Aspire co-founders Jon Chintanaroad and Mike Prestano. Photograph: Aspire Recruiting
” The business initially ran very well and we secured clients, but in the second year, it took more of a downturn and there was less revenue coming in ,” Chintanaroad says.” Things started to become more tense- “were in” spending a lot of time together, and we have different personalities so we reacted differently. Our changes mean we complement each other, but it can induce communication difficult .”
Prestano says:” I’m a lot more conservative and Jon’s more adventurous. I wouldn’t wishes to expend too much, whereas he would be more relaxed about spending now and paying back afterward .”
They decided to see Sunny Sabbini, a Silicon Valley-based family therapist. Sabbini helped them understand that the other person wasn’t putting a different opinion forward intentionally- they were just different.
The pair developed a numbering system to assess the level of importance each decision had for them both, one for” I couldn’t care less” and 10 for” very important, we should have a discussion “.
Prestano said this helped them watch why the other person seemed relaxed about one decision, but stressed about another.” It helped us sort through decisions that we didn’t need to waste energy discussing, and therefore set us in a more productive mindset ,” he says.
Prestano added that he also stopped are concerned about any expenditure under $100( PS77 ), to curb unnecessary arguments, such as where reference is said no to the purchase of an $80 printer.” It’s all about having a’ SOP’- standard operating procedure- for as many things as is practicable so you can handle everything more easily .”
Alternatives to the therapist’s couch
If your budget doesn’t stretch to regular therapy sessions, Dr Patrick Meade, a New York-based therapist who runs a practice dedicated to counselling for business partners, recommends procuring any external adviser such as a friend or former colleague to act as a sounding board.
He also recommends being prepared, in case things don’t got to scheme.” One of the most common problems is optimism bias, in which co-founders believe that everything will go well. They build little part of the preparations for when things go wrong ,” he says.
” Another tool that can help is to take time to get the other perspective, to put yourself in your partner’s situation and write down the thoughts and feelings that go through his or her mind when he or she thinks about you and your joint business ,” he adds.
Both the Futerra and Aspire Recruiting co-founders agree that keeping their friendship and shared purpose in intellect has been crucial.
” Mike and I trust one another, we’ve been brought up in a similar way, we have the same core values ,” says Chintanaroad.” For example, if one of us needs to take a day off for household reasons, we are both fine with it, I think that’s important .” Prestano says that remembering the reason they left their jobs in the first place is sometimes all it takes to keep going.” Looking back and recollecting how much better it is to be running your own business can really help ,” he said.
” Go out for a snack, get drunk and chat – you need to get out of the office if you can’t do anything else ,” says Gillespie. For both the Futerra founders, it was their suffer relationship that they realised was at stake- and that wasn’t worth losing.
Townsend says:” I went to visit Ed’s new baby last week at his home, and I thought about how, while the company is so important, over the years of arguing I might not have ended up sitting there. If you start off as friends, you need to not forget that’s what you were first .”