The Break-Up

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In this episode of How’s Work? with Esther Perel, we meet Mike and Jay. For these two, being in business together hasn't just been about cash – it's a badge of the trust and teamwork they developed flying fighter jets together in the Navy. Mike's vision combined with Jay's grit gave them the confidence to create a killer startup. Then they got stuck.

In The Break-Up, they admit their partnership is on the skids. What happened? ‍


What to listen for in this episode of How’s Work? With Esther Perel:

  • Separation is scary. Can even the best ideas succeed without the “us?”
  • Complementarity as a Catch 22: When over-relying on the other’s strength and overcompensating for the other’s weakness, "the price of the self that has been given up" can be both prohibitive and hard to recognize.
  • "The context of how you grew up exquisitely sharpens certain skills. And they come with you to work." A single child may have learned to solve things alone, whereas someone with siblings probably learned to think about how it affects others.
  • There’s no such thing as a lone genius. "Once I accept that I'm not the source of all failure, then I have to accept that I'm not the source of all success."
  • Often stuckness isn’t "just some matter-of-fact shortness of ideas," but rather the crushing "burdens of responsibility." Like a tree, stuckness takes some digging to get at the roots.
  • "When you're in that [anxious], vigilant state, you can't be exploratory, playful, curious, imaginative, creative, innovative."
    Acknowledgment counts. When a partner says, “I see you in your predicament, That 'I see you' is what ultimately makes you feel less alone.

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