“I’m an agent of chaos. Oh, and you know the thing about chaos? It’s fair!” -The Joker in The Dark Knight
They say that all is fair in Love and War. But about in Love and Work?
It’s very common and understandable that someone who shares your passion in work will also seem like a good match for the passion in your personal life. I can relate to this scenario, having myself experienced that seemingly perfect union of love and work, and dated the very man with whom I built our revolutionary new independent action film production company, Action Pact Entertainment.
But while that partnership lead to incredible career progress, I simultaneously dealt with the significant complications of mixing business with pleasure. And while the romantic part of that relationship didn’t work out, we managed to end it very amicably, and turn our focus entirely on the business partnership.
How did we manage to do this? It was quite simply a matter of learning how to trust one another in the partnership – both with the heart and the mind – and maintain open and honest communication. Doing this, we were able to develop and maintain a common vision for the future, despite the ups and downs.
We have all had our share of unhealthy relationships and experiences that left a bad taste in our mouth. I’ve had walls up for so long, that I found them particularly difficult to let down when faced with someone I actually want to let in, whether romantically or professionally. But it is possible to learn to forgive the patterns of your past & accept the new challenges of building a lasting & trusting partnership with someone – and the process of doing this is not much different from learning to overcome the unhealthy patterns in any other area of your life.
Armed with that knowledge, you can then move on to the stage of simplification, filtering down all your issues and obstacles to the core problem that you must overcome. It’s often more simple than it seems. For my situation, I could envision this love-work challenge to be quite complicated. But it’s really a lot simpler than I feared — because both are a kind of partnership, and if built together at the same time, they can actually help strengthen, rather than impede, each other.
The next step is to take what you’ve learned and put it into action – build a game plan from what you’ve learned that will energize you forward into a new and better partnership. For me, this action plan involves a little bit of boundary setting with a lot of open two-way communication, and a very robust To Do list tracker. But the important thing is we set our goals and game plan together, my partner and I, and are keeping each other in check and on track every step of the way. And remember, the solution is often much simpler than you think.
So no matter what kind of partnership is giving you trouble, or who in your life you are struggling with, the most important thing is that you work together to create the solution that will improve and empower you both. Our chaos is only as strong as we let it be, and likewise only as disabling. So take these simple steps side-by-side, and see where that can lead you both.
I’m certainly not there yet, and it may take a while for me to reach that goal. But at least I’m on the right path and have found a business partnership that fulfills me as much as it challenges me. So I know I will enjoy the journey as much as I know I will enjoy the destination.
Best of luck to all you fellow one-half-of-amazing-partnerships out there. I hope you too can find a solid road to travel together, and I truly hope that anything I’ve shared here can help you in shaping that journey.
Looking for someone to partner with, who can help you elevate your creative business to the next level? I am available for 1-on-1 consulting, and would love to explore building a Productive Partnership with you.
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