Business planning, Management, Managing people

Beware the business love triangle

Andrew Sadauskas /

Valentine’s Day is here, love is in the air and your old romantic friend The Taskmaster has a song in his heart.

 

It’s a ballad of broken hearts and ruined dreams, but hey, it’s a song!

 

There are many great husband and wife business teams. Roger and Lesley Gillespie of Bakers Delight is one couple that springs to mind. So do rich list members Ervin and Charlotte Vidor, who own Toga Hospitality and launched the Medina chain of serviced apartments in Australia.

 

But equally I’ve known many couples for whom running a business and maintaining a relationship hasn’t quite worked. Often, they can do one (the relationship or the business) but not the other. In some awful circumstances, both break down.

 

I look at it like this. If you go into business with your romantic partner, you are really forming a love triangle. There is you, you partner and the business, which as every entrepreneur knows can be as demanding, relentless and emotionally draining as any lover!

 

To manage this triangle, you need rules for you and your lover to follow. Just because your business partner is also your life partner doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a shareholders’ agreement that sets out exactly what would happen if your love ever goes cold.

 

A break-up can be a very emotional time, so having a document to fall back on will be very reassuring for both of you. It could even save your business from being destroyed by your break-up.

 

Get it done – today!

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Andrew Sadauskas

Andrew Sadauskas is a former journalist at SmartCompany and a former editor of TechCompany.

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