The Power of Friendship in Business
Summer is starting to come to a close and ours has been filled with great times spent with family and close friends. Recently, Tanya and I were at a friend’s birthday party and it struck me as to how many people in the room were such a big part of getting our business started.
One of the elements that I find most amazing about starting a business is seeing your ideas turn into real things. First it was turning the idea of a modern framing company into an actual company. Then it was rebranding and remaking two older stores into Le Frame Shoppe, complete with logos, signs, business cards and marketing material. After that it was creating products that get asked for by names that you invented and hearing terms you created become part of how your team and clients communicate. Sometimes it just hits me that all of these things started from thoughts in our heads.
Of course, there is no way that any of this could have happened without help, lots and lots of help!
I worked for an incredibly smart and astute businessman for many years, and though we may have not always agreed, I learned many valuable lessons from him that continue to guide me today. Tanya, a Director of Operations, who oversaw projects for pharmaceutical companies had acquired a strong foundation of management and organizational experience, but our friends were that added element, truly instrumental in the success of our business.
One of the most important things I learned early on is that you need a circle of support around you to get a business off of the ground. I had read that you should create a ‘board of directors’ in your head and place the qualified people in your life at that table. So, even though I knew I was more of an ‘ideas’ guy, when I created our board, I realized that Tanya and I were surrounded by a wealth of knowledge and experience.
I can say that we have truly been blessed in life. Our friends have professional experience that they are generous enough to share throughout this journey. One of my friends has been particularly instrumental in helping to bring our ideas to reality. Over coffee, we had what turned out to be one of the most important discussions in my life.
He told me, “Matt, I would like to help you turn this dream into a reality…I’ve always wanted to challenge myself and see if I could guide someone from the very beginning through all the development stages and into an actual business.”
I sat in silence as I considered the magnitude and generosity of what my friend was offering us. Finally after a long pause, with tongue planted firmly in cheek I exclaimed, “You’re welcome.”
Everything was different after that conversation. Tanya and I had a place to start and someone to help guide us along the way.
This is just one of many stories I was reminded of when I looked around the room at my friend’s birthday party that night. As summer winds down and you reflect on your hopes and dreams, remember to look around the room…there may be someone there that can help you, or that you can help to realize their dreams.
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