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If you’ve been in business for any amount of time, you likely know that an NDA is a Non-Disclosure Agreement. These are generally legally binding documents that both parties sign to be able to share information without the fear of that information being spread to outside parties.
But have you ever heard of a FrieNDA?
FrieNDAs are used a lot by my circle in affiliate marketing. As a lawyer, I am compelled to tell you that they are not usually binding. But that doesn’t mean that they do not serve a purpose and shouldn’t be used.
A FrieNDA is invoked when you want to have a serious conversation with someone about issues that pertain to your business and your expectation is that the other person does not share them. It is more than a casual conversation. You may need advice or help. Or you may just have really big news that can’t be shared yet but you have to share it with someone.
When I had my Mastermind Group with Eric and Todd (that eventually turned into Wine Club Group), we had a blanket FrieNDA that everything we discussed about our businesses in our weekly calls was not to be shared. This allowed us to openly share data, strategies, and even struggles without fear that the others in the group would spread that information.
Conversely, I will often have one-off conversations with friends that start with “this is FrieNDA information” or “I need this to be covered by our FrieNDA.” We both acknowledge that and understand that whatever is said can’t be shared with anyone–even our mutual friends–no matter what. It’s more than a promise. It’s an understanding that the information being shared with you is so sensitive to the other person’s business that spreading it could damage them.
Now, we do sometimes jokingly bring up the FrieNDA after some cocktails and karaoke as a reminder that photos and video should be kept private. But the true value of the FrieNDA is when you can trust someone and value their opinion enough to share with them and know that your business is safe.
Connie zimmermann says
Great points Tricia, thanks for blogging this issue. I’ve only just really started building the main focus of my business (and trying to find my own Mastermind team as well) and am just now seeing that FrienNDA will be important. In looking forward I can see a couple of reasons:
1.) Best not to give away winning competitive strategy (as Napoleon Hill says)
2.) Best not to get too many folks wanting to provide input, which is a natural human trait, but sometimes burdensome.
3.) Best not to let too many people know what you have planned for those “rare” occasions that the plans flop!
Keeping the conversations to the most trustworthy and relevant relationships is great advice.
Love your writing style and your blogs. Thanks so much!!
Larry Rampulla says
Nice post. For years I’ve reminded clients to look across the table into the eyes of other parties. How well do you trust them, do you like then, have always been good questions to ask. With either success in business, or in litigation you may be living with them for years.
NDA or FrieNDA is a smart place to start.
I look to you for good advice and as always you deliver.
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