Yesterday I “broke” my website resulting in the revelation that I am in love with my business. Today I am dealing with the implications of breaking the website. One person it negatively impacts is my business partner. Since I love my business and am truly fond of my business partner, I thought I better read about how to make my partner happy. My research led me to read a great article called “Like Marriage, Business Takes Work” printed in the New York Times. I have never thought of my business as a romance until yesterday . Today I learned that I am not only in love but I am married.
In the article the author suggests that business partnerships are like marriages in many ways. Like marriages business partnerships often fail. So if my business partnership is like a marriage lets see what Dr. Phil says about a healthy marriage does it relate to a business partner? According to Dr. Phil:
•You get what you give. When you give better, you get better. This point seems to fit! When working with my business partner the better her ideas the better our conversation and the better outcomes we have in our business and of course the converse is true!
•If you put your relationship in a win/lose situation, it will be a lose/lose situation. Ahh, Dr. Phil you are so right! In the trials of our start-up, a loss for one of us is a loss for both of us!
•Forget whether you’re right or wrong. The question is: Is what you’re doing working or not working? Again Dr. Phil I think this is spot on for a business partnership. You should focus on your goal and work to get there.
•There is no right or wrong way to fix a relationship. Find your own way that works. But recognize when it’s not working and be honest when it needs fixing. In the New York Times article they state that most partnerships fail because of real business problems not interpersonal problems. The danger to the relationship lies when the real business problem causes communication break downs.
•Falling in love is not the same thing as being in love. Embrace the change and know that it takes work. Not sure about this point. Although it seems to address when work goes from the fun inventive part to the day-to-day routine part.
•You don’t fix things by fixing your partner. Agreed. Just like in marriage we should not try to change our business partner. Luckily for me my business partner does not need any changing!
•Intimacy is so important because it is when we let someone else enter our private world. Okay, this point might be a stretch when it comes to a business partnership however when you are working on someone’s dream business it is pretty intimate.
Dr.Phil’s next three points I will examine together.
- You don’t necessarily solve problems. You learn how to manage them.
- Communicate. Make sure your sentences have verbs. Remember that only 7 percent of communication is verbal. Actions and non-verbal communication speak much louder.
- You teach people how to treat you. You can renegotiate the rules.
The last three points I will address as one. My take-away for entrepreneurs is that we need to treat our business partners well. We must communicate, communicate, communicate!
I cannot help but recall this Bible verse from my days in Sunday School:
A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.
I am glad I have a business partner and will work hard to make my business partner happy and our business flourish!