1. Holidays are so much more fun with business drama
There is nothing like sitting down for Thanksgiving dinner or partying at your nephew’s Bar Mitzvah and feeling like you are playing 20 questions about the stuff you have been stressing over all week. Why leave that drama at the office when you could keep it with you (and your big business uncle) on all of your days off, too!
2. One more reason to feel guilty about “ruining your parents’ life”
“And after all we’ve done for you?!? The private school, years of braces, three wrecked cars, your first wedding (we told you he was a loser), the ‘investment’ we made last year and now this?!? You need more money?!? When are you going to start paying us back? We aren’t going to be here forever you know…” Sounds like fun, right?
3. Financial stress brings people together
Think back to all those great conversations about money that you have had over the years. Splitting up the profits between you and your neighbor after the Lemonade Stand sold out that Saturday afternoon. Easy! Collecting the $7 of pizza money after the college pizza party was over from 22 of your dorm mates. 100% payback and you felt great about it, too. 🙂 Borrowing $20,000 from one of your dinner club friends three years ago with a promise to pay him back at least double in two years. No worries, I’m sure his wife and your wife will be even better friends once they find out.
4. Vacationing with your in-laws’ money
So it’s been two years of 24/7 work and you desperately need a vacation. Just a long weekend at a simple beach condo would tide you over and potentially save your marriage. His parents just invested another $75,000 last month to “get the national marketing campaign started.” Sure, they are going to think it’s their money you are spending at the beach. Sure, you wonder if this will cause tons of stress between you and them. Sure, you think it will hurt your chances of getting any future investments from them. Your sanity and a healthy marriage or happy in-laws… screw the sanity and marriage! We need to keep the in-laws happy or we won’t be able to reach our dream. Wait, our dream was sanity and more time for our marriage!
I know, I know! It’s not always bad to have your friends and family as investors in your startup. There are some amazing success stories out there. Unfortunately, most startups are not one-hit-wonders. They are filled with stress, uncertainty, and missed deadlines. You will need support from your friends and family. Chances are that you will get way more of the right kind of support if their money is not on the line. Keep it simple, get startup investors the right way – by getting the right investors.
Chris Williams is a serial entrepreneur, investor and advisor for businesses in high risk situations.