They Almost Killed a Good Thing

Quick Insight

Business partners may work "in" the business don't work "on" the business or their relationship. Over time, the relationship can deteriorate until the partners can no longer work together. Her are some options to help with this.

“I was recently approached by a friend who was running an entrepreneurial venture with a partner. The two of them had built an excellent retail business over five years… Now my friend was thinking about quitting… They were disagreeing more frequently on key decisions. As a result, the job had become more stressful… They had stopped thinking about their individual needs and stopped working on the relationship.” – Robert Steven Kaplan in What You’re Really Meant To Do.

These two are not alone. Over the past two years, I’ve spoken at a conference, done a webinar, and wrote a journal article on conflict between business partners. 

The good news is that the two people featured in the quote above were able to save their relationship and their business. They divided responsibilities differently and started quarterly “time-out” days to discuss their work relationship and business.

If you’re struggling with similar issues, I list some resources I have for you in the Further Insight section below.

I wish you the honesty and bravery needed to keep a good partnership relationship. I wish you well.

- Rob Stephens

Further Insight

CFO Perspective Resources

  • Video: Couples With Companies - In business, it’s always about relationships. This is especially true when your life partner is also your business partner. How can you forge a common vision for your shared life and company? How can you better understand your personal needs and goals for the business? You'll explore these questions with practical steps to help your business and relationship thrive.
  • Course: Creating Value - Business Success from Share Value - You get what you value when you provide value to others. Business success comes from creating value for owners, customers, and employees. In this program, you'll identify exactly what each of these three groups value and how to increase that value - and your success.

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