Updated: Jan 25
Working with friends can be tricky. For many of us, starting a business is a daunting task. There is so much to learn, and you can’t know everything. Many times, you count on the advice of family and friends, and sometimes, you even work with them. Is this healthy for your relationships? Can it ruin friendships? There are lots of great resources with tips for working with friends, but for us, the bottom line is that friendship comes first.
Sisters Working Together
I’m lucky. My business partner is my sister and my best friend. There isn’t anyone that I have ever trusted more than Sarah. She is smart, hard-working, and honest. That doesn’t mean it’s always easy but having that relationship of trust goes a long way.
When we started our business, the stars seemed to align, and we had friends in the right places. Our friends believed in us and our mission to supply the world with a resource to provide better patient care. They willingly helped us for the price of meals and drinks. Every year, we thank them by getting together for dinner for our work anniversary. This year marks 12 years since we began OTS with little knowledge of business but a great group of friends. The quality of our friendships has made working with friends relatively easy.
Recently we have asked another friend to join our team on an ongoing basis. I met Christina back in 2008 when she was a student in a class I was teaching. Fast forward several years, and I hired to her teach college nursing classes for me. Fast forward a few more, and she’s now helping revitalize, expand, and grow new initiatives, courses, and learning tools with us. Having known her since she started out in nursing and as a student, employee, and colleague gave me all the insight I needed to know that her creative mind and love of learning was exactly what we needed to help grow and expand OTS. I couldn’t ask for a better team than Sarah and Christina!
The Perks of Work Friendships
“You got to have friends to make that day last long,” sings Bette Midler. But good friends may help your life last longer, too, according to an Australian study. Conducted by the Centre for Ageing Studies at Flinders University, the study followed nearly 1,500 older people for 10 years. It found that those who had a large network of friends outlived those with the fewest friends by 22%.” That’s not all friends are good for, they also help increase your sense of purpose, boost happiness, reduce stress, and so much more!
Working with friends does have its obstacles. For us, maintaining our friendships takes priority over business. Sometimes this means waiting longer for things to be done or giving up a bit of control or creative freedom. Small prices to pay to work with people you love, trust, and respect. I know I try the hardest for my friends and surround myself with people who feel the same. There are so many benefits to friendships and having best friends at work including the fact that it feels a lot less like work.
We set out with the goal of helping provide better patient care. Along the way, we have learned a lot about business, marketing, video production, healthcare, and most of all, the value of working with friends. Thanks again to all of those who helped make OTS possible and, in turn, have contributed to people receiving better care and improved quality of life!
Patricia Graham MSN, RN, CNE