The right business partner will either make or break your business. You need a team, and the first person you should start with, is the first person that you lock on board. My business partner Danielle is literally a gift from God. Her strengths are my weaknesses, and my strengths are her weaknesses. We work well together and value each others’: opinions, input, decisions, and ideas. Most of all, we both know how to agree to disagree. A must if you want to have a successful business relationship. She’s also one of my best and closest friends. How do you know if you have an amazing business partner?
Business partners aren’t “yes” men or women. Nothing will kill a business faster, than poor choices and bad decisions. They don’t vanish just because you’re business partner agrees with you. In fact, a person that agrees with everything that you’re doing is not a business partner: they’re a groupie. They won’t let you know that something is wrong, or not going to work. They’ll watch you fail with a smile. Losing money is nothing to sneeze at. If they don’t want to make waves, your business is not going to make it.
They bring something to the table. Your ideas are great: to you. But, many times, your business partner has better ones. Two heads really are better than one. If you both think exactly alike: someone is unnecessary. A fresh perspective and new ideas flow from other sources. If your ego can’t handle someone disagreeing with you, then get a job, don’t own a business. People on jobs are forced to work with people they don’t like, entrepreneurs are in the position to pick and choose.
They think of things you may have missed. This one is a no-brainer. They can see your blind spots and around corners, and vice versa. Everyone gets inspired when they are allowed to flourish. If you’re an insecure control freak, good luck finding success. Fear is a great killer of success. Being insecure, jealous, envious, difficult to work with and/or for, controlling, ungrateful, obstinate, and all around unpleasant, will undermine anything that you build. If your partner is only allowed to work according to your comfort level, close up shop and do something else, you don’t play well with others.
They’re individuals. Boy, is this one important. If you need your mirror image working with you? Man, are you shallow. Shallow people are easy to spot: they’d rather look good than be good. Your business partner is someone that should help enhance your business, not you. The business is what should be the focus, not how they make you feel about yourself. When your business hits a wall, and it will: Who would you rather have work with you? The person that makes you feel good, or the person that helps you make money? Unless you’re an non-profit organization, you need to consider this one carefully.
They can run the show without you constantly being around. Nothing is worse than working with a person that micromanages. If you don’t trust your business partner when you’re sick, on vacation, or otherwise indisposed: then you have major insecurity issues. The strongest business relationships are built on trust. You should be able to trust your business partner with the entire business. Not just the parts you feel comfortable with. They’re your partner not your employee, never forget that.
A business partner can be the difference between years of toil, misery and frustration without moving forward. Or, years of inspiration, innovation, growth, prosperity, and fulfillment. It really is your choice. If you want to go fast, go by yourself. If you want to go far, take a team. That’s based on an old african proverb. Crashing and burning are par for the course when you have the wrong business partner, and the wrong attitude. Your business is not all about you. When you are the issue, you are the cause of it’s demise.