DEAR HARRIETTE: My brother asked me to go into business with him on an idea he has had for a long time. I love my brother so much and want to support him, but I don't really think his idea is sound. He has shown me the numbers on how much it will cost to build it out and when it is expected to be profitable. Honestly, they don't seem realistic. I am not a businessman, but my gut says this not a good idea for me to be part of. I have limited resources, and I can't afford to lose five figures in order to support my brother. He is so mad that I am probably not going to do it. When I told him, he stormed off. What can I do to help him understand that I support him, but I cannot be his partner at this time? -- Brother Biz, Chicago
DEAR BROTHER BIZ: One way you may be able to help your brother is to get someone with financial know-how to review the business plan that he has put forth. Get a professional to give input on how viable this project seems, and share that with your brother. If it seems sound, tell him -- even if you choose not to be part of it anyhow. If it seems unstable, make sure you let him know that as well.
Remind your brother that you love and respect him and that this doesn't change based upon your going into business with him -- at least not for you.