Friends And Business Don’t Mix

by Jay Deragon on 11/01/2011

 Businesses are playing the social game. Gathering friends, followers and “likes”. However business and friends simply don’t mix well.

Friendship is better for business than business is for friendship. Valued relationships will often explode or dissolve when they interfere with business.  Think about this. You have made friends in business but how many businesses can you really say are your friends?  None!

A business is run by people and yet the business interest is not the same interest as the people.  Friends get satisfaction from friends. Business interest is to satisfy shareholders by satisfying a need in the marketplace better than competition.  Employees are stakeholders in the business because without the business there would be no employees. Which comes first? Employees, shareholders, customers, friends or the business?

The definition of a friend is a person whom one knows, likes, and trusts.  The definition of business is a trade or profession, an industrial, commercial, or professional operation; purchase and sale of goods and services.  As said, you can find friends in business but you cannot find a business you can call a friend.

Ever notice how differently some friends act when doing business? You think you know someone well, but suddenly, he or she morphs into the insanely competitive or disgustingly arrogant person.

In life, the friendship is important in and of itself. But in business, the relationship takes a back seat to the business. So experienced business leaders are not unduly ruffled by greedy, grabby, pushy, evasive, high-handed, disingenuous and/or manipulative opponents. Hey, it’s just business right? Actually it is politics and business as usual.  In reality, however, we would never expect true friends to treat us this way. Should they dare, then business becomes all too personal and the friendship is over.

The Business Of Cheap Friends

Social networks have made the term “friend” cheap. Friends are a “penny per click”. Free technology will find friends for you even if you have no idea who these people are. Gathering followers (friends) has become a race to the bottom. The bottom being uselessness, meaningless and having no value, cheap. Yet everybody and especially every business is chasing friends in the race to the bottom, no value.

Real friends are priceless. Fake friends are cheap.  Friends and business don’t mix because one considers friends cheap while the other considers them priceless.


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