4min readBusiness 30 September 2019
There seems to be a growing trend of BFF power couples starting and running badass companies together. From podcasts to retreat centers, magazines to design studios, the BFF power couple is so hot right now, and there is something incredibly beautiful about that. But no beauty comes without its challenges.
Spirit Guides Magazine was founded over happy hour, after long talks about modern spirituality and healing and in the midst of romantic break ups and grieving. Arizona Bell, my business partner, and I went to high school together, worked at an ice cream shop together and watched each other travel the world, encountering challenges, heartbreak, and victories along the way.
We lost touch in our teens as you naturally do in the midst of travel and major life changes. It wasn't until we found ourselves both back in our home town, licking our wounds and planning our respective escapes that we reconnected and began seriously discussing starting a business together. The years behind us laid the foundation on which we would build our futures.
Despite our bright hopes, starting a business with a friend was something I'd always heard not to do. "Don't go into business with friends or family," is something I'd heard all my life. But the truth is, there are many hurdles and challenges that come with starting a business with anyone. A wise man once told me, "Where there are people, there is conflict."
You're never going to have the perfect business relationship with anyone; as time progresses and things continue to grow, hard conversations are going to have to be had no matter who you're partnered up with. And if you started a company with someone you even relatively like, you're more than likely going to become friends through the process anyway.
Sure, there is a lot on the line if the relationship goes sour, but on the other side of the coin is working with someone you love and building something together that can bring great change to the world.
After Spirit Guides Magazine was born, it wasn't until things really got going and I was living in an RV outside of Arizona's house in Sedona when our friendship truly started to reach a deeper level. And what a beautiful time that was, with long nights, tarot magic and dance parties in what we affectionately referred to as "The Witch Wagon."
Now that we are over two years into starting and running a thriving company together, while have been consistently growing our friendship, there have been many rough waters we've had to navigate—both as friends and as business partners.
Regardless of these challenges, many incredible, profitable, helpful and positive ideas have come from our work with Spirit Guides Magazine. Our weekly radio show has been changing lives from the beginning; the messages we get from listeners in our community are a testament to the guests we invite on as well as the open and honest relationship we have with one another. We founded this platform on the idea of a modern, no frills approach to spirituality, and as times continue changing it has become increasingly obvious that this is exactly what people want. When you create something from the heart with good intentions, you will attract the people who are looking for your brand of spice.
Additionally, we've created a monthly membership community called The Cosmic Collective where we invite practitioners to host exclusive live sessions for our members. These sessions can include mediumship readings, intuition development, learning tarot, breathwork for ancestral healing, and everything in between! This worldwide community was a longtime idea that we pulled together and launched in just two month's time. When we work together on a shared dream, things fall into place in truly magical ways. It's like putting a request into the universe and having it fulfilled almost immediately. The synergy when we are working together on something is palpable.
However, the lines between friendship and coworkers can still get blurry. But if you can learn anything from our experience, it's that the precious combination of the two relationships can form a union that is completely unique to any other.
If you're looking to start a company with your BFF, take some advice from us with these three tips:
1. Form Strong Boundaries: "Boundaries" is a buzzword you hear so much these days. Either we all grew up as sponges, absorbing everyone else's shit, or we have just forgotten how to differentiate between what is ours and what is other people's. Regardless, forming strong boundaries in any relationship is incredibly beneficial. Draw a firm line between friendship when you're working, and business when you're playing. Bringing in the friendship during a serious business meeting will create unnecessary emotional baggage and make it more difficult to make decisions together. And conversely, only talking about work when it's time to play and relax can pigeonhole your relationship and easily make you forget what it was you loved about each other to begin with. Balance is key, and boundaries are how you achieve that balance.
2. Practice Clear Communication: This one can be hard when difficult conversations, that are usually zero fun, need to happen. Combining the love of a friendship with the logistics of a business relationship can help you practice clear and compassionate communication. If you can't talk about things as they come up, you'll never be able to move forward. And just like in any relationship, after you talk it out you will feel so much lighter and more connected. Put time on the calendar to talk if necessary but make it a priority.
3. Don't Take Things Personally: By far the hardest piece of advice we've had to learn is to not take things personally. Don Miguel Ruiz stated this as one of the agreements in his best-selling book, The Four Agreements, and it is super relevant in a friend/business relationship as well. When you go out together, attend family holidays and celebrate losses or milestones as friends, it can be hard to separate those moments from making business decisions and having inevitable disagreements. But when you form strong boundaries and practice clear communication, not taking things personally will feel like a logical next step in the evolution of the relationship. Ain't nobody got time to be butt-hurt by a disagreement. Let that shit go!
There is nothing more soul satisfying than spending all day together (virtually or physically) creating something that helps people all over the world with someone you love and grew up with. Starting and running a company with your BFF will force you to grow in ways you otherwise wouldn't. There will be uncomfortable moments and times of loss or failure, but there will also be shared victories and huge milestones. Just like anything else, the more honest you are with yourself and each other and the more committed you are to your shared goal, the easier it will be to successfully run a company with your BFF.
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Help! My Friend Is a No Show
Dear Armchair Psychologist,
I have a friend who doesn't reply to my messages about meeting for dinner, etc. Although, last week I ran into her at a local restaurant of mine, it has always been awkward to be friends with her. Should I continue our friendship or discontinue it? We've been friends for a total four years and nothing has changed. I don't feel as comfortable with her as my other close friends, and I don't think I'll ever be able to reach that comfort zone in pure friendship.
Dear Sadsies,I am sorry to hear you've been neglected by your friend. You may already have the answer to your question, since you're evaluating the non-existing bond between yourself and your friend. However, I'll gladly affirm to you that a friendship that isn't reciprocated is not a good friendship.
I have had a similar situation with a friend whom I'd grown up with but who was also consistently a very negative person, a true Debby Downer. One day, I just had enough of her criticism and vitriol. I stopped making excuses for her and dumped her. It was a great decision and I haven't looked back. With that in mind, it could be possible that something has changed in your friend's life, but it's insignificant if she isn't responding to you. It's time to dump her and spend your energy where it's appreciated. Don't dwell on this friend. History is not enough to create a lasting bond, it only means just that—you and your friend have history—so let her be history!
- The Armchair Psychologist