I learned the lesson the hard way…
I was with my best friend having a beer, laughing and enjoying our conversation. Somehow the beers were having a good effect and things started to look bright…
“I have an idea, let’s start a business!”
And just like that, our friendship started on a different path. We were excited, we trusted each other, we had a very clear dream of where we wanted to go, so we started to work towards our project.
Very soon small misunderstandings started to happen, yet we ignored them because we were “best friends.”
We were locked into the business after we made our financial investment while we invested more and more time and energy into the project.
Difficult conversations need to happen. They never did. We had no formal agreement, and soon was too late to even talk about them…
Problems and misunderstandings started to build up quickly, and eventually the beers ended. Then the fun ended. This negative energy went into the business which led to a business failure.
The friendship ended.
To answer your question: What should an entrepreneur never do?
Don’t jump into a business venture just because of friendship! It’s incredibly easy to get involved for the wrong reasons.
John D. Rockefeller has a great quote:
“A friendship founded on business is better than a business founded on friendship.”
Handling business and friendship is extremely complex — it demands mature individuals to make it work.
Ever seen this brand?
If you enjoy tea or spend any much time making tea in hotel rooms, chances are, you’ve drank one of their cuppas.
They claim to be the finest “luxury tea” brand in the world, and this clearly shows in the packaging of the teabag, which oozes luxury. An old-style logo decorated with vintage fonts and the language of luxury itself, French. Possibly, they might be based in France. Their slogan, The Finest Teas in the World, adorns the packaging, and on top of that, the number 1837, possibly suggesting how well established their business has been, a mark of quality for its customers to trust in.
Their teas are sold in luxury stores such as Harrods in London, Dean and Deluca in the US, and more.
They run a chain of picturesque teahouses that people can enjoy tea in, as well as splurge on exquisite cuisine to accompany it. Many people visit them and post pictures on social media tagging their brand.
But what if I told you, that they were actually established in 2008 in a mall in Singapore, and TWG stands for The Wellbeing Group?
The french writing on the bag doesn’t really have a correlation to tea (grands crus prestiges means prestige vintage wines), and while the marking ‘1837’ led people to think that it was established more than a century ago, the firm’s spokespeople claimed that it was instead a tribute to the “year when the Chamber of Commerce was founded in Singapore”.
Their marketing strategy was so successful, as of 2017, the tea company was worth $90M.
Some people may think that their strategy was a scam, but I honestly think that their strategy is genius. Find a relatively normal product, create a luxury brand out of it, and voila, you have a multi-million dollar company.