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Gimme, gimme, gimme (a man after midnight)

Maureen Jordan
Friday, August 07, 2009

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Apparently a study emanating from an obscurely named corridor of Oxford University has pointed the finger of shame at Aussie blokes who don’t carry their weight when it comes to domestic chores. I picked up this article on Reuters under the title ‘Scandinavians most attractive husbands, Aussies least’. The study suggests that women are keen to enter into long-term partnerships with men as long as they aren’t Australian!

Now, there might be some substance in this study and the sample size was reasonable but – in my world – Australian men rate pretty highly when it comes to contributing to the success of a partnership. Obviously, the two Scandinavian ‘blokes’ in the ABBA partnerships were failing to put out the garbage each night as these relationships didn’t last!

Knowing me, knowing you

What the Reuters article did spark in me were thoughts about partnerships – business partnerships. How many times have I heard my female friends say: “We’re going to start a business. We’re such great friends and have this great idea so we can’t wait to start. We know one another so well.”

I’m a glass half-full person, so if there’s an opportunity out there and two friends can develop it, then great – go for it. But please, don’t go into a business partnership with blinkers on, thinking that because you’re friends, you’re going to be in business happily ever after. You might think you know someone but throw money and stress into the equation and you could be quite surprised.

Here are two things to consider about partnerships:
  1. Have a written agreement that clearly sets out the name of the game. If you can afford it, get a solicitor to draw one up for you. It doesn’t have to be complicated but it should set out what each party contributes to the partnership, how they are rewarded, what happens if there’s a dispute, or if one party wants out, or even if one party dies. No one wants to think about these things, but it’s just good sense to write all this down.
  2. Be careful who you go into partnership with. Don’t choose a partner for emotional reasons. When all is said and done, a business survives and grows when you have different skill sets and strengths. Being a nice person, or funny, isn’t a prerequisite for success in business. If you’re creative, being in business with another creative person can be a recipe for a disaster.

Success in business is all about taking risks and then managing those risks. Smart operators put systems in place as part of their risk minimisation strategy. I’ve looked at people over the years go through personal relationship bust-ups over and over again because they always chose a bloke for all the wrong reasons. Hormones can confuse the mind in love relationships, but business is (or should be) a hormone free zone. Be wary of anyone who is keen to enter into a business relationship but shies away from giving it a structure to make it last. If you hear the words “take a chance on me”, start running!

Important information:This content has been prepared without taking account of the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular individual. It does not constitute formal advice. For this reason, any individual should, before acting, consider the appropriateness of the information, having regard to the individual’s objectives, financial situation and needs and, if necessary, seek appropriate professional advice.

 

Published: Friday, August 07, 2009


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