#1 – Business Partners: Got Partner Pain? Which Of 5 Signs Threaten Your Success?

#1 – Business Partners: Got Partner Pain? Which Of 5 Signs Threaten Your Success?
SIGN #1 – Is This Going On In Your Business Partnership? Resentment

… If you’ve got evidence your partner is failing you in some way you’ve got resentment. It burns away trust. In reality, it’s not that you can’t trust your partner… It’s that your “search for evidence habit” allows you to prove that you are justified not to trust. There is a solution that restores trust.

In this series of blog posts, we’ll present each of the signs and what to do if you’ve got any one of or more of these partnership pains. Make sure you read all the blog posts in the series… you may have more than one.

Why bother to consider re-committing to your business partner? In a 2008 study of US Companies by the Small Business Administration, companies run by partners beat sole proprietors hands down… Over 30 years, partnership revenue went up by 157% over 30 years. Sole proprietors lost 7% year over year.

Keep reading to know if you’ve got the pain, and most importantly, discover the hidden reasons you and your partner are at odds with each other in this revealing video… then you can re-commit with the right rocket fuel in place… or divorce without blowing up your business investment.

Sign #1: Resentment

Not sure you want to stay in business with your partner much longer? Gathering evidence for or against the decision?

Fed up? Resentful? Done talking? Reading your shareholder agreement again? How long are you going to let this fester? (Want to know now whether you should stay or go? Watch this video so you know how to make this next step.)

Join the club. We’ve witnessed many business partnerships on the brink of divorce. That is until they did what we’re going to share with you here.

When we meet business partners in pain, one of the first presenting issues is the ‘big list’.

What’s on this list? Evidence that justifies grievances.

What’s a grievance? It sounds like this:

“My partner never does…”

“My partner always says…”

“I can count on one hand the times…”

“I can predict exactly what he or she will say when…”

Can you finish some of these sentences?

You probably have your own list. And now you have an eagle eye that spots behavior, attitude and action before it even happens. You can probably spot the ‘tells’ when your partner is getting ready to do something you predict.

What are the ‘tells’? Body language: eye rolls, eyebrow raises, arms in a defensive position, sniffing, coughing, lack of eye contact, silence, tone of voice, breathing style, toe tapping, knee bouncing, hair flipping, finger-nail inspecting, mouth shape…


Yes we all have ‘tell’s that broadcast our next step and emotional state… and we are all masters at reading the ‘tells’ of people closest to us… and blind to the fact we have our own ‘tells’ that people closest to us react to.

But being able to read ‘tells’ doesn’t make you a mind reader.

It feels kind of good to be able to predict when something is going to happen and then suddenly, it does, right on cue.

Feeling right feels good, right? It feels powerful. You are taking control. In the moment.

But then it doesn’t. How come? Let’s look at what’s really going on here.

When you see any of these tells, and you collect it as evidence to predict the next thing your partner is going to do, 3 things happen which all contribute to Sign #1: You’ve got a partner pain.

  1. You stop listening to what is being said and focus on all the ‘tells’ so your brain can find the evidence pattern that will support your assumption.
  2. You start to move into a defensive or offensive position, strategically thinking about how you will respond when your predicted evidence shows up.
  3. You focus on the person and see them as the problem, rather than focusing on the issue being raised; You lose track of the issue; You give away your power and control.

Surprised? Let’s look at number 3… looking for evidence that your partner is going to react a certain way, before they speak, means you give up control and lose your power in the relationship.

How to Break The “Evidence Gathering, Not Listening” Habit That Causes Partnership Pain

Your power all seeps away when you don’t listen to what is actually being said, with a neutral frame of mind. You actually give away your ability to control.

There’s a saying going around on the internet that says “Our biggest communication problem is we do not listen to understand. We listen to reply.”Comfort Zone

When you focus on predicting behavior and comments, you miss the moment to be of influence, and move to trying to persuade that you are right and your partner is wrong.

That’s a futile attempt at trying to gain control….this strategy just wastes energy.

The way to have power with your partner is to listen to understand where they are coming from, with a neutral (no predictions!!!) frame of mind… That’s the moment you can then you can influence your partner to get buy in for your idea.

When you are motivated to feel right about predicting behavior, you actually can’t hear or see what is really going on.

You see and listen through the filter of what you want to see, not what is actually happening.

Worse, you paint your business partnership into a corner that is hard to move out of.

You get energized predicting how right you will be: Rather than being energized by working with your partner to plan and to resolve problems together.business concept

Hence your business partnership sinks under the weight of assumptions, evidence gathering and defensive strategies.

Why do we humans get stuck like this? Let’s use an example from nature.

It was really hot, we had the patio door open. We live close to the beach, on an island so we have many birds that love the flowers on our deck.

Suddenly I was aware of a shadow above me. I looked everywhere in the dusky evening light and then heard it before I saw it: a hummingbird was trying to break through the living room window.

It had decided that this window was the best way out. It kept bumping up against the glass over and over again. Those little wings were working really hard against that pane.

How do you tell a hummingbird that the door is over there?

Then it took off and hovered right at the ceiling. Pretty soon it was leaving black bits of feathers all over the spackle, as it swooped from the kitchen to the dining room to the living room in search of the way out.

By staying so high up on the ceiling, it would never find the patio door to freedom as it was a good 12 inches lower.

Finally, exhausted after 15 minutes of hard flying, it landed on the chandelier. I watched it’s little tongue zip in and out, trying to catch it’s breath.

Rob, my husband and business partner, grabbed a net and a sheet of paper and quickly and gently caught it. Then he went out to the deck to help it find its way.

The hummingbird was convinced that the way to freedom was to a) fly hard at something or b) fly higher.

When we see only two solutions for a problem AND we have a strong need to feel right that our perceptions are accurate, no other options are obvious. And we hurt ourselves tryingIs Your Business Ready to Sell? to prove one of them will work.

Being right gives you a feeling of superiority. Then when the conversation goes sideways, which you predicted, you get to be angry, disappointed, overwhelmed, frustrated, and silenced.

That’s about both of you trying to control the situation….and each other. So you spend all of your time fighting, replaying the fight or avoiding your partner. Flapping at the window or the ceiling.

And what are your employees doing through all this? Looking for a net and a piece of paper to save you all from the pain of being stuck.

Fighting costs everyone…and your profit line takes the hit.

When we work with partnership companies, we watch for Sign #1 because we know it’s also a predictor of profit leaks and misalignment.

If you’re still wanting to be right about how wrong your partner is… you have two choices: a) enjoy the battle b) look for the way out.

But if you’re sick and tired of searching for and finding evidence that your partner is going to do it yet again, or fail, or stop, or act in a way that proves you are right, then you’ll want to learn how to break this pattern and get back to business in a way that works.

Here’s the Way Out

Watch this free training video so you understand where your partnership pain really comes from and what to do about it.

Wonder if you’ve got other hassles in your partnership? Read the rest of the 5 Signs here:

Sign #2 Who’s the Boss

Sign #3 Square Peg In Round Hole

Sign #4 Work Style Conflict

Sign #5 Reporting

Add comment

Security code

Business Valuation Quizzes

Company Growth Quiz


You will be gone through step-by-step evaluation process that will discover both strong and weak sides of your business. In such a way you will have a second opinion, fresh look at the current situation and as a consequence you will be able to take necessary actions if you think those are good points to apply.

Take the Quiz

Is your Company Saleable?


Every business owner should know if their biggest asset is saleable. Learn inside tips to improve your odds and test yourself.

Take the Quiz


Want to receive more insights on business performance or making your business saleble?