We’ve all heard the warning ‘never go into business with family’ but is this old adage true or just an old wives tale?
By Eden Amirav and Iri Amirav
What better way to find out than straight from the horse’s mouth, from family members that have actually started a business together.
Become Co-Founders (left to right): Amir Leitersdorf (Active Board Member), Eden Amirav (CEO), Iri Amirav (Active Board Member)
Iri Amirav and Eden Amirav are not just cousins but also business partners and co-founders of a successful financial technology company, Become, which helps improve the funding odds and options for small businesses.
The Amiravs have been in business together since 2014, and their continued success proves that starting a business with family could actually work in your favor.
In this candid interview with Eden (CEO) and Iri (Active Board Member) we discovered the ins and outs of going into business with family from their first-hand experience:
What’s the story behind going into business with your cousin?
Eden: As a kid, I always looked up to my older cousin Iri, who was already a successful entrepreneur, and enjoyed hearing stories about his business ventures. I already knew from such a young age that I would become an entrepreneur myself. In my early twenties, I co-founded and became CEO of Maple, a profitable global lead-generation company with 70 employees. After selling the business to Web3, I was looking for my next big venture and although I didn’t know yet what the business would be, I knew that I would do it together with my cousin. So we joined forces and have since become co-founders of two successful businesses.
How is it different from starting a business with any other partner?
Iri: When you go into business with family, trust is never an issue. We’ve got each other’s back always and trust each other 100%. There’s no conflict of interest as we each want what’s best for the other.
What are the cons of starting a business with family?
Eden: Cons would probably come in if things had to go wrong and weren’t handled correctly. Conflict from work could easily spill over into personal relationships and cause a web of family problems, even risking other family relationships. Thanks to our strong relationship, this has never happened to us. Even when we needed to do a pivot a few years ago, we handled the change correctly, without it impacting our personal relationship.
Do you keep personal and professional lives separate?
Iri: Actually, we don’t. It’s hard not to talk about work when you’re together, even at family events, but work definitely doesn’t dominate our personal time together. I think it all depends on the relationship you have with your family member. Because Eden and I had a close friendship to begin with, we’re able to chat about work naturally within the context of family time without it being the focal point. We’ve never felt like we need any clear boundaries laid out or any formal restrictions on work talk.
What happens when you don’t agree on something?
Eden: From the get-go, we laid out rules for disagreements so that it wouldn’t become an issue for us on both a personal and business level. We agreed that because I’m the CEO of Become, Iri would always give me the final say on day-to-day decisions, but as a co-founder and active board member, he gives his input, which I value and always take into consideration. Again, it all boils down to trust — Iri and I trust each other implicitly and trust that whatever decision is made is with the business’s and each other’s best interests at heart.
Do you recommend starting a business with family?
Iri: Based on my experience co-founding multiple businesses over a number of years with my cousin, I highly recommend starting a business with a family member. The secret to success though is partnering with a family member that you already have a good relationship with.
Eden Amirav and Iri Amirav are successful serial entrepreneurs and co-founders of Become, a financial technology company that helps businesses become more. The company uses its proprietary technology to nurture each business throughout the funding cycle. Business owners receive a unique financial profile called LendingScore™, where they can learn funding essentials to improve their funding odds, unlock new funding opportunities, compare and claim their best possible funding solution. Twitter: @Become_co.