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Michelle Ntalami shares challenges of doing business with a friend

Marini Naturals Chief Executive Michelle Ntalami has shared her perspective on the challenges of working with a friend.

With a deep understanding of the delicate balance between friendship and business, Ntalami sheds light on the key factors that contribute to a harmonious working relationship.

Her insights resonate with the idea that the foundation of a successful business partnership with a friend lies in the energy and patterns that define the relationship.

She compares the process to entering a romantic relationship; just as constant arguments in a partnership are indicative of underlying issues, the same holds true for a business venture. If discord prevails in a friendship, venturing into business together might amplify these challenges.

“People always ask me how I manage to do business with a friend, yet we seem to hardly fall out. I’ll tell you this from my experience; it all boils down to energy & patterns. Getting into business with a friend is very much like getting into a relationship with a partner. If you argue a lot with your partner in your relationship, chances are if you go into business, you’ll argue a lot too,” read Ntalami’s post in part. 

Drawing from her personal experience, Ntalami discusses her collaboration with Niyati Patel. Their friendship is characterized by mutual understanding, shared laughter, and respect for each other’s roles as CEO and MD. Ntalami’s point about the seamless transition from friendship to business emphasizes the importance of patterns. When patterns of understanding, respect, and effective communication are already established, they naturally extend to the business realm.

“@niyati.patel_ and I hardly argue as friends. We get each other and we laugh a lot. So this easily translates to business. We respect each other and the roles we both play as CEO & MD. Life with Niya as a friend is easy. So business with her is easy too. That’s the pattern, simple,” she said.

However, Ntalami issues a cautionary note against assuming that any friend can become a business partner. She underscores the significance of recognizing existing patterns within the friendship. Assessing chemistry and observing how both individuals handle everyday situations, even something as simple as an unexpected bill, is crucial. If a friend demonstrates a consistent tendency to shirk responsibilities or exhibit reluctance, considering them as a potential business partner is unwise.

“Don’t assume that you can get into business with just any of your friends, because it ‘looks cool’ to do so. You’ll set yourselves up for disappointment and a possible irreversible fall-out if you ignore the very clear patterns already in your friendship,” she urged. 

The renowned businesswoman continued by telling her fans and followers to pay attention to the dynamics of their friendships as not many of them would succeed at being business partners. 

“Pay attention to your chemistry, and how both of you handle even the simplest of situations as friends, like an unexpectedly high bill. If your friend has a habit of acting ‘busy’ or reluctant to play their part and leave you in the trenches, don’t you dare think of making them Co-anything.”

She added; “For Niya and I, such things are always a non-issue. So consequently, in business, greed, selfishness and money has never been an issue right from the first day we registered @marini.naturals. I am lucky to have found that in both a friend and a colleague, a rare blessing.”

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