Let’s talk about business partners today. Are any of you in a business relationship where you feel like you want to strangle your partner because they’re not stepping up and doing their share?
A friend of mine is going through a problem like this with his business partner, someone who refuses to actually go to the business but enjoys grabbing her check at the end of the month. The problem is that having to have “that conversation” with a lazy business partner is the worst.
You try so many ways to motivate them. You try speaking their language. The person is great during your conversations and says everything you want to hear . . . as they lie straight to your face and nothing changes.
I had a situation like this back in New York with my first business partner. He and I had a bar called Bar X (28 E. 23rd St.).
After two months in the business together, he decided he wanted to open up another bar. He basically showed up on paycheck day pretending to look at the books and that was it.
I didn’t know what to do, except maybe hire Pussy from The Sopranos to strangle him. Even my Italian garbage man asked if there was anything he could do.
I had to have “the talk” with him, which is really the only thing you can do. “The talk” is the ‘I want you out’ ultimatum talk.
It’s the talk you never want to have with a business partner or a partner in life. You never want to have to sit down with someone with whom you’re not connecting and have to say “I’m not happy,” or “I want you end this,” or “I’m just not getting what I need.”
I don’t care if it’s a lazy business partner or a lazy partner in life. If you tell someone how you feel and what you need and they continually ignore you and take advantage of you, then there is only one thing to do.
The only thing to do is to use serious language and lay it on the line. We all have a threshold, and we can all only be pushed and shoved so far.
Sometimes we do it to people and we really don’t mean to do it. I know in relationships we can be hurting the other person because of things we haven’t worked on with ourselves.
We haven’t gotten to the root of the problem of what is really bothering us. They say that a lot of fights you have in a relationship are actually fights with your inner self and your inner frustration.
When I fight with my girl I’ve started doing this. I’ve learned to look to myself to see which parts of our fights are about me and which are about her, because according to Kristen who works with me I am dating the perfect human being.
The problem with life is that when one person is not as vested as the other, the one who isn’t as vested tends to use manipulation and lies to keep it going. No one wants someone to break up with them (in a business or a personal relationship). In business you want that paycheck, and you’re going to keep lying because you don’t want to lose that money.
Now I do believe that in life you should give someone several chances. I believe in the good of people. If someone does something over and over, however, besides shaking them all you can do is to take a hard line. My business partner back in 1991 pushed me so hard that all I could do was sit down and give it to him straight.
I said to him “I want you out of here. You don’t work hard. You’re fired, and this is what I’m willing to give you.” I kept track of all the times he was in the bar, and gave him exactly what he needed to pay back his uncle. You know, the best part of today’s technology is that you can keep every text and email and have a complete record of this kind of stuff.
Show up for life! If you don’t want to show up, then at least be honest about it.
I don’t care if it’s business or personal.
The worst thing you can do to someone is to lie to them just because you’re not man enough (or woman enough) to show up. Do you want to permanently lose someone’s respect?
Not only that, but if you believe in Karma then you know that everything that comes around goes around. If you do this to someone in business, in your next business you are going to pick a business partner exactly like you and you will have to deal with someone who acts exactly like you are now.
For any of you who are doing this — whether it’s in a business or personal partnership — I have a message for you. Instead of chasing your life going out drinking and pretending everything is fine, look in the mirror and call yourself out on your bullshit.