Before we started, we made a pact: We’re going to make this partnership work, no matter what life throws our way.
We met in 8th grade. We’ve been best friends for over 15 years. We don’t call ourselves sisters — we call ourselves twins. We weren’t going to screw this up now.
Here’s the story of how we went into business together:
I’m Hiromi, a CPA in Georgia and Illinois. Aimee is a military spouse in Oklahoma. We grew up together in Chicago but moved away from each other in our 20s. Despite the distance, we kept in close contact and lived vicariously through each other: I built my career as a highly sought-out auditor and Aimee fully integrated herself into military spouse life while working in personal finance on the side.
2016 was a life-changing year for us: I founded Hiromi’s CPA, LLC and Aimee gave birth to her first son (with me as the Godmother, naturally). After creating a Thumbtack profile in early 2018, I found myself inundated with work. I quickly learned that finding valuable staff was not easy. I needed help!
So I hired the best person for the job: Aimee. She was only 1000 miles away.
We manage the logistics with daily phone calls Monday through Friday while I commute to my 9-5 job and Aimee drops off her son at daycare. The calls are the perfect mix of business and personal - we can easily switch from lady boss to best friend mode. Aimee runs the business during the day, while I’m at my 9-5 job. At lunch, we sometimes text to update each other of status and I’ll address any urgent needs. When Aimee picks her son up from daycare at 6:00PM CST, she passes the baton back to me. I work at night until midnight while Aimee is on standby and taking care of her family. During weekends, we remotely work together by sharing screens. Once a month, we fly out and meet in person either in Atlanta or another part of the country.
Since Aimee joined the firm, sales have doubled and the business runs smoothly. I’m no longer stressing over every single part of the business by myself. We share the challenges instead! The biggest challenge is that stress can cause us to become overwhelmed and unintentionally hurt each other. But we know each other so well that we’re able to recognize when the other is hurt, put a stop on the overflowing emotions, and reaffirm that best friends stick together, forever. “We’ve got this!”, “You’re stuck with me for life!”, and “I appreciate you” are our daily mantras and reminders to each other.
The firm has grown so much in the last year that we just signed a lease for our first office in Atlanta! We persevere through all challenges, work through the distance and time zone differences, encourage each other to ignore the critics and naysayers, and support each other through our shared business and life dreams.
We knew that entering into business with your best friend would either make the friendship stronger or tear it apart. We grew stronger.