R O B 3 R T   T H O R N T O N

Partnership as an 80-20 Proposition

The conventional concept of a partnership is that it's a 50-50 proposition -- the partners share equally in the expenses, work load, and benefits. This sounds fair and simple, in theory, but in practice, each person has a different concept of what equal shares are. So, ultimately, one or both partners often end up disgruntled, feeling they are giving more and getting less than the other. This problem becomes more common as the nature of the partnership becomes more complex and/or ill-defined, such as in a life's partnership or marriage.

A solution suggested by my father, a few years before he died, is to make the partnership an 80-20 proposition. In other words, each partner commits to give four times as much as the other partner, and expects to receive only one fourth as much as the other. If both partners can loosen the grip of their egos enough to accept this kind of skew, there is a much better chance of feeling that the partnership works as intended, after the inevitable differences in perception and values are factored in.

R O B 3 R T   T H O R N T O N

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