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.
We are living in a time when women are rising to new heights which means they are regularly being confronted with the fear of being "too much". For women in business this is pervasive and costly.
A few ways women can be perceived as "too much" are:
Speaking up about their successes and achievements.
Sharing one too many photos of their cute kids.
Telling one too many people about that date night.
Looking a little too good in that swimsuit.
These can lead to being publicly attacked on social media or privately slandered which in turn leads to women dimming their light and walking on egg shells in hopes of avoiding conflict and judgement.
The minute a woman feels it's unsafe to shine she will begin to overthink, worry, and fear how she shows up in the world.
Forgetting to announce the book is done and the interview is live.
Choosing to focus on what's still on the to-do list rather than what's been checked off.
Many female entrepreneurs are subconsciously altering their behavior in an attempt to not attract too much attention to themselves, rather than focusing on allowing authenticity and magnetism to attract their ideal clients and community.
Women are afraid of being criticized, ostracized, and abandoned by other women for simply being who they are. This leads to quite the quantum when being who you are is simplest way to accelerate the growth of your business.
New research shows men are far more comfortable with self promotion than women are. Researchers found that men rate their own performance 33 percent higher than equally performing women. What we know is that self promotion pays off and this is where women are missing the boat.
The world needs more women to step into leadership roles and no longer be intimidated about creating six and seven figure careers.
Here are five ways to release the fear of being "too much":
1. Approve of yourself.
While it feels good to receive outside validation it will never be enough if you don't first appreciate yourself. The key to having a healthy support system is to make sure you are part of it. Being your biggest critic is what your mother's generation did. It's now time to be your biggest cheerleader. Becoming aware of self talk will reveal what belief is ready to be re-wired. Create a simply mantra that affirms how incredible capable you are.
2. Connect deeply to those you serve.
One powerful way to shift out of people pleasing behavior is to get clear on who actually matters to the wellbeing and success of your life and business. Leadership is not about being the most popular, instead it's a decision to be brave for those who can't be. Take a few minutes each day to visualize and meditate on those your business serves and supports. See your future clients moving toward you every time you choose to stand in your power and use your authentic voice.
3. Remember the legacy you wish to leave.
Having your life purpose and legacy in writing is one of the most transformational exercises you can do. Reading this often will keep you focused on what matters. Knowing what you wish to leave in the hearts of those you love most is incredibly grounding. You didn't come here to keep your mouth shut, dilute your truth, or dim your light-you came here to make a difference.
4. Forgive those who have been unsupportive in the past.
The past has a way of informing the future in a negative way when there is unresolved pain. Take a few minutes to get quiet and ask yourself who you have unforgiveness towards or maybe their name came to mind as you read this article. Listening to a forgiveness meditation or writing a letter to the person you are ready to forgive are both simple and effective ways to process and heal.
5. Be part a community of bright, successful women.
Meaningful relationships with others who have similar aspirations is what will keep you out of isolation and playing small. These connections can happen in a networking group, online community or a local Meetup. Thriving in every area of life is depend on you knowing where you belong and being celebrated there. Don't wait to be invited, go actively seek out people and places that support your dreams and desires.
6. Accept you can have it all.
Women have been fed a lie for generations that says, you can have love or money. Decide you can have it all and allow it to flow to you. You can have a successful career and an amazing mother. You can balance motherhood and loving marriage. Don't let anyone write the rules for you. This is the time to create the life you desire on your terms.
7. Celebrate everything!
The fastest way to leave the haters in the dust is to celebrate everything! At the end of each day lay in bed and recall the best moments. At the end of each week, publicly acknowledge and celebrate what's good in your life. Once a month, have a celebration dinner and share it with those who have helped you in the journey. If there's something good happening, talk about it with everyone who will listen!
May you be a woman who chooses to shine so that others may be reminded of all they can be and do.