Working with friends can sometimes be more difficult
Good, open communication is key to being successful business partners. It might seem like this could be easier working with friends -- but dealing with people you are close with can sometimes lead to hiding problems in order to maintain friendships.
One thing stressed by both bar owners was the need to prepare for the worst-case scenario -- you need to have a plan for hitting rock bottom (basically, your professional life going to shit) whether it's official (in writing) or just agreed upon verbally.
"You need to prepare yourself for the worst," Richardson-Wilson said, "to deal with anything that can come along, make it out alive, and still maintain a friendship."
Working with friends can certainly be more difficult, and working with family can call for an even greater degree of work-life/personal-life separation.
"My brother is my business partner," says Wiley. "And it is difficult sometimes -- we try to not to cross those lines. At Thanksgiving, for example, we keep all talk about business out of it, out of our holidays. But it's not always easy. it's definitely complicated."
"Transparency, clarity, and a willingness to 'shut it off' when needed, is key to working with your friends," says Richardson-Wilson.