My absolute best friend since childhood and I recently decided to go into business together. This has been really very exciting for the both of us. But lately I’ve noticed that she is becoming slightly competitive with me and maybe even resentful. I’m a naturally outgoing person and she’s more of an introvert. Our clients gravitate toward me even when they have the option of working with either of us. My BFF seems to take this personally and throws a bit of shade my way for unfounded reasons. I don’t want to hurt her feelings and I don’t want to damage our business’ reputation or income by forcing our clients to work with her if they prefer me.
Our friendship means the world to me. But I also care about our business and have put my heart and money into it. How should I handle this? Please help!
caught between a rock and a hard place
This is a tough one. Friendship matters. And it’s obvious that professional achievement matters to you. But, success is however you choose to define it. What’s the MOST important thing? Keeping that intact impacts your success.
I take from your letter that you value your friendship above the business partnership. So, here’s my best advice…
Be honest with your BFF. They deserve that, and the friendship needs that.
Unpack your thoughts and express your feelings as transparently as you can without making assumptions.
Allow your BFF the space to gather their thoughts and feelings about the issue you see. Then plan a time to come back to the table and build a path forward for the business together.
For what it’s worth, my suggestion here is that you each choose to prioritize your customers’ needs FIRST. Find your shared vision for customer empathy and make your business decisions using that lens.
Your business will thrive when your customers feel important and are satisfied. Your friendship will thrive the exact same way! It’s not binary. You can absolutely do both!
I hope this helps you, CBRHP. If you ever want to discuss this or other issues with us real-time, just submit your info on our consultation bookings page and we’ll get connected.
Take good care!