DreamSharer Boulevard

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Important rule in business when it involves personal relationships

Posted by DreamSharer on February 22, 2013

All my friends who worked with me in the past would know that my professionalism dictates that I don’t know you when I am working with you. If we have a job together and when we are on the job I don’t know you other than you and I are working and nothing else in between. When I am a teacher, let’s say the principal was a friend and she and I had a fight over a personal matter, does it make any sense if I left my students without a lesson or a teacher and just went home because of my personal matter with my friend principal? See not a lot of people get that concept which is why it is so hard to work with people because they can’t separate personal from business and that is just so wrong!

See my ex and I had a terrible break up but unlike many privileged women who can cut their ex’s off I could not do that because I was his manager and he was a music star. We were in the middle of getting contracts and meetings with record companies. I spent nights with tears in my eyes preparing powerpoint presentations about him and his work and saw all the pictures that people who had just broken up should not see. But I did because that is what professional means. I did all of that for months which elongated my healing process and I knew it made things worse but again I needed to be professional. 2 months later I traveled to do meetings with companies and he was there coming with me to every meeting. Him the guy I just broke up with. Still again work and personal should be separate. I went there and did all the meetings and when my job was over I gave him a one month notice that I can’t work with him anymore and I told him I will find him someone to take my place. I spent the next month gathering all his work in a special folder and making interviews with candidates to take my place. And finally after I secured another manager for him, I cut all ties with him.

See I only told this story to show that when you make a commitment to work with family or friends or husbands/ wives or lovers you take on the risk to run into personal problems but you also take on the risk of having those personal issues mix up with business and then you won’t be at your optimum performance. While you fight and take days and months off work because you are not talking to each other, other businesses emerge and do better than you and you risk your professionalism. If you want to work with a partner you value in your personal life then you must be strong to say ok I will not talk to you personally until I cool off but we will only be talking about our business and working on our business till then. That way your business won’t be affected and it is the smart thing to do.

If you can’t do that then the first thing you need to work on before anything else is your professionalism. It is one of my pet peeves because my mind thinks if I could step on my heart and push myself to be professional and yell at my friends when directing my movies and if I could step on my broken heart and work with my ex and make him look perfect to the companies we were meeting during our break up even though he was the worst person in my eyes back then, then I know that everyone else can be strong enough to make the right choice of being at their professional best. Everyone can do it, make the right choice for you but just be professional no matter what decision you make. This is coming from someone who had to be the director of movies her friends acted in and had to bust them and push them and yell at them to get their best performances.

Do you think that was easy for someone who is very nice to everyone and can’t even say the word NO to anyone in real life because she does not want to hurt anyone’s feelings? Of course not! This was the most difficult thing I ever had to do. But I did it! No one can say I am not a good firm and disciplined director. And not even my ex can ever say that I was not professional in his business till the last moment we ever spoke to each other. This is what professionalism is! A dedication! Friend or not, if I need to stop working with him or her, I will send a resignation letter and a one or two months notice. Friend or not, if I need to take time off then I will send a documented request. I don’t take advantage of friendships and slack off and do things unofficially just because we are friends. The only thing this friendship serves in business is the trust we have in each other and how we know each other as business partners. That’s it! Nothing else should happen just because you are friends. They should not cut you some slack because you are friends and it is not their jobs to do that. But you see people don’t like that. Automatically when they work with friends they think oh nothing should be official and that is a totally wrong thinking. I used to send a weekly report to my ex out of my own will about how things are coming along and the status of everything that is being negotiated. Also I had a business contract which I prepared myself with my ex as his manager. We were in a relationship but when it came to business I made sure we worked as pros because that’s what I wanted to be and that is what any business-minded person should strive to be.

I know how hard it is to draw the line but I also know that it can be done!

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