Podcast Summary.

Happy Team, Happy Life - Building for the Long Term

Episode 42
Episode Summary

Benefits of a Business Partnership: Surviving 4 Recessions in 25 Years

The business world is ever-changing and unpredictable. It can be difficult to navigate and thrive in such an unpredictable environment. This is why having a business partner can be so beneficial. Chris Karlo, partner at Mercury Works, has experienced firsthand the benefits of a successful business partnership over the past 25 years. 

Having a business partner can be a great asset to any business. It can provide a sounding board for ideas, help to spread workloads, and offer a unique perspective on decision-making. In this episode of The Dirt, Jim Barnish interviews Chris to learn more about his experience and what tips he can offer to others looking to form a successful business partnership.


Chris's background is in banking and technology consulting. After consulting for a few years, he decided to join a technology and strategy consulting firm. It was there that he met his business partner, who he had gone to high school with. After a year of back-and-forth, Chris joined Mercury as a full equity partner and has been thrilled with the decision ever since.

Offering Creative Solutions for Companies

Chris and his team provide a variety of IT solutions for companies, from cloud microservices to the basic fundamentals of building blocks. They are also experienced in mobile solutions, as the iPhone didn't exist when they started 25 years ago. They focus on helping their clients exploit opportunities in the marketplace, differentiate themselves from their competitors, and be better businesses through the use of technology.

Surviving Four Recessions

Jim Barnish then asks Chris how he and his partners have managed to remain in a partnership for 25 years and still keep a smile on their faces. Chris attributes it to luck, having known each other since high school, and having a lot of common values. He also emphasizes the importance of respecting each other's opinions and having the same end goal in mind.

5 Strategies for Business Success During a Recession

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a global economic crisis, and many businesses are feeling the strain. During times of economic hardship, it is important to be mindful of how you are managing your business. The following strategies can help you maintain success during a recession.

  1. Forecasting

Forecasting is an important tool for businesses during a recession. It helps you understand what your current business looks like, what your future opportunities look like, and what your cash flow projections are. This can help you plan for any potential downturns in the economy and make sure you are being realistic about your expectations.

  1. Scenario Planning

Scenario planning is a great way to prepare for different economic environments. It involves creating different “if-then” scenarios and planning for how you would respond in each situation. This can help you be prepared for any unexpected events and be ready to adjust your strategies accordingly.

  1. Conservatism

During a recession, it is important to be conservative in how you manage your business. This means avoiding taking on too much debt, not taking on investors, and being careful with how you spend your money. This can help you weather any economic storms and make sure your business is in a stable position.

  1. Respectful Relationships

It is important to be respectful of your customers and employees during a recession. This means not taking on too many clients, not body shopping your employees, and investing in your online presence. All of these strategies can help you create long-term relationships with your customers and employees that will help your business succeed.

  1. Balance

Finally, it is important to remember to take care of yourself during a recession. This means taking time to focus on your mental and physical health, as well as your personal relationships. This can help you maintain a healthy balance between your work and personal life and ensure that you are able to handle any challenges that come your way.


Recessions can be difficult, but with the right strategies, you can ensure that your business is able to weather the storm and come out the other side stronger than ever. By forecasting, scenario planning, being conservative, respecting your relationships, and maintaining a healthy balance, you can ensure that your business is successful during a recession. 

Success in life is not just about what you do in the office, but also about the relationships and self-care that you prioritize. It is wildly important to focus on three things: business, relationships, and yourself. 

Chris explains that it is important to focus on the finances and business to be successful in life. He emphasizes that having two of the three things in balance is important, and occasionally, all three may be in the right spot. Chris emphasizes the importance of relationships with family, friends, and loved ones. He explains that neglecting any of these relationships can cause a lot of problems. 

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