I wish I could go back in time to change some of the ways I viewed my former business partner. Instead of letting our differences be a tool to make us stronger, I allowed them to drive a wedge of separation between us both.
I’m different now. I can see differences the way I’m supposed to: as something to be celebrated and necessary for us as individuals and for the business to continue to grow.
Owning a business with someone else will always present opportunities where someone is going to be offended. It’s weird, but what used to be a good quality we liked in someone could easily become a cause of irritation if we lose perspective on our differences.
Have you ever said
- He’s very disorganized
- She’s so OCD
- He’s always late
- She’s scatterbrained
- He’s lazy
- She’s a workaholic
- He’s computer illiterate
- She’s not well-spoken
There’s a ton of meaningless differences that can distract us from running our businesses and discourage us from being in the partnership.
WARNING: A house (business) divided against itself will fall (Mark 3:24−25). If we don’t value one another, we start to talk bad about the other. If we’re speaking negative things about the other, then conflict grows between us. When conflict continues to rise, the end of the business is right around the corner.
So what can we do if we haven’t turned that corner yet? Is there still hope for our business partnerships?
Yes! One of the best things about business partnerships is that we have the opportunity to practice and perfect appreciating each other’s differences. I’m not talking about simply “putting up” with differences, we need to celebrate them!
The Bible says:
As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.
(Proverbs 27:17 NLT)
You and your partner were made different and brought together on purpose because of God. He intended for both of you to sharpen each other’s imperfections, releasing the dull parts of us, and exposing new sides of us that will be ready to cut into the marketplace, attack and fight off enemies, and conquer new territories together.
I know this sounds amazing, but the reality is that two pieces of iron hitting each other doesn’t happen without friction, collision, pain, and sparks flying everywhere. It often takes many strikes, more heat, bending, breaking, restoring, and continuing repetition of everything I just mentioned.
In our business partnerships, God wanted us to be different and diverse and for us to leverage that and celebrate our differences.
The Bible says:
But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it.
(1 Corinthians 12:18 NLT)
Paul wants to illustrate that we’re all different for a reason and that together, we form a complete body.
As we continue to pursue uncovering God’s purpose for our business partnerships, remember that our differences make us stronger and empower us to do more things than we could ever do apart.
Ask yourself if you’re in business with a partner or an opponent. How could turn the differences into an asset?