Dating your business partner
She was engaged and ready to marry her former business partner. Now there are a lot of entrepreneurs out there who are personally involved with their business partner. So this begs the question… is dating your business partner a good thing? What about marrying your business partner?
Sleeping With Your Business Partner
A business partnership is very much like a marriage. You begin with excitement, full of optimism for the possibilities that lie in front of you. However, also similar to a marriage, there are ups and downs. The business relationship is great while the business is growing, while problems are getting solved and your levels of energy and motivation are in sync. But a partnership is quickly put to the test when business and personal challenges threaten to fray the connections that bind you together.
The health of your partnership plays a huge role in business success or failure, so being able to work well together and maintain a positive relationship is crucial. Unhealthy partnerships have been the demise of many many businesses. No one wants to end up with a toxic stew, waiting to eat away at the business. So how can you work to maintain good relationships?
A friend of mine, Megan, had always wanted to start her own business, and had been working as a freelance designer online. They had a shared idea of starting a publication for freelancers like themselves, and honestly, it had all the bones of a great idea as a resource for a growing community. However, not long into the partnership, cracks began to show. Melissa became increasingly unfiltered and erratic, with unprofessional outbursts toward contributors they were working with, and arbitrary decisions made for the business.
This is one scenario in which failing fast can save a lot of pain and heart-ache. Those that fall apart later on, in well-established businesses, can take down an empire. People often ask me whether or not they should go into business with friends or family members. For most founders its a mute point. And they can have a disastrous endings. Check out ZF podcast episode 35 to hear Anthony Eden talk about the implosion of his relationship with his co-founder and brother.
Their business conflict permanently changed the landscape of their family. Perhaps the answer is to check against those red flags first, and to have a clear plan to manage any conflict. I encourage even the most committed individuals to have a formalized plan for how they will handle the business partnership if the personal relationship begins to go south.
No one wants to believe that their relationship will fall apart, but my experience is that one of the best ways to prevent a collapse is to have a worst-case scenario plan in place. Even the healthiest business partnerships will experience conflict at some point. Conflict is not bad. It is the natural consequence of two of more engaged minds weighing on an important topic from differing perspectives.
Conflict can help us make key decisions or to see things in a new light. But like all situations involving elevated human emotions, conflict can have a constructive or destructive outcome. First of all, accept that some conflict may be inevitable , and ensure that you have a good process to work through it as partners. Conflict avoidance can lead to poor decisions, a growing mass of resentment and a later blow-out.
Avoided conflicts are a time bomb in your business. Tick tick tick tick. Some tips include:. What if your conflict does boil down to incompatibility of vision and values? Sometimes that happens. Sometimes the best option may be to dissolve the partnership, or at least re-negotiate roles. Conflict of vision and values can absolutely destroy business momentum and growth. Co-founders in deep conflict create a crappy situation for everyone involved with the business.
Recognize and deal with this as quickly as possible. It may be a difficult conversation, but perhaps the partner that wants more time away agrees to take a smaller role, or agrees to sell part of their share in the business. In any case, the conversation must be had. Changing or ending a partnership, much like a divorce, can be horribly destructive or it can be an opportunity to move on with graciousness and maturity. A healthy relationship with a business partner boils down to compatibility, maturity, and excellent communication.
Shared vision and values draw you together, but conflict will be inevitable- its all part of the ups and downs of the entrepreneurial roller coaster. Partners who bond often find that managing conflict goes more smoothly. Eat meals together, have a regular co-founder retreat, spend time investing in the relationship. The better you know someone, the more likely you are to understand how they tick, and when not to take things personally.
ZenFounder can provide partnership support with warmth and neutrality. Contact us here to request further information. Get the bonus content: Click Here. Episode Founder Origin Stories: Sheryle Gillihan. Patrick Campbell. Subscribe here for these extra tips.
I don't recommend partnering with someone that you're dating unless you're absolutely certain that the relationship is leading to marriage or at least a long-term commitment. What are the risks of dating one of my parent's business partner’s employee, if any? How do you keep a. The first year in business, my spouse/business partner and I quickly found ourselves converting date nights into startup strategy sessions – not.
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Yet, every business expert tells me that finding good business partners is just as tricky as a good marriage, without the sex. Business partnerships come in all shapes and sizes, from finding a single partner to help you run your startup, to signing a strategic agreement with another large company for development, marketing, distribution, or sales.
