05/01/2013 at 11:25 AM EDT
Everyone knows Oprah
and Tyler Perry are friends, but now they're business partners too.
Perry, who has created two new shows for Oprah's television network, OWN
, explains how the duo is adjusting to their new venture in the June issue of Essence
"The most important thing about coming together was making sure we would not lose our friendship because of the business. We had to establish ground rules," Perry, 43, says.
He continues, "The main one: Both of us have to continue to live in our truth. If she doesn't like something, say it. If I don't like something, I'll say it. And we'll figure it out and keep moving on…"
Oprah – who recently told Steve Harvey
how much she misses the "camaraderie" with an audience during her talk show – is well-aware of how important their partnership is.
"We both know how rare this is," the 59-year-old mogul says. "Where else in the history of our African-American culture have two really, really successful people who can do whatever they want said, 'Let's come together and be even more powerful – let's take it to the tenth power?"