Sponsored by Chobani Mezé Dips
This article is part of a four-part series, The Daily Dip, sponsored by Chobani Mezé Dips and their new range of smart snacks.
There’s a saying that goes something like this: ‘you only truly know a person once you’ve travelled with them, or gone through a divorce with them.’ We’d like to add an aside: you’ll definitely know the ins and outs of someone if you’ve started a business with them. The emotional ups and downs, the financial pressures, the amount of times you skip lunch or eat dinner in the office (thank god for those emergency tubs of Chobani Mezé Dips), the repetitiveness of spending every waking second with them is enough to justify you walking down the aisle and making it legal (you have done that, right? Got a business partner pre-nup? You should).
That’s why it’s just as important to treat your relationship with your business partner in much the same way you would your partner or spouse. Communication, trust and honesty are key ingredients to a fruitful, long-lasting partnership, but there’s one other thing we do in our romantic relationships that we might not do with our business partners: give ourselves a date night.
It doesn’t have to be a romantic dinner for two – it’s more about connecting with your partner outside of work and allowing yourself to be people and friends first, business partners second. Here are a few reasons that a ‘date night’ could save your business relationship:
It creates comfort
Are there places that make you feel that little bit more comfortable with approaching certain subjects with your partner? Funnily enough, a gesture in the direction of the kitchen table, followed by an uttering of: ‘we need to talk’ doesn’t make anyone feel that great about what’s coming next. In the same way, sitting behind a desk in your office might not be a comfortable place for you to be honest. Get outside and have a wander, go to a café you both like or exercise together – that lack of formality and pressure will make it easier for you both to get on the same page.
It helps you get creative
Surprise surprise, brainstorming isn’t where all your best ideas come from. It’s more often than not sitting on your couch at home watching Netflix, or just when you’re about to close your eyes, that you have your best ideas. Why? Because you’re relaxed. Recreate that scene with your business partner – do you both like sunbathing? Paddleboarding? Sailing? Do those things together, allow yourselves to talk ideas (not administration – there’s a difference) and sometimes put a stop to it and enjoy the activity, and each other’s company.
It brings you closer together
Shared experiences bring people closer together, which is, in fact, what your business has done. But if you know each other solely around the work that you do, you might not understand each other on a deeper level that helps to unearth values – and values are what drives someone to do the work that they do.
It forces you away from work
It can often be impossible to stop talking about work, especially with a co-worker. If you’ve made the decision to do ‘date night’, do it. Ban all talk about work and give yourselves the space to consider other aspects of life.