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Why Your Work Buddies Should Be Your Best Friends

To win in the marketplace you need to work--and play together.

“Awesome hanging tonight, see you at work in the morning!”

That's something I pretty much never said when it came to spending time with my employees. I used to keep my work life and personal life separate (e.g., work-life balance). I never wanted my work team to know what I was doing or where I was going personally.

I started hiring people for my entrepreneurial ventures when I was 25 years old. I had no idea how to hire people properly or manage people and I had the same high expectations my strict Indian dad had with me. Which meant: I was always disappointed. And things never work out when disappointment is felt.

When Work And Home Are One

The more I thought about it and went from one disastrous situation to another, the more I realized my job should be no different than my experience when I played soccer at the highest level. The best team I ever played on was when I considered my teammates my best friends and we fought hard to support each other and win for each other.

Just because someone is SUPER talented and smart, doesn’t mean his/her personality will jive with the others and if personalities don’t match, all parties will stop wanting to work as hard to win.

I feel like I’ve hired so many wrong fits in the past that I didn’t like as people but who I thought were smart and capable. These bad experiences clouded my ability to realize that I CAN hire people that I like as people and not just as employees. I realized that there is a new and different way to work with a team that cares for each other as friends too and I can include my team in my personal life too.

I used to not look forward to going to work to seeing people I didn’t get along with and finally, after many years of figuring things out, I love everyone on all of my teams for all of my businesses (THINX, WILD, Super Sprowtz, and Do Cool Shit).

I am so much happier now going into work and seeing people I care about as humans too.

If you’re not feeling excited to see your employees or partners, then it’s time to make a change. Key learning: Hire slow, fire fast. Pick humans you LIKE. It’s the only way to look forward to going into work. 

Last updated: May 28, 2014

MIKI AGRAWAL | Columnist | serial entrepreneur

Miki Agrawal is a serial social entrepreneur, keynote speaker, and television personality. She founded the farm-to-table alternative pizza concept called Wild in New York City and partnered with CEO Tony Hsieh to open the concept in Las Vegas. She was a recipient of the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival's Disruptive Innovation Award. Agrawal is also a partner in Super Sprowtz, a children's media company. Her book, Do Cool Sh*t: Quit Your Day Job, Start Your Own Business, and Live Happily Ever After, came out in August 2013.

The opinions expressed here by columnists are their own, not those of

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