Partnership. Definition: A legal form of business operation between two or more individuals who share management and profits. …
Honestly? My track record of being in partnership in business is not stellar, as I told my potential new business partner last night (rather to his surprise).
I might as well start off as you mean to go on, I thought. Honest, some might say blunt, even.
I’ve always thought that people go into business partnerships to have someone to take the responsibility off their shoulders, to keep them accountable. I’ve never needed either of those things, so tend to go into partnerships with people with different skills to me. This can work brilliantly but can also make communication difficult.
There are many happy memories of Steve Watson, Judith Morgan and myself sitting around a very fine lunch (Steve was a chef before he became a web designer, then our business partner) arguing the toss about how we should do things.
That was the most fun I’ve had in a partnership but I did tend to think they both knew better than me and let myself get a bit steamrollered! I lost confidence rather from being in that partnership as my partners were too awesome! I forgot I had strengths they didn’t and vice versa.
While I have many admirable qualities and get along well with people mostly, I generally find it hard to talk about feelings, create boundaries and cleanly assert my needs, which means, I am sad to say, that I can have passive/aggressive tendencies.
I don’t like being told what to do (or even to feel that I have to do something that I don’t want to do) and I can be a blamer.
None of those qualities (personality flaws?) is ideal if you want to be a great business partner.
I’ve had a number of business partnerships and they have never worked out, although I’m still friends with two of my ex-business partners, so that says something.
So why am I even considering it?
Because I have a great opportunity to build something bigger than myself here, but I am missing key strengths and some of the qualities to make it big on my own.
In order to have the time and headspace to do the bits that only I can do (and to do those well) I need someone to take care of the other distracting nonsense. I’m a better big-picture thinker but can easily get bogged down in the weeds if I go too micro.
This potential business partner is my partner in another business and that’s going well so far.
He has many more resources than I do, so that will smooth the way considerably.
I have known him for over 10 years now and I trust him implicitly, but we’ll put all the paperwork in place anyway, he’s that kind of guy too.
He never makes me feel stupid (even when I do or say something a bit dumb) He never makes me wrong. He keeps me unemotional, calm and grounded.
I’m going to go for it.
As he says, if it goes tits up, we can just close the company and go our separate ways, remaining friends hopefully.
Nothing ventured, nothing gained.