Why I Don’t Have A Business Partner Anymore

Why I Don’t Have A Business Partner Anymore


so I personally like to separate my personal relationships from my professional relationships because I can walk away from the professional ones personal ones can never escape them [Music] thanks Chris my name’s Brendan Shanley I have a business associate who I work with who’s based of Anchorage we’ve been working together for about five years now the idea and questions of having a formalized partnership has been a question of ours for a while if you have any advice on – whether or not the benefits advantages or disadvantages okay help us continue to have that conversation take this with the giant bulldozer scoop of salt okay I’m very biased when it comes to partnerships because I’ve tried three times I’ve not made it work mostly because of my own personality okay so I’m going to tell you a little bit about personality so you can map it to see if this advice should even be listened to first part is that work like an animal like I work all the time and not only do I work I work smart I worked super efficiently so that means my output usually is four times somebody else so what happens inevitably is comparison what are you doing what am i doing and it’s unrealistic for me to expect somebody be that focus and not efficient and not productive so after a while resentment builds number two I have clear vision but I’m loose on the tactics and I move really fast like I said before and so it can be at breakneck speed and you can get whiplash you really can I thought you said we’re doing this and hope I’m doing that because it didn’t work I’m not committed to going down that path if it doesn’t work I let the feedback the metrics tell me if this is working and so that creates problems for everybody okay and I think really really big I think so big that if you actually heard me tell you what’s in my head you would walk away from this table like that is one crazy mofo you would think that you would think what an arrogant cocky no I don’t think so I wish more of we were right so when I tell you my vision you get scared and I don’t have time to convince you I don’t have time for you to drive me back I don’t want you to dampen my enthusiasm with your dogma and this happens all the time so when I say we should do this and you like that’s not gonna work I’m like now I gotta have a conversation with you and try to convince you right when I say I want to change like well let’s write the four-year business plan let’s get a Board of Advisors are you kidding me I don’t want to do that I move and it’s scary for a lot of people so for me the three partnerships I’ve had have all failed and it almost felt like from the minute we said let’s do it okay so pros and cons the pro I’ll go first because it’s short the pro is you feel somebody else does something that you don’t do let’s say somebody else’s sales or production or animation or design and you feel like it’s a good partnership right and this is how why most creatives team up with a business person because that works well so they think when you feel like you want a partner realize there’s a hole inside of you that you feel it’s like the shel silverstein book the missing piece hidey-ho hidey-hole here I go I will have you seen my missing piece so you feel like somebody it’s gonna feel that and this works with all kinds of human dynamics and relationships like why you met your girlfriend boyfriend husband they complete you you you’ve seen it you’ve said it you’ve heard it you complete me because there’s a whole my interpretation of the whole is when you feel like you need a business person the whole is telling you go learn your freaking business when you’re not ready to do animation go fill that hole by feeding yourself versus finding somebody because soon you’ll realize that wasn’t that hard why did I give all this up why am I making compromises all the time when I should have just learned how to fill my own hole that’s the important part okay so they fulfill something that you don’t do because those are the best best kinds of partnerships but it’s usually for me a message to say you need to go to learn to do that okay you share financial burden but you need to be clear that you’re equally committed to the financial burden and that you both have the resources see if you have more money than the other person and it’s going south and it will go south at some point you’re contributing more money than the other person because they can’t so when money comes in you’re like well you need to survive you need to eat are you married okay let’s pretend like you’re married your partner’s gonna come in and what about us now you got a third partner in that relationship you see what I’m saying it gets really really tough so every once in a while Ben and Jerry mean they even hate each other now do you know that the Ben is your ice cream story they can even talk to each other anymore you know Simon and Garfunkel like just go down the list it works for a while but I think it’s just it’s a time line how much time do you want to buy so the word of warning I would give you is this when you join up with somebody to form a partnership have your prenup what do you get what do I get because when this goes south I want to be whole with you because I would still like to remain friends there’s another con there you guys are swimming everything’s great right just like a lot of things once the relationship goes from platonic to intimate like it’s for whatever reason you can’t go back people tend not to talk to their former partners so I personally like to separate my personal relationships for my professional relationships because I can walk away from the professional ones the personal ones you can never escape them

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100 thoughts on “Why I Don’t Have A Business Partner Anymore”

  • i love all of it until the "why not learn it yourself" i can't see how to be a master of 3D animator if i also have to be an expert and work with coding an app to be a one-man agency. We can all learn the basic but to master it , you cant without then losing the other part you started out with. Am i totally wrong here?

    i started out with graphic designer, i quickly learned that if i could do web developing too, i could earn more and not have to wait on others or count on them BUT i also quickly found out i could not master it. maybe do a few things here and there but yeah.

  • Alexandre Schrammel says:

    dude this video made me cry!! it's all so true. miss my best friend and former partner so badly =(
    But it didn't went bad cuz of work, it´s really hard to separate friendship from work.

  • Hey Chris, how would you call Ben & Matthew for example then ? Are they your partners ? Your employees ? Contributors ? Other ? Looks like your relationship is more than strictly professional. Thanks !

