For 18 years, I worked with the same business partner. For the last decade, however, I've been a solopreneur. When I reflect on my time working with someone else, I recall that there were tremendous benefits to being a "dynamic duo." If you are debating on whether or not to take on a business partner, here are a few things to consider:
A key to a balanced, long-term business relationship is to have complementary personalities. If you are both stubborn, assertive, and used to being in charge, then chances are good you'll be butting heads more often than producing results. The same goes if both partners are super laid back or indecisive, as in most cases, there's not enough positive resistance to forge ahead. For the ebb and flow to go smoothly over the long haul, it is best to have a partner who complements your personality vs. having similar personality traits.
When you look at the famous "yin yang" symbol, you will see that opposites have a beautiful balance of yielding and supporting one another, as well as emulating a part of the other's core. This dynamic can be a winning combination, especially in business.
The journey of a solopreneur can be isolating and lonely at times. Of course, there is the self-satisfaction of a win, creative authority, and entrepreneurial independence of being in a single venture. All good things! However, you should not underestimate the value of daily support from an excellent business partner.
Whether you are side-by-side in a brick-and-mortar business or keep in close contact working from opposite sides of the globe – having a reliable person who gets you, gets it, and is just as much invested in the vision and outcome can be extremely fulfilling.
Let's face it, owning and operating your own business is a lot of work, no matter how you slice and dice it. Like Shark Tank’s Lori Grenier says, "Entrepreneurs are the only ones that are willing to work 80 hours a week to avoid working 40!" I had never heard that before and can completely relate!
Many times, when you are working as a team, the momentum from the synergy of your work together can generate mind-blowing results, far beyond a simple two-fold return.
Splitting up tasks based on each other's strengths is another way to maximize return. For example, my business partner was a highly social person. In the field, she'd chat up the customer, building comfort and rapport. Then, when it was time to "close the sale," she'd direct them over to me, as I had a way of providing the information needed when it came down to the analytical side of things.
This dynamic extended far beyond simple sales and made up the backbone of our teamwork for just about everything. She'd be the one who kept their finger on the pulse of emotional needs, and I'd be the one to manage the cut and dry details. This combination served us well.
Shared responsibilities don't just stop with the "to do" lists. Having your liabilities shared is another benefit of not shouldering it alone. If something goes wrong and your business fails, the entire financial burden won't just be on you. This can leave you both in a better position financially to pick up the pieces and move forward towards other ventures.
No matter how awesome your partnership or the closeness of your relationship, it's always best practice to have clear expectations defined in a partnership agreement. If you are a DIYer, I'd suggest Rocket Lawyer for reasonable, template-based legal documents.
Having a business partner is a personal decision, one that is best to enter in with great thought and care. We spend at least a third of our lives in our business operation, so who you spend your time with matters substantially. Being on the same page as your business partner, not only with business objectives but also with life and spiritual goals, can provide a rich, solid foundation to grow and serve. From there, the entrepreneurial possibilities can be endless!
To your perfect balance, whether that is solo or with a partner.
Until next time… breathe joy,
P.S. I'd love to hear about your experiences in business. Have you worked with a business partnership before? If so, what were the pros and cons? Let me know in the comments below!
Enter your name and best email and click the button below. :-)