Partnership meaning all partnerships. School, business, marriage, etc. In fact, partnerships end up negatively for both parties in the longer THAN individualism. This may sound a little weird, but I’ll explain why in the long run, you might not want to partner with anyone.
First, let me just put this out there. Partnerships do work and sometimes they work well, but so does speeding to your destination in a car. If you’re going 120mph in a 55mph speed zone, you will get to your destination faster some of the time. However, if you’re going that fast, your margin of error increases dramatically. More variables come into play.
Your reflexes and awareness have to be on overdrive. You have to look out for crossing animals, slow cars ahead of you and of course police. If you crash, you won’t make it on time, if you get pulled over, you won’t make it on time, if you hit an animal, you won’t make it on time. On top of that, going that fast means that ANY of those possible scenarios will be amplified. If you’re pulled over, you’re likely going to jail. If you hit an animal or anything else, you’re likely dead.
The point is, speeding in a car adds way too many negative variables to the process that increase the risk disproportionately to the reward. How does this relate to partnering up with people? We’ll start with marriage and dating.
Marriage is a touchy subject because it’s not really an objective topic. There area a lot of personal values and opinions that might get influence the decision making process of marriage. I’m going to avoid giving my opinions and just stay objective.
I’m not condemning anyone or anything, I’m merely going to talk about some numbers and the information we have on marriage in general. There are a number of reasons why marriages fail and I’ll be going over that in another article dedicated to marriage.
Why Marriages Fail
The most important and more relevant (to the point of this article) reason marriage fails is because of expectations. Think about your relationship with your friends. Do you have any rules? If you do, they are simple. Don’t steal from me, don’t take advantage of me, etc. They’re very basic and don’t really need any enforcing.
However, the rules of marriage are a lot more strict because most people end up sharing resources with each other. Be it living space, time, responsibilities (kids, chores, etc), cars and of course, each other.
When you share anything with anyone and hold them to an expectation, you are already setting up for yourself a second point of failure. The first is being yourself. If you live with a roommate or your spouse and share the bills, what happens if one of you gets fired? What if the way they discipline children is different from yours? What if they are a bad driver and you just don’t feel comfortable sharing a car with them? What if they had bad bathroom etiquette and it takes you twice as long to get ready for work in the morning as a result?
You see, there are a lot of problems that are added when you make an unwritten agreement to share with someone.
It’s not all negative. Of course there are some positives. The chances of both members being 100% on the same page is slim. Remember the analogy earlier about a driver speeding. Sure, it’s possible that you can make it work, but probability was, your rate of failure is a lot higher than when you are in control of most of your resources. This is because you can’t control other people. Only judge them when they come up short to your expectations.
This is why the dating life was so much easier. Everyone took care of their own personal responsibilities and met up for events, dates, trips, etc.
The same goes for businesses.
Why Business Partnerships Fail
Most business partnerships fail because of two main reasons. The first being a poor partner choice and the second is because of disproportionate work.
A lot of people make the mistake of going into business with their friends because it seems like a fantastic idea. They’re your friends. You can trust them, you guys see eye to eye on certain things and you get along otherwise.
This goes back to marriage. Dating or Marriage isn’t the problem itself, it’s the fact that you’re beginning to share responsibilities with the other person. Now you have to rely on them for your success. Before, there were no rules and their problems were their’s alone.
I made a mistake of trying to start a business with my friend. He was a fantastic guy that meant well, but he just didn’t have the tools to contribute to the business effectively. He really did mean well, but he got offended when I wanted to move forward on my own. I understand why he took it so personally, but it really wasn’t personal.
After some hard reflecting, I began to realize that I was doing double the work. I was either redoing their work that was sub par or I was just doing the bulk of the work. I realized that I could do this on my own. The benefits is that I save time, I don’t have to worry about his performance and there’s no reason to split the earnings with them.
It was my business and I asked for a partner because I thought it was cool. That was an emotional decision, not an intelligent one.
When Business Partnerships work
Business partnerships work a lot better than marriage simple because they don’t clash with as many natural laws of human behavior. If you have a designer and a programmer who work together to make an app, it can work really well. Why? Because they each have a specific skill that complements the other’s to make something they each can’t make separately.
This is tricky however because you really need to make sure the role of the person or the company you’re working with is clear. Otherwise, it’ll leak if it isn’t tight. Arbitrary expectations will start to emerge and it can create a downward spiral.
The Real Solution
The real solution to the partnership problem is to be objective as to who you’re partnering with and why.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Can I do this on my own?
- Are each of our roles clear?
- Are too many of my personal responsibilities depending on my partner?
These three questions will help you start thinking a little clearer about partnership. The same goes for marriage. As long as you are taking care of most of your responsibilities, you won’t clash with your partner. Your things are your things and their things are their things. That goes for everything. Items, vehicles, hobbies.
The less you merge, the less expectations you will hold each other accountable to!