I’m going to share a model with you from Greg Nathan’s book “Profitable Partnerships” that explains the cycle that any franchisee (or any relationship involving money) goes through. Here’s how it looks:
Every relationship where money is exchanged – business partnership, franchisee, employee – starts out with some level of glee. Everyone’s happy. The future looks bright, and there are clear skies ahead.Then the relationship goes through the inevitable reality check where everyone finds out the imperfections of their partners.
At this stage, everyone starts to focus on money. I put in more time than you. You spent too much money. I’m not making enough, you’re making too much. Our arrangement is unequal and unfair. It’s about the money.People in the ‘fee’ stage usually say, “This isn’t about money, it’s about principle.” If you’re there, ask yourself if you would feel the same way if you were debating about a $10 Starbucks gift care. If not, it’s (mostly) about the money. Just saying. Seen it a thousand times.
Once a person is in the “me” stage, they do dumb things. They hurt themselves and their own best interests in order to spite the relationship. They devalue their careers and their businesses. They spend massive amounts of psychic energy hating the actions of the other person and obsessing about things they have no control over; the actions of anyone but themselves.Meanwhile, their own best interests go unattended.Once you’ve hit ‘me’ there are only two ways to go: up or out. Out means you end the partnership or ruin it, or quit your job, or lose control of the asset.Up means you move on to the next stage; a much more positive one.
The “see’ stage is where you begin to see both sides of the issue. You recognize that you aren’t perfect either, and for a relationship to work, both parties have to try in good faith.‘See’ means intentional communication. It means assuming the positive intent of the other party. Everyone has to try, and everyone has to focus on bringing value to the table.
The final stage is a happy one; “we.”In the ‘we’ stage, everyone gets back to working together. Both parties recognize that their aren’t perfect. They forgive past wrongs, real and perceived.And they all get back to business again.
It’s important to note that there are only two places on this chart where you’re happy: glee and we. The other stages are below the happiness line.If you’re below the happiness line in a relationship, move on to the next stage. Begin to communicate, hold the highest thought, and get back to business. Recognize that nearly EVERYONE goes through the stages on this chart.
Just don’t get stuck below the happiness line. Life’s too short.