As a kid I used to create crazy milkshake concoctions with half the ingredients in the fridge. Toss it all in the blender, churn it up and voila. (I’m sure I wasn’t alone in that right?)
Usually…it tasted like crap.
Partnerships are like those crazy milkshakes – there’s a ton of ingredients and they often sour. Combine personalities, skill sets, goals, egos, vision, ownership stakes, risk tolerance and a whole bunch of other things. Stir like mad and that’s a partnership.
Partnerships are hard.
Almost anyone that’s ever worked with a partner has a story to tell. Often, a horror story. The worst case is the “dud partner” — a partner that doesn’t pull his/her own weight.
Do you think it’s possible to carry dud partners on your back and succeed?
I used to. Now, I’m not so sure.
I’ve had a couple “dud partners” in the past, and I’ve learned:
It’s best if you get them out of the business as soon as possible.
- The longer you wait, the harder it becomes.
- The longer you wait, the longer it’ll take to right the ship.
- The longer you wait, the more frustrated you’ll grow. That’s not healthy.
- The longer you wait, the less likely your business will succeed.
Having the conversation with a partner that starts with, “I don’t think this partnership is working…” will be anything but easy. There’s ego, personality, history and a bunch of other things mixed in there. It could get ugly. It could go smoothly. It’s a case-by-case basis.