Tips to Overcome Challenges in a Friendship

For those of you that didn’t know this past Sunday was International Friendship Day, which is celebrated on the first Sunday of August every year. August is known to be a month filled with good fortune, happiness and harmony. One would say this holiday is sacred. Friends are long life companions that are tied to us due to common interests, life situations and memories. After all, friends become like family and sometimes the best friendships are the ones we least expect. This article is not going to be about why Friendships are the best, because we already know why, it is going to revolve around the challenges of friendships in business and some tips on how to overcome those hardships.

There is a big debate in the business world regarding having family and friends as business partners. Some say it is the best way to succeed in the business world. However, many others compare business partnerships to marriage. Is the friendship strong enough to overcome the failures that naturally come when entering the world of business? Are you willing to risk a great friendship to start a business? Consider these factors:

  • Trust. With a friend and business partner it is crucial. When deciding to start a joint venture together or join a working environment with a friend, trust your instincts.
  • Keep the relationship in the office professional. If your out-of-office relationship blossoms, don’t let professionalism in the business deteriorate.
  • Having a business is about profit, even though it’s important to enjoy with a passion. Don’t let it ruin the relationship you have with your business partner. Current experiences are always learning opportunities for the future.

Another common challenge is maintaining long distance friendships. During this time of globalization, moving to different cities and countries is encouraged. Knowing how to maintain and cherish relationships is important. Here are some tips on how to make them work:

  • Stay in contact through social media platforms-an easy way to stay up to date with friends and it comes in handy when wanting to have a quick chat.
  • Whether you are the friend that is moving or staying, both parties need to take time in their, now very different, agendas to chat and update about life. A phone or video call and even through text, everything works. It is about compromising and demonstrating importance to the friendship.

Regardless of the relationship, if you mix business with friendship, you must establish a healthy balance between professionalism and play. Remember to be respectful, going into business with a friend can be incredibly rewarding. It may seem at times as if you are working seamlessly, creating a positive atmosphere with people you cherish is beneficial to work moral.  However, make sure you both make the effort to stay on the same page. When done professionally, friendships in the workplace can open up new opportunities and grow relationships like never before.


Sharon Schweitzer and Sophie ____co-wrote this post. Sharon Schweitzer, J.D., is a cross-cultural trainer, modern manners expert, and the founder of Access to Culture. She serves as a Chinese Ceremonial Dining Etiquette Specialist in the documentary series Confucius was a Foodie, on Nat Geo People. She is the resident etiquette expert on two popular lifestyle shows: ABC Tampa Bay’s Morning Blend and CBS Austin’s We Are Austin. She is regularly quoted by BBC Capital, Investor’s Business Daily, and Fortune. Her Amazon #1 Best Selling book in International Business,  Access to Asia: Your Multicultural Business Guide, now in its third printing, was named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2015. She’s a winner of the British Airways International Trade Award at the 2016 Greater Austin Business Awards.

Sophie Echeverry is a marketing manager and event coordinator at Access to Culture. Born and raised in Colombia, with a degree in International Business and Marketing from Hult International Business School in San Francisco. Feel free to connect with Sophie on LinkedIn.

Vienna Raglin is the Marketing and Sales Manager at Access to Culture. With a professional background in Sales and Hospitality, she earned a BBA in Marketing and Sales from Texas State University. She can be found on Linkedin

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