Relationships, Money and Having It All

It’s interesting to me that in the same week we learned about the importance of relationships in the businesses world in our reading, we also heard from Nicco multiple times about the importance of thinking about money. One question I still have is how the balance between these two goals can coexist.

I refuse to ask my friends for money. If I’m ever in a situation where I absolutely need someone to purchase something for me, I venmo them immediately. I hate putting my friends out in that way. So how do you mix money and meaningful relationships?

When Matt Morgan visited our class, he talked about working with friends and asking them to become investors in his company. I didn’t have the heart to ask — but I couldn’t help but wonder how he handled the pressure of knowing he had accepted funding from his friends, especially once his company started to have problems.

I think the answer here is maybe to not focus so much on taking your investments from your roommate or going into business with your spouse, but rather, forming meaningful relationships with your peers. As Nicco discussed in class, working with peers who make you excited about your work is an incredibly motivating force. I’ve found that I’m motivated not only by working with friends, but also by people whose opinions I value.

I’m also heavily motivated by powerful women in the workplace. I was thrilled when I saw Lean In as part of our reading, because it’s one of my favorite books. I’ve read it cover to cover many times, and it changes the way I approach leadership, relationships and even my behavior in meetings. I still have to remind myself to take a seat at the table as Sheryl would say, and seeing other powerful women do that is a huge inspiration to me. I definitely struggle with confidence in my performance and ideas, which is probably evident in my blog posts and startup pitches. But reading Sandberg’s words reminds me that I have to consistently work against my instinct to question myself, and to embrace the strengths I bring into a room.

I think the takeaway from a discussion of money, relationships, and women in the workplace is that trusting and understanding yourself is one of the most important indicators of your success. Knowing how to think about money, who motivates you, who to work with, how to lead, and how to stay confident is vital to the success of anyone, especially someone looking to create a startup. I’m hoping Nicco gives us the key to understanding the answers to these questions by the end of the semester :)