What’s The Difference Between Fair and Equal In Business

by Reid on February 22, 2017

Executives Having A Meeting IndoorsKnowing which one matters to you can make a huge difference in your business.

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

Reid: What’s the difference between fair and equal?

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

Reid: When I’m wearing my Sex Geek Summer Camp tee shirt that means we’re talking about business. This is business advice for sex educators, and sex positive entrepreneurs, but it’s relationship advice too. Because doing a business, is doing relationships.

Cathy: Yep.

Reid: This is Cathy Vartuli from TheIntimacyDojo.com.

Cathy: Fair versus equal is a great topic, and knowing what is important to you, and how to talk to your partner about it … Your business partner, or your relationship partner … Can make a huge difference on whether things go smoothly, and everyone feels happy, or if what the hell are you thinking?

Reid: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Cathy: If you like that he’s …

Reid: Usually I wasn’t thinking. I was just being me.

Cathy: No, but people have expectations on fair versus equal based on how they were raised, and what their natural inclination is. Just like one of my primary love language is words of affirmation and touch. It’s really easy for me to assume, if I say, “Oh my God that was a really good job,” that someone feels loved. Versus if someone’s not that, they want gifts. They’re like she keeps telling me, and keeps touching me, I don’t know what her problem is.

Reid: It’s weird man, she buys me all kinds of stuff. She keeps touching me, weird.

Cathy: Would you like to explain the difference, fair versus equal?

Reid: There’s a couple … This is my particular take on it, that you might have another take. Observe what’s useful, run with it, chuck the rest if this doesn’t work for you. The difference when I teach jealousy and envy stuff, around fair versus equal is the distinction … Which is really useful in your personal relationships, and your friendships, and checking with your family … But also really useful if you’re running a business where, like let’s say in our situation when we collaborate. My business is mine. Cathy can advise me on things and give me her opinion. She often does. It’s mine, and I get to do what I want with it, and we have agreements put in place, and we talked about exit strategies and things like that. Go watch these other videos, that we cut about business relating. Ultimately I get to make decisions about my business, and then Cathy can opt in or opt out.

Now if I don’t include Cathy, she might think that’s not fair or … I don’t know how it occurs to you … If it’s not equal. How does equal look good to you?

Cathy: I want the same as someone else is getting. For example that might be if we got two events and I ran one event, and I was paid 30%. He had someone else come in and run a similar event, and you paid them 40%. I’d be like, that’s not equal. Similar events for my work. It’s like, what are you thinking? That equal there is like … Versus fair would be like …

Reid: I did this event first, why are you offering it to that other person? That’s not fair. I did a great job on that event. I should be offered that event. This is something we’re going through a little bit right now. Just to be transparent. That’s not fair. This is what’s really useful is understanding what fair is for the other person, and what fair means to you. Then understanding what equal means. Because what happens is a lot of times people collapse the two. Then when you collapse the two, there’s a bunch of opportunities and distinctions that get lost when you merge the two. In your relationship, and business relationship with Rick at ThrivingNow.com, you guys set up things to be fairly equal.

Cathy: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Reid: How does fair occur in your business with Rick?

Cathy: I feel like we both really care about … Because we’re both primary partners in that, and we tend to work really well that way, it tends to work out. If one person carries a little more weight on this, another person carries a little more weight on that. If it starts feeling out of balance, it’s each person’s responsibility to say, “Hey, I feel like I’m carrying a little bit more of the load right now than I’d like.” The other person might say, “Well yeah. This actually” … We didn’t actually have discussion, like a conflict about it, but when I moved across country I was like, “Hey Rick, when you moved I covered for you while you got settled. I’m going to need you to cover for me while I’m getting settled.”

There was like, “Okay I helped you out, can you help me out,” kind of thing. Not an obligation, but it wouldn’t feel fair if he said, “No I don’t really want to.” I would like, “Ah, that doesn’t feel very fair.” He was fine with it. He was amazing. He covered great.

