Strategy: Re-focus on the motivators.
One of the worst things that can happen to a partnership is for one partner to feel that the unique and enterprising business idea and opportunity is no longer worth it. It can usually be recognized by excuses such as not having enough time or being overly busy or stressed. This may be a sign that the partner has other interests outside the business or something that pulls their attention away from the business.
If this happens, talk about it. It may sound simple, but discussing the observations can be one of the most effective ways to solving this problem. There will be a reason why they have lost interest, so try to find out why and see what you can do to change things. Be open and willing to listen. When the communication is not flowing freely try reminiscing about why you started the business, review some positive client feedback, or discuss the motivators that sparked the initial thoughts about starting the business. In most cases, such motivators (like making money, helping others, sharing one’s expertise, not having a boss, etc.) hasn’t changed; the perception as to how they relate to the business is what has changed. The objective in the discussion is for the partners to develop a strategic plan to help stay focused on the motivators.
Sometimes this problem needs more insight. Your business, your motivation, your ability to succeed can always benefit from an outside perspective. Such support and coaching cannot only renew the passion, but can help with keeping it going through the next slump. Having experience working with a variety of partnerships has given me a unique understanding of partnership dynamics. See the Partnerships section on the Business Success Articles page for more information on managing your partnership. And if you’d like help in coming together to refocus on the motivators, send me a message on the Contact Page and select the Subject Partner Coaching.