If you get into bed with the wrong dog, you’re sure to get fleas. And that’s what you need to remember about business partnerships. No matter how fantastic the wrapping, it’s what’s inside that counts, and it’s way too easy to get stuck with a dud. Here’s what you need to know to figure out if your partner is a nightmare dressed like a daydream.
All Hat and No Cadillac
You know the type. He talks a good game, which is probably why you bothered partnering with him in the first place. He tells you everything you want to hear and has you convinced the two of you are going to make the big bucks together. The problem is, he does so little of anything useful that he might as well be a prop. If you’re constantly biting your lip to keep from telling him to crap or get off the pot, you’ve got a nightmare on your hands. This kind of partner is as useless as teats on a bull.
Mrs. Can’t Get it Right
We’ve all met them—those well-meaning individuals who just can’t seem to do anything right. No matter how hard your partner seems to try or how careful her plans, she makes a mess of everything you try to do. And guess who has to clean it all up? If you’re tired of following your partner around with a broom and dustpan, you’re dealing with a partnership nightmare.
Never Met a Buck He Didn’t Spend
This type might be the worst. You have a carefully kept budget, right? Of course you do. But your business partner constantly spends money you didn’t agree upon. If he’s not taking the wife to $200 lunches and claiming them as a business expense, he’s buying a bunch of crap you don’t need and can’t afford. This may be the worst type of business partner because he’s got the skills to suck your business fund dry.
Like marriages, good partnerships are built on great communication. So what do you have when your business partner doesn’t communicate well? And what are you dealing with when your partner keeps secrets about things like spending, business income, the people he or she have hired, and what, exactly, they do with their time? You’re dealing with a nightmare, that’s what.
So what can you do if you’ve discovered that your partner is the main negative conversation topic at every dinner conversation with your poor spouse? Or even worse, you find yourself raising hell and making all kinds of threats to that fictitious person in your car as you’re going to your next meeting? Listen, every dog has a few fleas. Heck, let’s face it, you got a few rashes from a few scratches yourself. If you find that your partnership is headed south, try talking to your partner before you kick his or her *SS to the curb. First, review your partnership agreement and discuss goals and expectations with your partner. Remind them that you guys didn’t just put this agreement together because it was a two-for-one drink special at your favorite watering hole. If your partner is receptive, work together to create a plan that moves you steadily toward to your goals.
Avoid the blame game, even if it is really all their fault. Placing blame might feel great, but it won’t get you anywhere. And if at all possible, avoid the over-the-head body slam you envisioned on your way to this get this crap under control now meeting. If that fails and there’s a lot of cash at stake, consider getting a mediator involved.
If you can’t come to an agreement, however, or the agreement you hammer out gets tossed to the side, go ahead and cry in your scotch for a little while. You’ve earned it. Then get to dissolving the doomed partnership. Trust me, it’s a lot cheaper than having to pay restitution for bodily harm. Not that I would ever suggest such a thing.
You got something to say or are you just sitting there looking pretty?–Charles Strickland, 2016
Charles is far from your typical business person. He’s always ready with big ideas and the initiative to back them up. Heck, at age 13, he started his own window-washing business and sold donuts door to door. And let me tell you, when you grow up in the woods of Georgia, the doors are miles away from each other. He did this all while helping his dad run one of the larger moonshine stills in Georgia. “Oh, those were the days.”
Charles, a devoted husband and father, has been building legitimate businesses since the 80s, including three successful contracting companies. He even tried out a personal and business bankruptcy once. That hurts. Don’t try that one out; it’s no fun.
Committed to helping others, he also put his considerable experience to work founding The National Aids Awareness Center, spearheading The Children’s Wish Come True Foundation and running Hope 4 the Homeless. Sounds exhausting, doesn’t it? Well, Charles wasn’t finished yet. He heard a voice (his wife’s ) say, “Move away from there! Michigan is the place you ought to be.” So they loaded up the truck and moved very slowly… toward big houses, cheap money and plenty of it. So somehow, he found himself in the mortgage business. Like Charles would say, “Now, that was a hoot.”
Always looking for something fun and profitable with one of the smartest women in the USA by his side, it was time to jump into the world of digital marketing, and the timing was just right. You will find Charles at different networking events promoting Michigan Marketer, which he co-owns, along with the other online publications he owns and operates with his wife.
Never content with being ordinary (because that’s just plain boring), Charles also teaches a class on entrepreneurship a couple of days a week at a private school. He brings a little bit of down home to everything he does, cracking epic jokes while he’s closing the big deals. Charles’ motto is “Work until you no longer have to introduce yourself.” Send Charles a message at Charlesfstrickland@gmail.com if you’ve got something to say.
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