Reid: Understanding these distinction, and also the distinctions for yourself. In romantic relationships, or even with your kids, like you have children. These things where you went to Disney World with so-and-so. I should go to Disney World with you. That would be fair. I was like, “Well is that fair, or is that equal?”

Cathy: That’s more equal to me.

Reid: Yeah, but things not being equal that’s not fair.

Cathy: People mix the words up.

Reid: Understanding so you know what you’re talking about, and you’re understanding what the problem is, and understanding in your own businesses. Well what do … Then our business it doesn’t … For me in my business … It doesn’t need to be fair or equal. It doesn’t. I try to be nice and accommodating, but some … There might be situations where I’m doing something, and Cathy’s like, “But that’s not fair.” Then there’s a conversation about are you partnering with people who have their words and can speak up about it, and then this distinction might be really helpful.

Cathy: Sometimes you’re like, “Oh yeah, let’s change that.”

Reid: Yeah, “Thank you for bringing that to my attention.”

Cathy: Sometimes it like, “Well, if you don’t want to do it, you don’t have to. You can opt out, but this is how it’s going to go.

Reid: Make sure whatever you’re doing, your businesses and your … Even if you’re creating programs together, or running a retreat together, or something. Figure out ways to assess if the people you’re collaborating with have high emotional IQs, and can handle their own disappointments. Put it into words to the best of their abilities, self asses what’s going on for them, and can they communicate it. Three fingers, actually six fingers pointing back at you. Because if you want to collaborate with people, and certainly start businesses where you’re sharing intellectual property and money. Get your shit together. Can you talk eloquently about what your needs are, to the extent that sometimes you don’t know. Then, but can you talk about like, “Ah, something’s going on. I don’t know what’s going on.” Can you have those conversations? Don’t partner with people, and use your … This is my personal belief … Don’t use your business, as your business partners workshop to get their shit together.

Cathy: Yes, it’s not … Business is not therapy. It’s okay to have a certain amount of discussion, and one of my thoughts is …

Reid: Say that with us. “Business is not therapy.”

Cathy: It can … One of my thoughts though is that if you are growing and going deeper. I use business as a way to grow personally. Experience things I hadn’t experienced before, challenge myself.

Reid: Yeah challenge yourself.

Cathy: It’s fun to do that with … As part of creation. If you’re growing a lot, and doing a lot of new things. You maybe hitting the edges of a lot of new comfort zones. Look at that and say, “Oh is this just like a really rocky ride, or is it the fact that we’re going really far, really fast, and we’re exploring areas where we didn’t have agreements or frameworks to work on it,” and is it okay. Is that part of the context. “Okay we are doing a lot of new stuff, and there’s going to be more bumps, and are you willing to figure that out, are you willing to work through that?” If you’re both at yes that great. Businesses that stay more constant, may not have that. May not have as much conflict if everything’s agreed on. Sometimes it’s a sign that you’re growing a lot, and you get to look at it and say, “Is this me growing a lot, or is this just really the car needs to get to the shop?”

Reid: We’ll end this with thank you for watching. Because these ones are a little bit longer. Especially if your coaches, or therapists, or counselors. Just like in a romantic relationship, use your business partnerships and collaborations to cheer each other on. While you go get resources to figure out what you need in this relationship outside of … Don’t spend a lot of time coaching and therapising each other. Cheer each other on to go get therapy outside of the business, and then bring back your ah-has to be celebrated.

Cathy: Right.

Reid: That’s really useful. What’s happened for me, and in other business collaborations is … The quick fix is, since you already know how to do this is you just hold space for each other. That’s okay, but to have that be the relationship with each other … Don’t have a coaching business where you coach your business partners …

Cathy: More than anybody else.

Reid: Yeah, that’s not … Don’t do that. Take our advice, don’t do that.

Cathy: It’s okay to get some of your needs met in the business relationship, but if it’s your soul source of getting your needs met it’s going to be a lot rockier.

Reid: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Awesome. What are your comments? Are these videos useful? Sorry that they’re a little long.

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