Synergy in Partnerships is Critical

  Synergy opens the door to amazing possibilities but it takes more than a hug or handshake


What is Synergy? and, Is It Automatically There?

Synergy is one of my favorite concepts. It’s much like Warren Buffett who enjoys “Compounding Interest”, while athletic teams become almost unstoppable with “Big Mo” on their side. Synergy to a mathematician might be multiplication or exponentials. Whatever background you come from, Synergy is important in any relationship and critical in business partnerships, as you will see in the illustration at the end of this article.

Basically speaking, Synergy is the concept of the total being greater than the sum of two forces or objects. 

Is it possible for 1 plus 1 to equal 3 or greater? Scientifically, “Matter can neither be created, nor destroyed, only transformed”, right? So what’s going on here?

This magic formula is brought to life through the art of building relationships. Unity, teamwork, and synergy itself can only be possible when great minds think and move alike in the same positive direction.

Unfortunately, true synergy does not happen overnight. It takes long hours, late nights, early mornings, lots of driving, meetings, and lots of time building the business together. The good news; all that time spent together builds trust in each other and strengthens the relationship.

My three suggestions for building synergy;

1. Build the relationship by spending BUSINESS time together. There’s no substitute. 

2. Learn to completely TRUST your partner. Without trust, you have nothing. 

3. Embrace CHANGE. Let collaboration and progress propel you forward!

Trust is a critical factor in building a business. Without trust, it is not a positive business relationship. Being in business together holds you to an even higher standard, so if partners cannot trust each other, they should part ways quickly. – Romans

When complete trust is present and the relationship is built, then the synergy can appear in many forms of progress, new ideas, improvements and advancements and a profitability beyond any dollar figure.

Unfortunately, in one of our many business partnerships, we have a couple that does not seem to grasp any of the above three, especially #1 (or 2 or 3) They have never been in business or managed anything from a business perspective before they met us. They were very enthusiastic and had tons of promise, so we gave them an opportunity. 

We have been working together to build a new business together for more than a year and a half now, but they continue to fail to show up at our agreed-upon, preset weekly meetings or to listen to our consulting advice.  There always seems to be an excuse for cancelling each week.  I have been through enough experiences to recognize this for what it is; a serious lack of commitment under understandably challenging circumstances.

Tough times require tough commitments and this couple just wasn’t ready for that yet. They seem more determined to ignore all solid legal and ethical advice that we give them, which is now causing serious issues with our company together. If things do not change, we will have no other option than to discontinue their failed partnership with us. We will not be abused, lied to, deceived or stolen from, whether that be money, time or talent and then continue in this abusive ‘relationship’. This partnership has caused me more stress on my heart and mind than any relationship or partnership EVER. It’s time to make an offer they can’t refuse.

Golden Egg Refused

Therefore, to stay out of the legal trouble they are causing and to ELIMINATE stress in our lives, we are happy to offer the business to them at cost to own the whole thing. That way they could continue to pursue their idea and have full control of it, including all technical support from us at no additional charge. We just want to see them succeed. After all, I coached the kid in little league baseball and we still love him as a brother in Christ, no matter what happens. 

Shipwreck on our 16th Wedding Anniversary

UPDATED MAY 30, 2020 : Credit cards got switched out to my personal, money went missing from our joint account and fishy things were happening in April and May. Then on May 29th, confessions were made and recorded. He informed us that they took money from the account and are quitting, however, he said they would put it back if he changed his mind and decided to continue together.

We should have seen the red flag when the wife was released from the local bank for having too many short drawers. We thought it was a mistake or a setup or something. Hindsight is always 2020.

The partnership was effectively over, as we realized we could never operate a business with them at that point. See RULE 2 above. The whole reason we offered him help in the first place was to overcome threats of divorce and thoughts of suicide. He credits us for helping him through that. But it wasn’t ever about us or the business, we just felt led to help this couple. We work for God and I could not stand seeing my longtime friend from childhood disabled and depressed. I felt I HAD to do something for this couple, despite the fact that the wife despised me. That didn’t matter. Helping this man is all I could think of for the better part of two years. So, even though it didn’t work out for them they way we had hoped, maybe that was my job in all of this.  Only God knows! 

UPDATED MARCH 15, 2021 : We did our best to help them, however, they refused to listen to us and are now operating a cloned business under an assumed name, nearly identical to our existing business – that they shipwrecked.  In the end, if they can manage the business on their own; properly, ethically and legally, then we are supportive of their efforts. The scary and unfortunate thing is that he could also lose his FULL DISABILITY benefits if SSA knew he was working full time and making 3-5X his disability check, but that is NOT my heart, or my goal. He told me that he informed SSA that his goal was to stop receiving it eventually. We want them to succeed, so we will just pray that they do the right thing and be honest with their (our) customers in their new cloned business. 

A Lesson for All

This is a great lesson to learn from. Be sure to follow the 3 guidelines set forth above, or you too could end up sinking your own ship.

Just because you know somebody from your childhood, doesn’t mean you know what they know.

It takes time to be mentored. It takes TIME TOGETHER to build a business properly.

Note : Original article published April 2020 and UPDATED May 30, 2020 & March 15, 2021.

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