 by   Lady Eve
    ENTERTAINMENT, MOVIES
  • Vegetable Oils: What We Know and What We Don’t

    Vegetable Oils: What Know Don’t

    They're everywhere. Like a crude oil spill in the Gulf, vegetable oils - those slippery, modern elixirs - have seeped their way into all the nooks and crannies... Read more

    The 16 December 2018 by   Dietdoctor
    DIET & WEIGHT, HEALTH, HEALTHY LIVING, MEDICINE
  • Getting to Know the Neighbors

    A few days ago, the doorbell rang. When I asked who was there (the camera view wasn't showing anyone), a high voice asked, "Is Joseph come out play?""Joseph,"... Read more

    The 16 December 2018 by   Sherwoods
    FAMILY, PARENTING

Magazines