I was prompted to write this today when I received a blog posting through my facebook page.

I often receive notifications from a blogger who runs the New Chivalry Movement, James M Sama. This morning I received a link to his latest piece on the kind of people to avoid when dating. The article details 5 tyoes of people you should run away from at the first opportunity if you end up dating them.

Now I am very happily engaged in a relationship with a wonderful woman with whom I have 2 fabulous children, so this article is of no interest to me on the dating front.

What did occur to me was that, if you take away the context of dating, and replaced it with the context of building business partnerships, the types still rang true.

A substantial part of my business is based on building partnerships and networks. Sometimes this means finding a team of people who have strengths where perhaps I lack them, sometimes it means having people who provide services I don’t offer personally, but would like to offer to my clients and sometimes it’s because I believe wholeheartedly in the power of the network and the people in your network finding the solutions to the problems that turn up out of the blue. I will blog about the power of the network another time.

The coach, the brilliant Kane Minkus of Industry Rockstar, said to me “When it comes to joint ventures, date for at least 6 months before you consider getting married.”

Think about whom you have been in or considered being in a joint venture or business partnership with. Did any of them conform to these 5 types?


The Control Freak

Do you know the control freak? I once introduced 2 close friends and colleagues of mine to each other and swiftly they fell into a business relationship over a new company. Very soon the business relationship became sour and difficult because one of those people (by their own admission, and with pride) was a control freak. What this meant in real terms is there was nothing that the other partner was left or able to do. The control freak took care of everything and did everything. Meetings began to happen and decisions were made whilst the other partner was away from the office and eventually the other partner was strategically removed from the project.

The control freak operates from a place of terror. Terror of other people and what other people might do with their projects.

You are going to need to date for a while to find out if your proposed partner is a control freak.


The Constant Complainer

I can speak with authority on this. I recently went into a partnership with a constant complainer.

One of the areas of neuro-linguistics that is least explored in the UK is around your ecology. Who do you have around you and what are the energies they bring to your life and your business?

I work in the artistic community, teaching business and confidence skills to actors, musicians and circus performers. I used to work as an actor myself. I love the work and I love the community, but my goodness, the ecology of the community stinks. There is an emotional presumption that something isn’t going to happen, or if it does, it’s going to go badly, or the director will be dreadful, or the other actors are going to spoil it.

There is an old theatrical joke. “How do you upset an actor? Give him a job.”

If you have read my book Finding Your Personal Power you will know how I show that you become what you think. The ecology of these actors is often a self-fulfilling prophecy. It’s a coping mechanism for disappointment.

When I get this in a business setting, I am surprised. But I can recognise what it is. When my new JV partner found that everyone we dealt with were “shit” and didn’t do their job properly, but that the expectation of that “shit”ness was so strong that, even though I thought I could resist, I found myself joining in. The result.Failure.

The Constant Complainer will reveal themselves quickly when you date. Don’t date for long.


Silly Putty

Do you remember silly putty, the flexible substance that did whatever you wanted it to? All very well and good when you are child, but not when you are looking for a significant business relationship. Having a business partner who is so malleable that they just do as they are told will sap your energy and destroy the relationship. They are covering that they have nothing to contribute other than obey.

I have seen silly putty partners in action in businesses I have worked with, though I have never had one myself. Beware the silly putty partners ability to spin events and decisions in their favour. It’s about the most creative they will get.

That is not a partnership you need to reveal and get rid of before you put things on paper.

The Centre of the Universe

“Don’t you know what this is doing to me!?”

The opposite of silly putty is play-doh. Remember what happens when play doh gets hard. It becomes the most inflexible substance in the universe.

How many Centres of the Universe have you met in business? Usually they are extremely charismatic and full of ideas which all sound amazing at the very beginning of the relationship. As the relationship progresses, however, everything in and around the business has to play second fiddle to their emotional state.

The quote from the top of this article is a real one from a business partner of mine from a while ago who blamed everyone else on the project for everything going wrong and even blaming them for his poor sleep cycle and poor relationship with his children.

Charisma is a wonderful thing and when you find you have a business opportunity with someone who has it, you want to grab that opportunity and run with it. Even though it feels wonderful you need to date before you marry to give the Centre of the Universe time to come out. It’s when times get rough that they reveal.


The Ultra-Materialistic

You will hear me say this again and again. Money is just about choice. Having more money gives you the choice to do or have more things. When I hear people talk about money as if they are motivated by it, then I truly begin to wonder.

I don’t believe anyone who says they are motivated by money. They are motivated by something that having money gives them, however. What might that be and how might they be responding to you in this relationship. Often the overly materialistic will treat you in terms of what they can get out of you, not what they can give to you. If they cannot reveal their goals beyond money, then what is there you (and they) can connect with to bring any kind of abundance into your lives.

The ultra materialistic usually reveal themselves pretty early on. Beware of falling into the trap of being seduced by them and their talk of money.


So there is my list. I wish you all the very best of luck in finding your own partners to work with and I wish you the greatest of success with them.

I beg you however, to heed the call to date before you marry. Go around the block for a while with your partners and get some abundance from the relationship before you make it official and difficult to dissolve.

For those of you who are interested in James M Sama’s original dating article that I have borrowed the format from, here it is:

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