What’s Your Business Relationship Style…. happy to have you around

by Reid on February 1, 2016

diverse multiracial colleagues discussing tech startup business ideas on tablet computer deviceCan you adopt some of the romantic relationship language for business relationships?

With Reid Mihalko from ReidAboutSex.com and SexGeekSummerCamp.com and Cathy Vartuli from TheIntimacyDojo.com.

Cathy: What’s your business style? Are you someone who loves a lot of primaries? Do you want some secondaries? How do you work with people?

Reid: Oh my goodness. I’m wearing my Sex Geek Summer Camp shirt. This conversation must be about business, being a sex educator, and sex positive entrepreneur. This is Cathy Vartuli from TheIntimacyDojo.com.

Cathy: This is Reid Mihalko from ReidAboutSex.com and SexGeekSummerCamp.com

Reid: Dot com.

Cathy: Last night in the hot tub, we were talking about how business relationships somewhat resemble romantic relationships. We just did a video on whether your poly or monogamous, you might have a poly style. There’s different polyamorous styles, where people sometimes have a V. One person is dating two other people. There’s different styles. If you can take concepts that work for a community, it can be challenging to talk about polyamory as people are opening relationships and some of this languaging has worked really well. If you can adopt it and get concepts that benefit you, than why not? Grab them and run.

Reid: Grab them and run. For those of you who are listening to this who aren’t in the world of non-monogamy, I’ll-

Cathy: There’s nothing wrong.

Reid: There’s nothing wrong. I’m going to drop in a music analogy. If you’re starting a band or if you’re just somebody who loves … you want a duet team. Would you be bothered if the person on your duet plays gigs with all these other bands all the time because that’s what Cathy needs as a musician? Are you going to be pissed at that and say, “No, no, no. Our duo is sacred. What are you doing?”

Sometimes if the poly stuff’s not working, just try to apply it to, “Well, if I was starting a band, what would that be like?” There’s nothing wrong with, “I want a duo. I want to be Donnie and Marie and Marie never cuts an album with anybody else. Ever.” It’s okay to be the person who’s like, “Oh no, I’m really slutty with my music. I want to be on everybody’s albums. Make guest appearances. Do all this stuff because that makes me and the way that music comes through me happier.” I’m just trying to drop in a couple of different ways of looking at this.

Cathy: There’s nothing right or wrong however you look at it, but having a framework and a concept that you can build on, let’s you communicate with your partner and let’s you know, “Hey, if I enter this business relationship, am I meeting my needs for what I like to do?”

Reid: If you’re the person who’s like, “Marie, never with anyone else,” it’s really important to know that-

Cathy: And tell your partner.

Reid: If you need a musician who’s like, “Oh, I can’t wait to work with you because I just love working with all these different people. I don’t get to play this kind of music that often, so this is going to be great.” You can be like, “Oh no, no, no, no, no, no, we’re in a monogamous duo-ship. You do not cut other albums with other people. Ever.” Good for you to know that and good for the other person to know that, too.

Cathy: You might have an agreement where, “Okay, we’re just going to do country western together. You never do anything else country western, but you can do jazz and classical with other people.”

Reid: That’s like, “You can do butt sex with me, but not butt sex with anybody else.”

Cathy: The concept of primary and secondary means a primary is someone who fits a more traditional … it would be more if you looked at a monogamous relationship. That kind of relationship in terms of the people are making decisions together. Rick Wilkes from Thriving Now and I have a primary relationship. We both own a business and any decisions we make are made together. We can each work with other people, but any decisions made about the business are made between the two of us.

Reid: They have a primary relationship where they both have a certain amount of say in how their lives get affected by each other. People in the poly community have lots of different definitions for what primary means, but this is kind of the way that we’re using it. They’re sharing finances. They’re living together in their intellectual property that they built together and they both own that, which then means there needs to be a conversation about how they get divorced or transitioned.

Cathy: Yeah. Exiting agreements is coming up. Watch the video.

Reid: We’ll talk about break-ups in business in the second.

Cathy: Reid and I have what I would call a secondary relationship. It’s his business. He makes the decisions. I can say, “I don’t think that’s a good idea,” or “I think we should go in this direction,” but it’s ultimately his decision. We get to collaborate together. I love collaborating, but it’s his business, so I would consider it more secondary. I have some what I might call tertiary relationships with other people where they call me like, “Hey, I need help with this. It’s midnight and I need to get this out. Can you help me with something?” Or, “I need help with this particular project,” where I’m not helping them build their business long-term, but I’m kind of chipping in and helping them.

Reid: A good friend of mine, Nina Hartley, had this to say. Again, we’re dropping in a bunch of sex geekery from relationships. Nina and her primary partner live together and share finances and things like that, but when they’re not together, this is Nina’s words, she gets to do whatever she wants with her body and her time.

Cathy: Free agent.

Reid: She’s a free agent. She picked a partner who doesn’t get upset by Nina doing whatever she wants to do, even though they’re primaries. They’re different kinds of primary styles, too. Some primaries are like, “No, no, no, you need to consult with me on these decisions,” and there’s lots of great resources in the poly world on how to figure out and navigate these things. If you’re super geeky about business and not into poly, you might want to pick up a couple of these books. Some really great books-

Cathy: Opening Up, Tristan-

Reid: Opening Up, Tristan Taormino. There’s another great book, More than Two, which I’m really bad about remembering those authors.

Cathy: We’ll put it down for you.

Reid: They have a lot of great questions to ask yourself and these questions you can apply to your business relationships.

Cathy: We thought the framework was pretty cool and it might be a good way. I often go to business conferences and I’ll see people going, “I love that idea. Let’s do a business together,” and they don’t talk about exit strategies, which we’ll talk about in a minute. They don’t talk about styles or any of that. They’re just like, “We’ll split fifty-fifty and we’re going to go do this.”

Reid: They fall in love creatively and then they start a family because that’s what you do when you partner around business. Again, when you start realizing you have other options and what your own needs are, you can start asking better questions and then figuring out ways for you to be able to collaborate and share creative energy in a way that leaves both of you feeling better and more happy and more self-expressed. Doesn’t mean you won’t have tough times. We’re going through a tough patch right now. That’s normal in things. Can you talk about them? Do you have the tools? We’re using the geekery that we’re coming up talking about this stuff to share with you guys.

Cathy: Leave comments below. We love to know what you think. Are you primary or secondary oriented or is it okay to have some business relationship with each, which I love. We’d love to hear what you think.

Reid: How does the music of business come through you? Comments.

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