The Trouble With Giving Favors to Friends and Family [VIDEO]

by . August 26th, 2016

Friends and family are supposed to be cherished. But many entrepreneurs think they’re mostly a pain in the neck. For good reason.

Now I love my friends and family as much as anyone else does. But when you freelance or run a business, there will often be a time your friends and family will hit you up for a favor. How often have you’ve been hit up for a free logo design, or a free marketing plan? I’ve had these experiences several times myself.

Now we’re not saying you should outright reject your friends and family when they do this, but you should also consider the practical trade-offs that come with that transaction. These trade-offs will often transcend that single event and play a continuing role in your relationship.

Louis Rossman, an NYC-based entrepreneur, circuit-board repair guru, and consumer rights activist shared his thoughts on the subject of giving favors to friends and family. The video is a bit long, but it is by far the best one you will ever see on the subject. Check out Louis Rossmann’s channel for other insightful videos.

Rules of thumb:

  • If a family member is only nice to you so they can get freebies, please reconsider your relationship.
  • If someone has to remind you that “you’re friends” when they ask a favor from you, they’re not your friends.
  • If you need a friend’s professional services and if you desire to remain friends, always pay full price. Friends do not take advantage of each other. It’s up to them if they want to give you a discount.
  • Evaluate individual relationships, not bloodlines.

“I’m a carpenter and there was no end to what friends and family expected me to do for them on their houses and flats, almost for free. So I made a contract which stated, that I would do the job for them for a very low price; but when they sold off the house or flat at a later stage, they would pay me the remaining amount, plus the extra value that the improvement to their house added. This stopped a lot of them from asking for my ‘help’.”

  • Giving favors to friends and family should be a personal choice, not something you’re coerced into.

What are your thoughts on doing favors for friends and family? Comment below.


Arthur Piccio manages YouTheEntrepreneur and has managed content for major players in the online printing industry. He was previously BizSugar's contributor of the week. His work has appeared multiple times on The New York Times' You're the Boss Small Business Blog. He enjoys guitar maintenance and reading up on history and psychology in his spare time.