My boyfriend and I would argue all the time about the same things. Urrrrrh. I mean, he would be on me! I felt like he was picking on me and intentionally making me feel bad. But as I reflect back on the relationship, I was very combative and I never took responsibility for my actions. Below is what my boyfriend was “REALLY” saying to me:

I am going to tell you things that you need to hear about about yourself (even if it can be painful to hear) and help(and inspire!) you to dig in and make yourself the absolute best that you can be. My job is not to bolster your self-esteem and confidence in your abilities, I help you be the best Ebony and to be proud of it.


Big difference right! Here are the things I’ve discovered are the key to a good relationship with your business partner/mentor, you may find these tips translate well into how to develop a healthy relationship.

1. Communicate

This is probably the most important thing. Without communication what do you have? Misunderstandings, hurt feelings, etc. Don’t just zip your lips and shut down. If there is a misunderstanding or your partner hasn’t caught your ‘vision,’ talk to them. In person, over the phone, Skype, email, whatever. If they know where you are coming from things can’t help but improve.

2. Follow the instructions or process

By not following your partner guidelines you waste other people’s time. It’s that simple. Processes are in place for a reason. Not following instructions reflects poorly on you. If your partner has a choice on who to go with next time, they are going to go with easy. And ‘easy’ follows instructions.

If your partner wants to get things done with only one edit back to you, follow the process. Don’t expect to be feeding that piece back to them time and again. It’s your job to go over it after you make a change to make sure things still flow and that you haven’t messed something else up.

3. Don’t be afraid to ask

If you have a question, ask. It’s that simple. You may worry that you will be wasting everyone’s time or that in time they will answer this question. Sometimes asking a question now saves everyone time and sets everyone on the right course early in the game. This is a two-way relationship. An equal partnership where you are working together to create the best possible product.