Part 1: Get bloody damn CLEAR on the details right from the start
“We have an understanding. We’re basically on the same page. It’ll be fine.”
“This opportunity is good. Let’s just begin. We’ll figure out the terms and financial details as we go along.”
“They’ll pay me later for sure. I’ll just deliver my product/service now.” 🤦🏻♀️
How many work relationships have you entered into thinking like this?
We kind of know each other, so why bother to pre-define the terms of collaboration and put anything down on paper? It’s an unnecessary hassle/delay. Right?
Wrong. Soooo freaking wrong! 😅
In conventional, profit-first business circles, far less people fall into this trap. Unfortunately, conscious entrepreneurs tend to think that being all loosey-goosey with business terms is fine.
We think, “hey we’re one big, happy community working towards a greater cause, after all. It makes us seem icky and business minded to talk about money or have contracts.”
That kind of thinking right there? That’s how people get jilted, resentments form, and unnecessary bitterness ensues.
- What exactly is the work/product?
- Who’s responsible to deliver what? And when?
- What are the financial nitty-gritties?
- Who owns what? For how long?
- Dates, numbers, exit plan.
No matter how passionate you are about your cause, talking business, putting paperwork into place and setting up clear processes and payment systems before you begin working with someone are excellent and important practices.
You might feel awkward at first. Get over it! 🤷🏻♀️
No one thinks you’re greedy just because you want to discuss money and business specifics. You shouldn’t feel hesitant or guilty about it.
Making clarity a top priority makes life pleasant for everyone involved. It avoids unnecessary friction. Your business relationship will be so much smoother in the longer run. Believe me, you want this.
“Yes. That makes sense for working with acquaintances or strangers. But if we’re really good friends, then having a basic understanding between us is enough, right?”
If you needed to ask that, keep reading…
Part 2: Friendship is not an excuse to stop being professional in your conscious business relationships
With friends, the connection you share is infinitely more precious than money or business. And that is exactly WHY you need to be clear on those details ahead of time. Lack of clarity has the potential to hurt the relationship!
Two friends decide to collaborate. One runs a conscious business, the other will do freelance work for the business. They’re both aligned in their passion for the cause and excited to build something meaningful together.
Freelancer thinks, “He values my work. I trust him to decide on what to pay me. I’ll totally get paid fairly and on time. And since he’s my friend, I can take it easy with the work. Anyway my main intention is to help him out.”
Entrepreneur thinks, “She’s my friend and knows all the stress I deal with and the struggles of my start-up. If I pay her slowly and a little less, she’ll totally understand! Anyway her main intention is to help me out.”
Do you spot those niggling resentments sprouting from a mile away? What do you think that’ll do to their work relationship, and possibly their personal equation, in the long run? The fault is in the lack of clarity.
Get terms, paperwork and systems in places right at the beginning!
Decide on the value of your own work, don’t put that burden onto someone else. Name your price and negotiate payout terms in advance. Deliver professionally, with dedication.
It’s not fair to put your friend in the awkward position of asking to be paid for their work ever. Set up processes and make sure they’re paid well and in a timely way.
Both parties need to be very clear and open with their expectations. Your hesitation to discuss formalities is not worth putting your beautifully nurtured friendship at stake.
It’s not too late to course correct
Think back on all your business relationships – past and present. Evaluate what went wrong and what went right in your communications. Take note of all the lessons you’ve learned.
Now going forward, you know what terms to put into place proactively. Of course you can do this for future collaborations, but also look into your present connections too and adjust things.
It could be drawing up agreements, writing out terms of service on your website, or simply creating obvious workflows where payments and deliveries happen in a natural order with very minimal need for follow ups (if at all).
Friction from miscommunication and unexpressed expectations is completely unnecessary and totally avoidable! You don’t need to spend time getting hassled with these things. When smooth, clear systems are put into place, you can focus on the joy of working together and creating something meaningful.
“I’m a Spiritual Vegan Multi-Passionate Entrepreneur. I read voraciously, find humour in most things, and believe kindness and authenticity can make this world a happier, loving place.
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