FRIENDS FIRST, BUSINESS PARTNERS SECOND | YVONNE LYNGAAS ZEMAN, FOUNDER AND CEO | ANNA NGUYEN, COO |




Have you ever thought about starting a business with your best friend? It’s definitely a journey that can be laced with pitfalls, but Yvonne Lyngaas Zeman, the founder and CEO of Monarch & Co. and her best friend, Anna Nguyen, have made it work. Communication is key, as well as prioritizing the friendship first, says Zeman. They also grapple with running a business that is based in two different states, as well as starting and raising families in the midst of all this.

Here are my three big takeaways from the conversation:


- It’s integral to set up agreements that guide each big conversation, what you will commit to and how you will show up.

- You can’t ignore the big conversations – it just gets more difficult to have them.

- Communication, trust, and flexibility are key ingredients in making all this work.


What was their biggest screwup? Not having the big conversations right away. The uncomfortable topics, such as equity, titles and responsibilities, need to be addressed, otherwise, they become the elephant in the room.

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