Friday, December 17, 2010

Mixing business with family

I strongly believe that you should never do business with family. I try to avoid doing any transaction that involves money with a family member or a close friend. I try to avoid getting into any business or hiring a family member or a close friend for a business. I also try to avoid working for someone who is family or is a very close friend.

Money is a strange beast. However professional we are or try to be, money can corrupt. Us and others. I don't claim to be unaffected by it, either. It is the very character of money. Due to this, our minds play havoc with the relationship and many times, a good relationship is soured due to this.

Some would argue that is is actually good to involve family or close friends in business because it is very good to have someone you can trust. That is really a call you have to make. Are you ready to risk spoiling the relationship?

The converse is also true. Never make someone you have a professional relationship with as close as family. Never get too close with someone you transact financially with. It can mess things up.

When you are paying for some services or products and the expectation is not met, you need to have the comfort to be able to talk about it. This comfort is compromised when you have a close relationship. It works the opposite way too. When you provide services or products in return for money and you have a grievance, it is difficult to air it with someone close.

I am writing this from experience and have seen both these aspects play out badly in the past.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have had the experience of doing business with family members and kind of agree with you. Money is a strange beast as you say...Although i must say, we have been lucky to see a couple of loyal family members, but at the same time the one that hit us bad, really hit us and don't think can recover from that jolt....Very nice article Kamal, i think only, the ones that face this harsh reality, can relate to this.

Anonymous said...

I too agree.

--SCDAFF

Akbar Pasha said...

I think it's possible to do business with family member or a friend - if you lay out the details upfront. All problem arises with our vagueness of roles and responsibility.

Having worked with a bunch of my friends and losing a business I learnt my lesson and have been very careful about transparency with my other friends with whom I work.