  • I have a family company in Taipei city of Taiwan. Where could I find someone to work with as international partner?

  • Finally, someone with the same mindset as I. Hilarious how you said people think your a crazy mofo. People think I’m crazy but I have very high expectations with high enthusiasm, motivation and determination.

  • ThothHeart Maat says:

    I think it would be great to get started so you can work with someone and bounce ideas and be collaborative.. but maybe later when you're established and feel constrained you would want to separate…

  • @5:36 – If having a family is also a business- so you are mixing business and friendship together with your wife= then, maybe marriage will mostly fail? Hence, divorce rate?

  • Tiffany Manning says:

    ha ha OMG so true. I have had 2 screwed partnerships and one brilliant one. However, the brilliant one … I should have not visited twice and gone into business a second time. The main reason I did was fun and synergy… I just enjoy doing stuff together. Although all the things he said crop up.

  • My 2 closest friends asked me just yesterday about how I felt about us 3 going into a business together. I was never comfortable with this whole concept of business partners so I told them that I'll think about it. Then this video appears on my recommendations.

    Now I just have to tell my friends that I'm not interested.

  • This guy is a creative beast with a string business head, I'm not that guy, I work well with the right partner, it's not an easy relationship though, not at all

  • Kratom Culture says:

    Chris, when I watch you speak it's like listening to the committee in my head. I don't have time to explain myself to people.

  • Renata Smrkolj says:

    What you share is very tricky. Sadly many people sooner or later burn out because of such thinking (especially your generation I see lately)… Probably you would say they don't do it right, but I believe its very hard to run long term like this….

  • yeah right.. go fill the hole by learning animation.. its no so hard hahaha you blew my mind Chris… If learning how to do everything was that easy, anyone could be a one man's agency.. and It is not true… You know it. Learning anything has a curve and you can't go in life pretending to cover everything there is to know… I mean you might accomplish it,, yeah, when you are like 60 years old lol

  • Thomas Christopher White says:

    Just walked away from a partnership this year. Same thing, I'm ambitious and I work like an animal but my partner, as incredibly smart and skilled as he is, just doesn't have the desire to reach places that I wanna reach. I wish he was honest with me about his intentions though. It would've been easier for both of us.

  • don't rely on partnership to fill the hole, go learn yourself, that's really the way people grow! thanks Chris!

  • Cold hard truths. It's nearly impossible to not have an explosion.
    I've been in the same boat several times… no more partners for me. Employees, contractors, but no partners.
    Thanks for sharing

  • Roberto Flores says:

    I don't agree on this one. Yes, it requires a lot of ego control to make it work. Narcissists, ego-maniacs, self-entitled freaks, etc. should never partner.

  • You hit the score on every single point. I'm currently struggling with this situation (unbalanced workload/responsibility/motivation) and it's a burden that adds up to day-to-day operations.

  • Jarrod Dowalter says:

    I've heard you repeat that Ben & Jerry anecdote a few times now in your videos. I'm not sure where you are getting your information but I can't find anything online of them supposedly hating each other. They still do a lot of interviews together and were even arrested together at a protest a few years ago. Recently, they were on an inspiring episode of NPR's How I Built This and they seem to get along just fine. Just thought I'd let you know!

  • Chris Marshall says:

    I would disagree on this, I work like an animal, work like a machine and my partners do not. Every person brings in different qualities and expertise to the table that your business needs. To me a good partnership is better than no partnership at all. My business took off when I partnered with other people. I believe it takes studying efficient time management, proper human dynamics and more of delving into management realm. You have to take time to water your plants, commit to your business partners and don't give up. Expectations need to be set and you need to remind them of the initial agreement. Most probably my partners quit on me bec of my work ethic than the other way around. Luckily i still have some of my amazing business partners now who stayed. They are now almost, playing at the same level as me, because not everyone will stay and not everyone will be as good as you, etc. This is what makes us unique as individuals.

  • My experience — don't have a partner that started off as your friend. I am the same way. When I do something, I'm all in 1000% and if your partners are not, resentment will grow! I'd also say that you don't need to do everything yourself. You can hire people to fill those specific skills you lack. Nowadays, you can get it done much cheaper than before.

  • I am struggling to understand what this blowhard os talking about. This overthinking, over-analysis of design is a product of self-denial of what true design is. What it boils down to is opportunity, connections, and economics. I know lots of designers who don't have a foot in the door doing amazing designs without the luxury of partnerships and all the bells and whistles that has nothing to do with design. Just shut up already..

  • Laith Wallace says:

    Powerful advice. I’ve been through this myself. Working for yourself is always better but Self Awareness is key.

  • parimal bakrola says:

    Amazing advice.. Especially the thing he said about the Hole telling him to learn his business. I thought I was crazy for wanting to learn Backend coding too and not just sticking to UX, UI and also the FrontEnd part.

  • Did he mean by "business partner" a cofounder? Because a business partner does things that is totally different than what he is complaining about.

  • Stereotyped Me says:

    I see the point. Im also on a partnership that went south cause of greed and politics. But still hanging on cause i felt like ive prepared 2 years before launch the brand and now going 3, so total 5 years.

