Clients and Friends

Clients and Friends

In the movie When Harry Met Sally, Harry asserts that men and women can’t be friends because “the sex part always gets in the way.”   One could say the same about being friends with clients, not because of sex, but because the business part would always get in the way.

As anyone with children can attest, there comes a point in your child’s life when you must decide whether you’re going to be a parent or a friend.  When five-year-old Juan says a curse word in public, it might be amusing—Juan might have impeccable comic timing—and you may have to bite your lip to keep from laughing.  But, as a parent, you need to let Juan know that profanity is not okay…at least not until he’s paying taxes.

Same goes for a businessperson and his or her client.  While it’s important to have a cordial and friendly relationship with your clients—depending on your industry, it may be necessary to offer life advice and even play the role of a therapist on occasion—establishing a friendship with someone you have a fiduciary duty toward is often the path to misunderstandings at best and bad business decisions at worst.

Most of us look to our business advisors for clear-headed information and guidance.  We need objectivity and, occasionally, a hard talking to.  We don’t need the person who manages our money to be a shoulder to cry on about a bad breakup or a drinking buddy.   What we need is someone who cares about our portfolio, or our job prospects, or our legal issues as much as or more than our personal lives.

Of course, there are exceptions.  When both parties are mature, well adjusted individuals who understand that the business and personal spaces must be kept separate, a real friendship can sometimes blossom.  But that’s rare.

Sure, you may have flown down to Aruba with your stock broker and his family for a long weekend and had a great time, but when you’re back on Monday and the market is tumbling and your broker’s advice seems to be losing you a ton of money, that friendship will be on the  skids faster than you can say “Dow futures.”

Does that mean you can’t go out to dinner with clients or check in with them when you know they’re going through a tough time with their health or their family?  Of course not.  Friendly, compassionate, and cordial interactions are the cornerstones of a successful business relationship.  But, crossing the line into the kind of intimacy that friendship entails is, more often than not, a mistake.

So, be like cynical Harry instead of idealistic Sally in this respect.  Keep your clients and friends separate—like the dressing on Sally’s salad.


Related content:

The Soul of Your Business
15 Ways to BE a Smart Communicator in a Pandemic World
If You Want to Accomplish Something Become Productive Not Busy



Discovering Balance and Bliss: Embracing Yoga

Discovering Balance and Bliss: Embracing Yoga

With Yoga as a steadfast companion, the pursuit of balance, bliss, and well-being becomes an invigorating and enriching voyage Finding moments of tranquility and inner harmony is a precious gift. Enter yoga – an ancient practice that extends far beyond the realms of...

The Use of Philosophy to Build a Mental Fortress [Video]

The Use of Philosophy to Build a Mental Fortress [Video]

Stoicism teaches that before you try to control events, start with learning to control yourself. Editor’s note: This is part six of a six part Emotional Intelligence Series. Please find Part 1: It’s Never too Late to Create a Bold Self-help Plan & Execute It  ,...

Mindfulness in the Workplace- A Strategy, Not Trend

Mindfulness in the Workplace- A Strategy, Not Trend

The integration of mindfulness practices in the workplace is not just a trend; it's a strategic investment The world, technology and life overall seem to be moving at a faster pace than ever! Due to the amount of daily overstimulation, the concept of mindfulness has...

Video Gallery

Modern version of Stoic philosopher Epictetus
A professional leads a cybersecurity training session for employees, emphasizing best practices. The photography captures the engagement of participants, showcasing the educational aspect of safeguard
Hispanic bearded male businessman trainer teaching coaching new recruitment African American female businesswoman employee in formal suit sitting studying learning company graph chart strategy
The presence of a robot using a computer. Office keyboard being typed on by machine. future IT group,.
Latino Streetwear Entrepreneur Latin Biz Today
Chef Lorena Garcia cooking with a wok
Latina Chef Loren Garcia
Latin Biz Today partner Johanna at the San Sebastián Festival


Which item currently represents the greatest hurdle in the growth of your business?(Required)

Sign Up for the Latin Biz Today Newsletter

PR Newswire

Featured Authors

avatar for Betsy SilvaBetsy Silva

Betsy is an international consultant foc...

Latinas and Everyday Leadership for Work and Life

Innovation & Strategy


Four Basic Principles for Raising Capital

Four Basic Principles for Raising Capital

Outside investors want to understand a business' strategy as well as its financial statements.   The need to raise capital from outside investors requires a great deal of preparation across multiple dimensions. Among many things, investors look to understand...









Work & Life


Health & Fitness

Travel & Destinations

Personal Blogs

Pin It on Pinterest