So, You and Your Business Partner always Agree – Why that’s Really Bad News

“If two people in a relationship are the same, one of them is unnecessary.” You’ve probably heard this worded in one way or another. And, it does demonstrate a very good point. Often most attributable to romantic relationships, it’s just as true for business partnerships. After all, opposites attract and we’ve seen successful pairs throughout history. Take for instance Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. One, a marketing genius. The other, a hardware guru. And, completely different personalities. Winston Churchill and General Bernard Montgomery are another unlikely pair. But together, an unstoppable force. So, why is that?

Why Business Partnerships are so Difficult

The truth of the matter is, the business world is a tough environment. Partnerships supposedly make it easier. But, there’s the notorious five D’s of partnerships: death, disability, disinterest, drugs, and divorce. Each one alone can split up a business partnership.

Successful startups often have partners who have different strengths. One person might be the technical genius, while the other takes what they do and sells it to the masses. Having two personalities allows each individual to grow. If you can’t be challenged by a partner, you probably shouldn’t be in business at all. —Fast

Why do business partnerships fail so often? It could well be one of the five D’s. Then again, it could also be the two are too much alike. That takes us right back to the notion that if two people are the same, one of them isn’t necessary.

Why Your Business Partner should be Your Polar Opposite

Now, let’s take a quick look at why your business partner should actually be your polar opposite. Sure, it seems counterproductive and most certainly feels counterintuitive. But, there are the following advantages:

  • It brings strengths to the surface. A business partner who is your opposite will more clearly define your weaknesses. Hence, reveal your strengths, in the process. By the way, that’s a two-way street and the same will benefit your partner. Ultimately, making it a win-win scenario.
  • It allows both of you to learn and grow. When your business partner is the opposite, you’ll begin to see things from a different perspective, over time. That’s also a good thing because both of you will learn from one another and grow as a result.
  • It creates a more dynamic environment. Friction is a difficult phenomenon but it is very productive at the same time. Being challenged gives rise to a number of positives — a dynamic environment is just one example.
  • It allows you to leverage your differences. Your differences can also be a real source of inspiration and productivity. Use your differences strategically and you’ll find them advantageous in more ways than one.

What other advantages are there to having such opposites? Have you found working with someone who is totally different is more beneficial? Please share your thoughts and experiences!

Interested in learning more about business? Then just visit Waters Business Consulting Group.

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