    My partners only take credits of others work and made the company a piggybank for personal reasons although came from high financial status.

    Now we hire someone to do the business. This i think is best. No more unnecessary clashes. I can pivot and work on other things while the business is running by it self.

    Lesson learned:
    1.Defining expectations, agree, sign on it.
    2.See characteristics of the person, go out, travel few days, before make partnerhip, dont do it if the person is negative in nature, even if the project is gold.

  • A partnership can work… I’ve been in partnership for years and it’s worked out. I will do any new business solo though because of course it’s good to be able to do whatever you want to do and keep more of the business profits. However, if your partner is bringing skills, assets or funding that’s critical to the business, then having a partner is simply practical.

  • I've been wondering about what happened. I REALLY prefer this channel post Jose. He seemed like a great dude, but the chemistry was weird, and I think Chris is more focused and well branded without him.

  • Egan Ezra Vorster says:

    5 partnerships and I can tell you that this is the truth. You win together for a while, but as time goes by you are bound to drift apart. And I always outworked them.

    My last partner left me out in the cold at a moment's notice. That was 2 months ago. Now I am utterly convinced that it is not a sustainable idea in the long term. I would rather just collab on ad hoc projects.

  • YES!!! Thank you so much for putting words to what I always thought. You don't hear this point of view very much. I'm always the one working more and better, and then incompatibility rises. Very tough to make things work like this with friends.
    Funny how I've always believed there no is "gap filling" for love relationships, but never applied it to business! Although I always learned the stuff I didn't know simply because I hardly trust anyone else's "expertise" in a given subject without me knowing at least the basics. This "tactic" has allowed me to notice scams early on.

  • As a new viewer, I find those black background edits very distracting. I think it would be much better if there something like a caption at the bottom with the main words highlted. I'm listening to Chris talk and then I'm immediately thrown off/distracted.

  • Honestly, feeling resentment that someone isnt putting 4x the work they can is kind of petty. If I am doing 4x the work and my partner is doing 2x the work, then that's 6x the work, that is still faster than me working alone. That's 150% more productivity than if I work alone. If you struggle with resentment because you both don't get the same amount of work done, then you are just immature in my opinion. It doesn't matter if you're putting more time in than everyone else. All that matters is that your vision gets completed. And if you can't spend a couple hours persuading your partner about your vision to miss out on a 150% of corporate productivity, then you're not fit to be a leader. Everything this guy says makes sense to him, but you're a fool if you think you can go farther alone than you can with a partner. All VCs know that the startups with 2 to 3 co-founders are most often more successful than a solo founder. These are facts. Just choose your co-founder wisely. Get to know them over a couple of years. And if your friendship fails because of a failed business opportunity than your friendship was never that strong to begin with. PERIOD

  • Drunken Pirate says:

    0:00 chris touching and feeling that meat. 0:01 chris starts to cut the meat violently. 0:06 chris elegantly throws some salt on the meat.

  • Tumisho Mashabela says:

    But Chris you were the one who said to be with a business person as a creative. Now you're saying to go learn the skill for myself

  • Andreas Christofi says:

    Having partner(s) that don't pull their weight and sacrifice is one thing. Wanting to do everything by yourself though is just madness. One hand cannot clap itself.

  • Interesting conversation. My two cents is that one cannot do everything especially at the speed you're going at. The human body is not a machine. I'd say high risk of burning out with adrenal fatigue at some point. Maybe the point of the failed partnerships is to learn to compromise?

  • I get why he feels that way. Kinda sucks that he's jaded about it. But in my experience, I work well with my business partner who just so happens to be my best friend. We know how to balance things well and it just works. I could learn the business side more but I'd rather not deal with that. I'd rather focus on the creative. Juggling both isn't necessarily better.

  • This is great advice.. As ever. Can relate to this in a few ways – that I won't go into detail about (!) other than to say – I agree ?

  • sergio Cardenas says:

    I will never agree to partner up again. I worked with my former business partner for nine years as associates working together at an ad agency and eight years as business partners with our successful creative agency. Not only did it ruin a friendship, but the built-up resentment over numerous things ultimately force me to do some serious soul searching, which led to the dissolution of my business. My only regret is not seeking the advice of a mentor at the moment when things got rough. Not to save the company necessarily but to keep my sanity and to bring some clarity to the situation. So much of what Chis says in this video played out verbatim.

  • Richard Hutchinson says:

    He’s likes to separate his personal relationships from his professional relationships so that he can walk away from the professional ones…

    Although I think there’s a place for that kind of thinking and it’s conventional wisdom, I like to mix my personal relationships with my professional ones so that I can’t walk away from them.

    Sure that’s easier said than done. But I bet you learn who your real friends are real fast.

    Money is a big part of our lives. If our friends can’t do business with us. How much are we really friends? Or how loyal are they really?

  • Wonder With Gil says:

    True. I don’t like having a business partner because people don’t move the same way as I do and I don’t want to keep pulling them. Plus, I don’t want to destroy a good relationship just because of business.

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