Of Flowers, Wine, and … Money?

Keeping it real – similar core values that bind personal or business relationships.

It’s that special occasion. You’ve prepared flowers, an expensive wine, and your best suit. You feel a little dizzy with excitement in anticipation for this evening’s dinner with your partner … *screeching brakes sounds* … wait. Which partner? Is it Valentine’s Day or your business partner’s grand opening? 

Perhaps it could be for either! Regardless of the occasion, let’s toast and concede that there’s a little something that we could learn from business and personal relationships. When all the fireworks and the jazz has passed, what remains are traditional values that forges a strong bond between you and your significant other, or your business partner.

“Commitment” is a very strong word. It means that the other party can trust you. While carefully crafted words and gifts may impress your partner – keeping true to one’s promises can be a more respectable trait. Whether it’s about keeping a promise to have prompt response to all after-sales enquiries or being home for dinner at 6PM, when you keep your promises no matter how trivial, your partner will respect and value what you say. After all a man (or person) is only as good as his (or her) word. 

Be transparent & upfront

Transparency! Whether it’s the good, the bad, or the ugly, being upfront is another sexy respectable trait. More often than not, it’s hardest to be transparent when a problem or an awkward situation arises. While difficult and takes courage; just like how steel is forged in the baptism of fire – a strong relationship must be able to stand the test of hashing out difficult moments together. When all cards are on the table, both parties can move forward with integrity. If you feel that your business partner is falling behind, raise the matter and resolve it. If your wife makes bad pizza, don’t sweep it under the rug. We all know how this ends.

Money. The ultimate taboo. Like rule #2, all relationships should be transparent and money matters should be addressed out in the open. However, beyond just that, if one intends to build a long-term partnership, money matters should also be strategized. If you dream to build a house with the profits earned from your business, involve your life partner in the planning. Or perhaps you want to expand your business by looking at possible international partnerships? The point being is, whether you’re in it with your life partner or business partner for the long run, by the strategic approach when dealing with money, you’re planning for long-term success.

Last but not least, putting all the Pandora bracelets and beautiful PowerPoint slides aside, one thing for certain is that not all relationships work out (and I’m not talking about exercise). What matters is having a proper exit strategy and being willing to walk away when the relationship just doesn’t seem to work out because it has become too one sided or when SHTF (Stuff Hits The Fan). This is when rule #2 applies but in a different manner; are you honest with yourself? 

All in all, like all relationships, when the rosy glow wears off, keep steadfast in your principles and may all your relationships be fruitful ones. 

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