Everyone has that friend with the wonderful business idea.
You know, that super idea that once built will bring in the cash by the boat load. Everyone will be swimming in success, everyone will be free of their boss, and debt will be a thing of the past, in the least amount of time possible.
Oh, by the way, your friend wants YOU to join them. It sounds like a home run right? Let's do this!
Slow down, and invest a minute to take the emotion out of this situation and ask a few important questions.
1. Will joining your friend improve your Health, wealth, Love, or happiness, or will it put these categories into a decline?
This first question should be the first filter to run any new idea through. What's in it for you? Time is our most valuable, non-renewable asset that we hold. Your friend is trying to take that time from you, to build their dream. Don't be in fantasy land, the benefits to you should be real, tangible, and guaranteed. Set your expectations up front, and if they are not being satisfied quickly, cut your losses and get out.
2. Do you share the passion for the business idea?
If you are not passionate about this business, you most likely will be miserable every day. My definition of passion is the ability to do the business every day for free, forever. Friendship is not a substitute for passion. Being in the presence of friends will not make you put in long days and nights with no profit coming in.
3. Does your friend have previous experience or knowledge of business building fundamentals?
I have witnessed many friends start businesses together. All of them failed. It was just an exciting idea for them. An idea that would free them from a job, debt, or something else. No one had any knowledge of business fundamentals, and even worse, they didn't even try to learn.
Learning and progress require failure, but is experiencing failure building your friends dream worth your time?
4. What motivates your friend to create this business?
If they say "money" "free time" "escape a job or boss" "it will be fun" "it will be easy" or anything similar - RUN AWAY.
There should be passion fueled by a "WHY." Ask your friend what their "WHY" is. If they do not have an answer - RUN AWAY! If they do have a "WHY"- telling you about it should bring them to tears (or close to it)
5. Is there a hyper specific business plan with a beginning middle, and multiple endings?
Is there a market? What is the size of the market? Who is the competition? Who is the customer? When will it be profitable? How will the business operate? Who will operate it? What are the exit strategies?
Many questions in addition to those above must be satisfied with responses based on reliable data, not fantasies.
6. Does your friend have the ability to face adversity without disintegrating?
Mental stability is a must. Business is a roller coaster, and the people in charge must not contribute to the bumpy ride with self-inflicted emotional breakdowns.
7. Does your friend have a mentor(s)?
Mentors are important. If your friend is not working with a mentor - yep, you guessed it - RUN AWAY! Don't try to re-invent the wheel. Find someone successful that is doing what you want to do, and copy them.
8. How many months/years can you/your friend last with no income?
Financial stability is essential. The potential for the business to not make a profit, ever, is real. How will you support yourself? How will your friend sustain themselves?
In the end, regardless of your choice, you will win, or you will learn. If you decide to join your friend, do not make excuses to hang on when everything is going down the toilet. Get out as fast as possible to minimize your time investment.
Thank you for taking the time to read, and I hope it inspires ideas you may not have considered.