The former in each of these couples is a dominant, world-renowned businessperson. The latter, in their respective ways are, also dominant, world-renowned business people.
How to Keep a Healthy Relationship with Your Business Partners
Left to right: Just ask Jason and Jade Seibert. Both love yoga. In fact, they fell in love after they attended class together. As their love for yoga and each other grew, they decided it was time to start Sublime Yoga in their home town of Dunedin. Now, the studio offers 15 different classes a week and has hired some of the top yoga instructors in the Tampa Bay area.
In a Relationship With an Entrepreneur? Here Are 10 Things You Should Never Say.
May 25, Starting a business with a partner offers many benefits, not the least of which is having someone to share the many responsibilities of running a business. But partnerships can quickly go bad if you don't give it ample forethought and planning. Consider these pros and cons to be sure your partnership lasts. Ten years ago, Samantha was sitting in her best friend Rachel's kitchen, and an idea was born for them to start a business together. Their only consideration was the excitement they felt. Within a year, their client base increased to the point that it allowed them to each work their goal of 30 hours per week. After a few years, Rachel's time on the job and quality of work suffered. For every hour of work Rachel performed, Samantha was putting in two. Clients commented to Samantha about their dissatisfaction with Rachel's job performance.
This time of year always brings a lot of talk about dating, relationships, and meeting that special someone. But a relationship with the right business partner can be just as meaningful, if not more so.
Yvonne Radley On The Reality Of Dating/ Marrying Your Business Partner
Even the best relationships go through hard times. Whether you are friends , siblings, a couple , or business partners , you're bound to hit a few bumps in the road. Despite those inevitable bumps, it can be worth it to start a business with a partner. Research conducted by the Kauffman Foundation suggests businesses started by teams can attract 30 percent more investment than ones started by a solo entrepreneur. In addition, the research suggests that businesses started by a team can increase their customer base quicker, which improves their chances of survival. But, when the going gets tough, business partnerships, like all relationships, can become strained and even break down entirely, putting the business at risk and--more importantly-- putting the relationship at risk. Sometimes it can be beneficial to seek outside help--and sometimes the best help for business partners can come from a source they didn't expect: Couples therapy. If you are in business with a partner, essentially you are raising a child your business together and that makes you a family. Here are four signs you and your business partner may need to have a few sessions with a couples therapist. You and your partner connected with each other for a reason.
Confessions of an Entrepreneur: My Business Partner is a Nightmare
Entrepreneurship adds an exciting and sometimes, terrifying dynamic to our already unconventional arrangement as a very millennial, ex-military, over educated, super liberal , internationally traveled, very tattooed couple. Structure boundaries between your business and personal relationships. Routinely schedule structured discussions to assess business performance. Be intentional with your activity planning — both on and off the clock. Schedule monthly assessments and meetings during normal work hours to discuss the business, while scheduling a date night or chillax weekends to nurture your non-business relationship. While such structured activities may seem a little sterile at first, sticking to your calendar agreements can be a great way to head off would-be relational disasters. Separate business and personal financial goals, strategies, and management.
Yvonne Radley On The Reality Of Dating/ Marrying Your Business Partner
From good listening skills to not holding you back, there are many signals your partner likes you. For the rest of us, modern dating is a minefield. With so much available choice, how are you supposed to know if someone is right for you? When should you stop over-thinking and finally commit? Most unhealthy relationships include some form of sabotaging of one partner.
My partner Natalia and I started dating about three years ago. Working with each other has been one of the most rewarding professional experiences either of us have had. The first and most important decision we made was whether this was something we actually wanted. We started by working together on some small projects. Over time, we increased our shared workload and did some consulting together.
Starting a business can be both an exciting and frightening endeavor. Whether you are fresh out of college or are simply looking to venture off on your own, partnering up with a friend or colleague is often an attractive option — at first. Unfortunately, like dating relationships, not all business relationships last forever. In fact, many can become downright toxic over time and end up harming your business in the long run. If you feel that your business relationship is heading in the wrong direction, the following tips can help you determine if it is time to cut ties and move on.
To me, my wife is my biggest cheerleader. She supports me through everything, be it my business or my personal life. She is an amazing and supportive person. When my wife and I started our photography business at the age of 19, we immediately became business partners. It was hard and frustrating in the beginning. I had her help me with sales but also do editing and handle my meetings. I began treating her more like an employee than my spouse, or even my business partner.The Truth About Relationships With Your Business Partner