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.
if you are having these problems at this stage then you will be in for a very stormy ride.
What you do only you can decide, but whatever it is it should be categorical as well as clearly explained. Partnerships will always have tough times but this sounds far to early.
Perhaps you should treat him like an employee and tell him what to do more often, not everyone is suited to 'being the boss'.
I think you need to sit with him and have a very professional discussion on expectations and vision. Clearly you both dont have the same expectation and/or vision for the startup and this will cause a huge problem in the future ( and the present). I also find the financial-work distribution arrangement isnt equitable and this needs to be corrected if its a long term understanding- the burden of the work has to shift significantly on your partner. I dont know of many people who quit their jobs and get into doing something they like without an intense desire and passion to succeed.
I have always advised clients to set/define small-medium-long term goals with their business partners / management so that everyone understands what needs to get done and when as well as who will be responsible if it doesnt get done. These goals need to be time bound and specific.
Generally I find that most startups include people with very different goals, habits and ideas. This is mostly a good thing but it requires a flexible mindset on the part of partners as well as a definitive understanding of where the responsibility rests. Remember, all successful partnerships are value and vision based. The implementation is left to the individual creativity of the person.
So If I were to advise you, it would be figure out quickly if the current situation is transitional or is it going to end up being permanent. Doing business is tough, and you need a partner who is going to walk that extra mile. If not, you need to see how far you can go along with him as you dont want to burn out.
How can you motivate him to commit-
- Define your Goals-Vision and Values ( both of you must commit to these);
- set up a work /financial arrangement which is fair and equitable ( this is essential for both of you. An unfair system leads to grudges);
- set time bound specific goals ( and define who will be responsible for them);
- Listen to your partner and understand what he wants from this startup;
- evaluate what the business requires to be successful and if your partner will/is willing to walk the extra mile for it ( some businesses are harder than others)
- finally, dont burn out
Hope this helps.
The best way to motivate a business partner to be consistently promoting the Opportunity he has to be part of the business. Focusing on big picture goals will allow him to overcome the day to day stresses.
Not sure how long ago your partner quit his 9-5 to go into business...but I can see that his "transition" into the world of entrepreneurship hasn't quite reached its peak yet. When one decides to move from a regular (and dependable) paycheck and take the risks and sacrifices of letting go of a few things and/or "downsizing" to grow a startup...they put everything they've got into it to help make it grow! You've given your partner a "safety-net"--something he can fall back on if the revenue doesn't roll in on a perpetual timeline. Motivate him by stressing to him that his safety-net won't last much longer and he needs to put in that extra time to help secure and grow your startup (because quite frankly, it's not gonna magically happen without some hard work and muscle put into it). Put in that cut-off date to this regular paycheck you are providing in your partnership agreement and he'll do one of two things: pick up the pace and dedicate more time into your startup; or he'll run back to corporate and you'll see the dust behind him. Hopefully, he doesn't do the latter, and also he doesn't decide to do that when the funds run out. It takes a very special and determined person to see the rewards of starting and growing a business and unfortunately, not everyone fits the role. There are great sacrifices, patience, endurance, and tenacity that comes with the territory, and the primary characteristic that one must carry and understand is that "failures only help to grow your business!" I wish you the best with this very difficult position you are in...I hope the postings and advice each one here has given helps you and your partner in your new journey.
An interesting choice of phrase - How can I motivate him?
The answer is you cannot - only he can motivate him.
You can provide an environment in which he is motivated, but as he is working from home and you are not in one to one contact with him, even this might be difficult.
I would suggest that you ask him to complete a psychometric profile so that you can share his strengths - you might want to do one yourself. These will at least give you a starting point for open discussion, you might even use a mentor to help.
I can connect to what you are saying. Now here are some of the things I do to overcome but atleast a week and as an when required.
1) Talk to partners. This should include what is the current financial situation and how bigger problems you are heading towards. (Fear motivates a person)
2) Show the money: Put a forecasting of what kind of revenue your product/services can earn from the market. (Put in a figure: target revenue). When you do this you need to be clear with few things:
a) What should be the strategy?
b) Specifications of the job role and expectations.
c) How should you measure for both of them.
Last but not the least, if you see no changes tell them that you should depart because at the end of the day the goal/dream was yours and not of the both. Demotivating partner can only bring you demotivation. Trust me you will get a lot of that on the way you won't miss one less.
Founder and Owner at Floyd Consultancy.com
Well, what you are asking is really difficult to achieve.
We all know some "method" to motivate a person, but it is really something that depends on him first.
As many have already said, this partner is a different person with a really different carachter, and maybe he is really committed to his job, maybe the contrary.
Something I would do is:
1 - I will try to tell him what I like on how is going
2 - I will try to tell him that I feel that he has an 'employee' attitude, but that I also think that it is his own carachter. I would ask him if there is a special reason for that
3 - I will tell him that in this phase of the work I'm free to change the way of working in order to perform better togheter, I will ask him directly to be open too
4 - I won't give too much importance to his behavior after the talk, but after 1 week or two I would try to get back on the argument
Don't be heavy, but at the same time be really direct!
First tell him that you won't continue to support his lifestyle if he doesn't do the work necessary to make the business successful. Then take a look at what each of you is doing and assign appropriate responsibilities to him, making sure he understands they are responsibilities and also helping him understand what you are doing.
Remind him or her of the Entrepreneurial attitude to succeed in your own business. If the business fails, you have also failed and can take a long time to revive it. Your own business means a change of attitude to work and of doing things. Early to work and learn to spend wisely.
You've got have a heart to heart and learn each others strengths and weaknesses...My thought comes from Jack Nicklaus who says: "Relationships must work equally well for both parties in both human and financial terms...If that commitment and trust is not there and not achievable I suggest you use this as a learning curve and get another roomate and business partner...