Business Partnership Advisor
Together, we can fix your business and partnership problems
Chris Reich, Business Luminary
Your Business Partnership Can Survive if You Know the “Why”
“If you know the why, you can live any how.”
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I came across this quote recently in a book by Victor Frankl (Man’s Search for Meaning). It struck me immediately as the core question to every partnership mediation. is saying that if you know why you want something, you can figure how to make it happen.
Do you remember why you went into business with your partner? Do you still have any of those feelings? If things were better between you and your partner, would you want to continue working together?
Think about those questions. If you can express why you would like to stay in business with your partner, I can help you figure out how to make it work. It’s that simple. This is why I often can tell in advance if a situation can be resolved or if it’s better for the partnership to dissolve.
This thought process has many great applications. For example, if your business is struggling and you wonder if it’s time to quit, look for the ‘why’ and write it out. Why keep going? Why quit now? You’ll be surprised at how helpful getting clear about why to continue or stop is to finding answers to how you can make that happen.
It works in other ways as well and could help you break a destructive habit. Do you spend unwisely? Ask yourself why you want to spend on something extravagant. If that answer isn’t very satisfying, you’ll know. You’ll know when you are fooling yourself. When that happens, you’ll see that the ‘how’ to afford the expense will fall short when the ‘why’ is weak.
“I want your business to survive. If you can express “why” you want to fix your partnership, I’ll show you how.”
“If you can express why you would like to stay in business with your partner, I can help you figure out how to make it work. It’s that simple.”
When business partnerships go bad, very often someone wants out. That starts one of two possible processes. The business enters Wind Down and begins the process of closing or the partners start discussing a Buyout.
When the business partnership breaks down, the darker sides of the personalities come through. A dominant partner turns into a bully. A person who does not do well with conflict will withdraw. As the bully gets more aggressive, the pacifist withdraws further. Eventually, the bully gets so angry they are ready to lock the other partner out. The pacifist quits coming in. The next blowout is over money. The course is as logically predictable as what will happen to your car if you hit the highway with no oil in the engine. It will get louder and louder until the engine seizes.
I recommend that partners talk through a specific issue and then draft an agreement (called a resolution) that sets a policy. You can keep this in a binder to serve as amendments (or foundation) to your Partnership Agreement. In this post I’ll explain how to talk about things that bug you with your partner and how to draft a binding resolution to fix the problems.