It is not everyday that you get to tell a friend how you value them and own up to some of the contributions they have made, which otherwise would have been hard or impossible. In many cases, the contributions are personal, but in some cases its in business.

When you start up your small shop and friends support you, its always nice to say thanks or show appreciation the best way you know how. I have found the value in telling my friends when am overawed by their generosity, kindness or honesty. I learned that you could lose a friend and don’t get to say all those things.

There are people who think that friends can’t do business but I am a believer in friends working together, as long as they are honest and can tell each other off, that’s what true friends should do; tell me off if my idea sucks or if you feel like we are taking advantage, say it.

I must admit that at first, I took my friends for granted, assumed that we will always be friends. I also assumed that friends are supposed to have your best interests at heart, until you find a new friend who totally changes your view and shows you how you have been getting a raw deal.

In my many years of doing biz, I have learned that not all friends support you when you are struggling and even you you find your footing and are doing well, they will not be happy. But there are also others who will be happy for you and will support you any way they can.

There will always be two types:

They will not support your business/cause

I am the kind who has always had a side hassle but I had a friend who will gladly go to a shop at the main outlet instead of buying from you. For instance, they know you resell a certain product but would rather go directly to the main shop even though the cost is the same, just to make sure you don’t earn that commission.

Then there are others who will gladly pay cash when they go to those shops/outlets but when its you, they want to pay by installments. Usually you will say yes because you need the money, but if you say no, they go directly and pay cash. Why now?

Someone will argue that maybe the main shop gives guarantee but even if the factors are held constant, there are some who would rather not help you out or just give you that business.

The ones who exceed your expectations

I was humbled the other day by a friend, who saw an opportunity that I had passed because I thought it was hard to meet the requirements. It was a tender that was long and tedious. She explained to me how we could go about it and she was willing to help, and she did.

I was overawed by how she went out of her way to rope in her friends who had done this before and had them help me out with the documentations. If you have ever heard of someone going out of their way, she did and she reminded me the true meaning of friendship; when people dig deep, spend their time or call in favors for you and maybe you have not done something of that magnitude for them.

Her story made me realize how nice it is to make new friends and see what they can offer, its easy to get more than you expected but be ready to reciprocate the best way you can.

We will debate whether friends can truly be supportive in our businesses, I have learned that if someone is a true friend, you can do joint business or complementary and still find a way to tell them when the idea sucks.

The best thing is that when people know you and your strengths and weaknesses, sharing your plans can be enriching because they can point out when you are ahead of yourself or right on track. They will also appreciate that you can ignore their counsel and still remain friends.

I have learned a few things about friends and I think its good to take a time out in your friendship, rotate or change completely and get a new set of friends. I now know that friendships can run their course and after sometime, you lack anything in common.

But whats the easiest way to lose a friend? I have experienced one major one- class….

When you are of same status/class

The issue of class or status in society is debatable but there are friends who will dump you because they have moved a class up and you don’t seem to be moving as fast. When you were both poor and eating from “funny” joints, you were close friends, when the person gets money and can afford Java or some exotic lunch everyday, then you are no longer friends and that’s when the joints you used to frequent become funny.

There are some, where your friendship is tight when you are both single but as soon as they get hitched, they go under and when that union goes south, that’s when calls start coming in, which makes you wonder, why are we friends.

One thing that I have always insisted is staying close to who I am; if having an idle two minute chat or saying hello to the watchman makes me shao, shagsmundu or of a lower class, I think that’s ok. I like to imagine everybody has the ability to bail you out in certain circumstances, it could be that idler at the bus stop who will see you going home late one day and decide to give you a push or at least his presence will make the muggers keep off or it could be that tout you say hi to who will let you get away when you have no 10 bob or will notice you when you have a puncture on that route and looking stranded/or in a rush to a meeting or something. Ok, am digressing too much. The point is, I have learned that people will diss you because of who you associate with.

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