Working with friends can be tricky.  For many of us, starting a business is a daunting task.  There is so much to learn and you can’t know everything.  Many times, you count on the advice of family and friends and sometimes, you even work with them. Is this healthy for your relationships?  Can it ruin friendships?

OTS Info at their conference booth

Sisters working together.

I’m lucky. My business partner is my sister and my best friend.  There isn’t anyone that I have ever trusted more than Sarah.  She is smart, hard-working and honest.  That doesn’t mean it’s always easy, but having that relationship of trust goes a long way.

When we started our business the stars seemed to align. Those who know me understand that is a facetious statement. I don’t believe in cosmic intervention, but we seemed to have friends in the right places. Our friends believed in us and our mission to provide the world with a resource to provide better patient care. They willingly helped us for the price of meals and drinks. Every year, we thank them by getting together for dinner for our work anniversary.  This year marks 5 years since we began OTS with little knowledge of business but a great group of friends. The quality of our friendships has made working with friends relatively easy.

A recent article on WebMd talks about the health benefits good friends.

“You got to have friends to make that day last long,” sings Bette Midler. But good friends may help your life last longer, too, according to an Australian study. Conducted by the Centre for Ageing Studies at Flinders University, the study followed nearly 1,500 older people for 10 years. It found that those who had a large network of friends outlived those with the fewest friends by 22%.”

OTS 5 year anniversary

OTS 5 year celebration with appreciation awards! Joe, Sarah, Patricia, Tammy, Chuck, Brandon, Dan and Quin.

Working with friends does have it’s obstacles. For us, maintaining our friendships takes priority over business. Sometimes this means waiting longer for things to be done or giving up a bit of control or creative freedom. Small prices to pay to work with people you trust and respect. I know I try the hardest for my friends and surround myself with like minded individuals. An article in the Wall Street journal titled “Working with Friends” reminds us that our expectations shouldn’t be unrealistic based on what we know of our friend.

“Social habits and tendencies also can be indicative of how a friend will behave in a work environment.”

The Occupational Training Solutions Dream Team

Joe is our business savvy friend from the east coast who teaches us about business and constantly reassures us that we could be successful.  He’s been our biggest cheerleader. We appreciate him for so many things and being direct and honest are just a few of his admirable qualities

Dan is our tech/artist buddy who was able to help design our website, logo, add text to our videos, hold boom mics during filming and countless other miscellaneous jobs that were completely out of our knowledge base. He also made our first commercial. Without Dan knowing how to do so many things, we’d be lost.

Dennis is the Oscar winning film genius who filmed and edited our videos.

Quin provided insight into sales, helped with initial production and kept spirits light during long filming days with inappropriate jokes and commentary.

Brandon branded (pun intended) our products to look professional and classy. He also advised on editing and was able to offer advice on navigating through the media business.

young@heart group

Tammy, Joe, Patricia, Sarah, Quin, Dan and Dennis. Supporting a good cause and working together at OTS in the early days.


Shaun, our cousin, took care of countless sound and video production aspects behind the scenes. He is VERY busy and successful (owning Rock Candy Studio), but still manages to find time to help us out.

Val co-owns a booming education business called Innovative Educators.  We’ve learned so much about business, sales and marketing over happy hours with Val.


Tammy, Lynn, Geoff, Chuck, John and Grandpa Morrison helped by acting, providing voice over work and/or posing for photos. Without these amazing friends, our products would not have the quality and professionalism we are able to offer our customers.

We set out with the goal of helping provide better patient care. Along the way, we have learned about business, marketing, video production, healthcare and, most of all, the value of working with friends. Thanks again to all of those who helped make OTS possible and, in turn, have contributed to people receiving better care and improved quality of life!