Defining Blurred Lines: How To Differentiate The Relationship Between Friends, Business And Money

It is believed that two things define you: your patience when you have nothing and your attitude when you have everything. In either extremity, it can be difficult to maintain perspective. Let's be real: whether depreciated or amassed, your wealth and status matter in today's social caste system.

Wealth can extend your resources. It often determines the opportunities that you're presented with, the people that you come in contact with and the goods and services that you have access to.

Sometimes, however, it's not the wealth that you accumulate, but the influential people that you meet along the way. These people can either help or harm you in today's sink or swim environment, and as Millennials, we place a major emphasis on the relationships that we foster. What's more difficult to define, however, is the boundary between our friends and finances.

The Beneficial

Everyone loves a beneficial friend. It's the friendship that you actually gain from, whether socially, economically or spiritually. These people generally enhance your life, and you hold them in high esteem.

Though advantageous, these friendships can be the easiest to damage, primarily because we often neglect to express gratitude and take these helpers for granted. We get comfortable and simply begin to expect these friends to be there.

Our generation has a serious issue with entitlement (we'll save that for another article), and sometimes we fail to realize that no one owes us any favors. Moreover, entangling money in this equation can be disastrous, especially if the friend has more of it than you.

If you elect to start a business with this person, you could potentially create a hostile environment. Consider a business plan that fails. Perhaps you expect the wealthier friend to sustain more of the financial loss because of the marginal effect. Though unfair, this illustrates one simple case of unhealthy expectation caused by this relationship dynamic.

The Benefactor

Take everything said about the beneficial friend, and reverse it on yourself. This is the individual that needs aid every time you turn around. He or she is always experiencing some situational hardship. This person drains you in every aspect and most of the time, maintains a negative outlook on life.

Woe to the world. I think it's quite overtly clear why money involvement in this relationship can be detrimental. This person may end up spending the start-up funds on some other venture that you weren't even privy to. Maybe that's a stretch, but I've seen it happen all too many times.

I like to label this person as someone with good intentions and bad decisions. These people label life as an antagonist by failing to realize that they are the masters of their fate.

The Bendable

Don't ever be a bendable. This person is the absolute most annoying because you honestly can't gauge them. They are the downright followers, with no backbone, opinion or pride. They waver with the crowd like tumbleweeds, following the cool kids and never focusing on the task at hand.

This person could be an asset one day and a liability the next. Severely unreliable, you don't want to waiver your wealth with this individual. Instead, hire him or her for PR or marketing. This person will be at your side as long as you remain in a high position, but don't look for him or her if you fall off.

Honestly, who would entrust a person of this nature? You need a faithful business partner, one that will perfect the craft for the long haul.

Friends, money and business can create a complex atmosphere. My advice? Know your friends and their core beliefs before you entwine finances with your companions. Money is a powerful element that takes a responsible individual to handle it properly. Too many times, we let finances fuel our behaviors.

Though a definite motivating factor, some things should prevail. Good friendships, for instance, and more importantly, family. Money often strains and even ruins these invaluable relationships, so do yourself a favor, and choose wisely.

Top Photo Courtesy: Fubiz/Wolf Of Wall St