Startup Diaries: Balancing Business and Relationships

[Startup Diaries is a new original series of articles from Yahoo! Small Business Advisor that chronicles the day-to-day and week-to-week struggles of a variety of startup and new small businesses.]

Troy and Micha Goudeau have six children who all play sports. After making their own proud-parent T-shirts to wear during sporting events -- for example, "Cheetahs Mom" (track) or "Jackrabbits Dad" (basketball and football) -- and receiving requests from fellow parents, they decided to start a business: Proud Sports Parents LLC.

Many small businesses begin when two or more friends or family members combine resources to turn an idea into a creative, revenue-producing reality. We have all heard alarming statistics over the years that a vast majority of small businesses fail within their first year. Why is this?

Proud Sports Parents recently caught a glimpse of what one of the main reasons may be: RELATIONSHIPS. Plain and simple.

How does the business move forward if/when outside conflict occurs between the close family and/or friends that started the business? While it is easy to say that business matters and personal matters should be kept separate, that is much easier said than done.

Troy and I recently experienced a major setback in our business when we went through a divorce, accompanied by a period where both of us struggled to communicate at our best level.

What got us back on track? Our children and the fact that our passion for the business still stands. Troy and I are blessed with beautiful children who are very talented. This business is something that excites all of us. After a reasonable period of time for us to handle our personal matters, our business is back on track and we have a renewed passion for it.

Our advice to others who are experiencing relationship issues that impact business progression? Deal with the issue -- don't ignore it. Decide what changes, if any, have to be made for each person's health and the health of the business. Then, dig back in. There is work to be done!

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