Hackernoon logoEntrepreneur Nirvana: Working With Your Friends by@mpd

Entrepreneur Nirvana: Working With Your Friends

Mark Peter Davis Hacker Noon profile picture

Mark Peter Davis

Venture Capitalist + Serial Founder

There are three parts of adult life — family, friends and work — and when you’re a parent you only have time for two.

It’s hard to fathom cutting any of those three core life elements out, so most parents try to stuff all three into their waking hours. The result is that they fall short in one or two areas. They under achieve in their careers, neglect their family or give up on having a social life. Until we find a pill that eliminates our need to sleep, time will remain the resource constraint for parents and that means we just can’t do it all.

Unfortunately, I’m a hopeless optimist. I don’t do well taking “no” for an answer. So, I sought out a solution to not having enough time. I wanted to have my cake and eat it too.

My hack was fairly simple and it worked. I merged two of the three categories. I work with my friends. I love what I do, so why not do what I love with the people I care about?

OK, before I continue, I’ll admit that I know the conventional wisdom. Working with your friends is supposedly a terrible idea.

Well, I found a way to make it work. The model depends on a few simple tenants. Here’s what I do:

First, partner with friends who have similar values to you. You have to have an aligned vision — be working toward the same thing: money, impact, lifestyle or otherwise. Get aligned early and often on that.

Second, over communicate before things get weird and again when things do get weird. That means taking extra time to walk through the details in the relationship. Get on the same page by doing a thorough partnership agreement that spells it all out. Then when there’s tension (which there will be) talk about it. More often than not bad feelings come from misperceptions about intentions. Easy to dispel those if you talk about things.

Third, help each other keep perspective. You’re probably doing what you’re doing because you care about something — a cause, a way of life, etc.. Waking up to work toward the big picture can make it easier to not let the small things annoy you.

While nobody would trade in their kids, many say that parents are generally less happy than non-parents while their kids are still home. The frustration comes from sacrificing elements that drive our quality of life. The good news is that you can have it all; you just have to find a way to work with your friends.

You can read more at: mpd.me

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