Few business ventures are one-person operations. Even if you have an in-demand service or product, you are likely to need some financing or professional expertise. The right business partners can help in both of these areas. Still, you may not truly get to know your business partners until your venture is well underway.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, about 5% of Americans have narcissistic personality disorder, making it somewhat likely you will encounter a narcissist at one point or another during your professional life. Here are some risks that often come with having a narcissistic business partner.
An inability to accept defeat
Your narcissistic business partner may have some excellent ideas and some not-so-great ones. Still, you should expect your partner to fight equally hard for both. This may cause you to deplete partnership resources and your mental energy on matters you should be able to leave far behind.
A willingness to take advantage of others
Narcissists tend to want to win, regardless of the consequences. If you have a narcissistic business partner, he or she may take advantage of you, other partners, clients, vendors or someone else. This may leave you struggling to find your own moral compass.
An inclination to be arrogant
In business, a bit of arrogance is not always a bad thing. Still, because narcissists can be overly cocky, your business partner may force the partnership to take unacceptable risks. Even worse, after your partnership fails, your narcissistic business partner may want to have nothing to do with you. This is because narcissists tend to surround themselves with only successful people.
Narcissists can be good business partners, but you have to keep them under control. Ultimately, if you have lost control of your partner, going through a business divorce may be the most effective way to save your venture.