How can I really motivate my business partner?
My business partner has quit his job to focus on our start up business while he and I split his living costs 50:50.
The challenge I face is that he continues to have an 'employee' attitude and only works a 9-5 day from home, while I still need to put in additional hours around my current job to work on our start up. We really need to throw a lot of time/energy at the start up because we don't have unlimited funds to keep my partner working full time on our business. How can I motivate him to fully commit to our work?
Have the attitude of work 9 to 5 day is not a bad issue, the point is that you should work with your business partner to find one way to work smarted because this startup is not more the plan B and became the plan A.
Therefore he/she should work SMARTER, put the right efforts to accomplish a action plan that will push the business further to the next level.
He/she don´t need to be motivate but needs to have goals and time frames in order to day by day have some wins that will start to create a more interesting environment.
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Someone can work 2 hours or 22 hours a day and still be your business partner. He's accustomed to working on that schedule, so it's not that bad. Remember a partnership involves commitments and passions of each of you to some extend; the one each of you can manage. There are members who apparently work 2 hours and bring a $20,000 customer and another member who is the whole day updating a website or receiving merchandize that you can not see ROI at first. That's is part of a partnership. There are uncertainties, there are expenses, there are dreams, and there are wasters; it's your responsibility to write and discuss a plan and ways to measure deliverables. There is an agreed point in where both of you should work just fine.
There is no complete motivation if that other person doesn't see value or has an interest on the real business. Create a plan David. Create one in which you lay down critical clear deliverables that you would be comfortable to accepting while letting room to his own creativity and possibility to grow. Get to know his, and let him know yours, business personality and ways to address concerns, problems and critical situations and express ideas, strategies and updates. Be open to communicate while being respectful of the other person. There are members who are not the best to represent a business at a public level but who are fantastic at running it internally, at solving organizational or technical problems.
What kind of member is he? what are his tasks? is he showing improvement? can he do another tasks if asked? what are his strengthens? are you aware of them and are you using them in to your business advantages?
I've been in a couple of partnerships in where we all were ok of what was expected from each of us. We knew our strengths and interests but we were clear that, based on situations, we have to wear many hats, and we did.
In one of them I am not a member anymore, but I became a provider of a service and consultant for few of their business tasks; and that is also an important thing to keep in mind: Exit strategies.
Success to you,
Many thanks to all for your contributions, lots of food for thought.
There are certainly lots of people willing to cut their partner(s) lose in such a situation but that's a very large step to take and personally isn't something I would do until other options were explored first.
I will keep you all update
A partner who needs motivation is most often the wrong partner; what ever the reason.
My recommendation is to find another partner (after you have carefully formulated who you are looking for. P.
Its very hard for someone to "motivate" a partner in a situation like this. Generally, one would expect that he would be acutely conscious of you footing half of his living costs and go all out do his share of the work.
The fact that he does not seem to appreciate either your money, or the fact that you put in work on the start-up after putting in your regular hours at work is a cause for concern. Also unless he gets out of his " 9-5 employee attitude" his contributions are always going to be less than optimum and may eventually jeopordise the business.
Rather than trying to motivate him, it may be good for you to have a frank chat with him. Avoid blaming or criticising, and instead just describe his behaviours accurately and let him know the consequences of his behaviour on your feelings. Say something like "when you do _______ it make me feel ____________". Perhaps he has been too absorbed with himself and never saw things from your perspective and this discussion would shake him out of his stupor. If so good, and perhaps things will go fine from here on.
If not, then you need to seriously consider dumping your partner and rope in someone else with equal skills as him, but with a more "entrepreneurial mindset". This may seem harsh advice, but you need to evaluate the possibility of your start-up failing because you chose not to cut your loses and move on before it was too late.
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This is not a "partner." He positions himself as an employee and he appears not to be a person that should be in a start-up company. He has the wrong attitude and obviously lacks the passion.
Fire him and get a real partner who really shares in the business. If he owns part of the company, there are ways to deal with (minimize) him as a shareholder.
This is a lesson for you on who not to pick as a partner.
You've had a lot of great advice. Let me, therefore, give it a different spin. What if your partner's different mentality is actually a strength for the partnership? There's a reason why you two are partners - complementary skills sets. Now you can add to that, perhaps, complementary attitudes.
Can we assume you are 50-50 partners?
Clearly, you're assuming you're the more passionate of the two and you want this more than he does. Either accept this about yourself...and him. Or, renegotiate the deal. But wait...You cut the deal covering 50% of his living expenses. I would not have recommended this because it probably seems to you that you have more skin in the game than he does. Although, he quit the security of a job and benefits and you still have yours. He's covering 50% of his expenses probably from savings, so he's got a burn rate. My point is that you may be seeing only through your lenses.
Last thought, was a partner operating agreement ever created? It is a very healthy exercise for the two of you to do because conditions and things change. The operating agreement provides a clear basis for renegotiation versus unwritten and often unexpressed expectations. It may seem like a pain in the rear end to do, but it sets the foundation for a healthy future.
Seems you have answered your own question. Like a marriage a partnership requires honesty and commitment. Thus, start with honesty and end with commitment.