The Unicorn.. Finding a partner.

ines-pimentel-564023-unsplash.jpg

I don’t know about you, but I cant wait for the next opportunity to jump into bed with a new partner, just the idea of lifting up the sheets to checkout their assets gets me going…

What new skills will they be bringing to the table? Maybe its something I’ve never seen before? I love an opportunity to grow..

However If, once I’ve undressed them, I find nothing of interest (maybe we will have a quicky) but eventually I’ll be kicking them to the curb and search out the next warm bed to jump into.

You see, in business it pays to be shallow as fuck. You call it superficial I call it due diligence. Playing coy won’t get you where you want to be either, You need to be extra slutty when selecting your next business partner.

Yes, I love sexual innuendos when I talk about business, Whether I’m winning a contract or slipping under the sheets, for me the feeling is much the same. (Probably the reason why I’m still single)

I’ve never really had great experiences with business partners (or romantic ones either for that matter), but like a hopeless romantic, I still truly believe that a partnership can increase your odds of success. Its just simple math..

Don’t be a one trick pony..

I’ve had a total of six partners (see, I’m not that slutty), and I have learned something new from each. I have spoken in previous posts about the amount of knowledge required to be an entrepreneur, and some of this knowledge can be learned from your partners.

If you’re smart you picked a partner who is strong where you are weak. Maybe your partner is more organized? Maybe they are well disciplined? Maybe they are shrewd with money. Stick close to them and their good traits and routines may rub off on you. “Your only as good as the company you keep”

Be cautious though, their bad ones might rub off on you too…

Divide and Conquer

What about the work load? Entrepreneurs are always talking about the 24/7 grind, but what if you only had to do 50% of the daily tasks? You like the sound of that right? When you have a partner you can split the daily tasks and assign them to a partner. This should allow you to see your kids more than once a week. Doing the same smaller tasks over and over again will create routine and muscle memory giving your efforts that more impact. Doing many large tasks scatters the brain, being responsible for smaller daily tasks creates a process that is fluid and productive . Breaking tasks down into bite size chunks allows you better digest what needs to be done and allows you to celebrate your hard work more often. (A potential partner that I respect told me it was important to celebrate achievements) It also seems logical to me that scale would be easier to achieve if there are two of you..

 

That’s My Job!

The reason I like assigning tasks to a partner are simple, It’s productive and makes people responsible for each segment of your business. In my experience, arguments often occur when one partner feels they are working harder than the other or, if a vital task has not been completed who was responsible? If tasks have been assigned to someone and they are slacking off, you can call them out on it and clearly demonstrate to them that they are not pulling their weight.

The Pre-Nup

Anyone who won’t take the time to draw up a partnership agreement is either really fucking dumb or not on the level. Either way, this is the kind of partner you kick to the curb after just one night of fun.

A Partnership Agreement not only tells you who does what but also, for how much. This is your Pre-nup for when shit goes sideways. If you don’t want to loose your shirt you’d better make it as detailed as possible.

People will only contribute to something as long as it remains within their interest to do so.

When their business interests and their personal interests collide, divorce is on the table. This piece of paper will keep them straight and honest even when it’s not in their best interest to do so. If they break the rules that you’ve written together, they wont be mad at you, they will be mad at themselves.. You cant fuck around and break the rules you wrote!

 

Cry me a river.

Maybe you’ve just realized that you’re not going to make payroll for your 20+ employees this week because you bought material in bulk last month (to cut costs) and didn’t realize your cash-flow couldn’t support it. Now 20 people have to go home after a week of hard work with empty pockets and explain to their wives why they need to stay home all weekend and can’t pay the rent on-time. This is Seriously detrimental to moral, do this to your employees more than once and they will take their talent and hard work elsewhere.

Being an entrepreneur is a huge amount of responsibility and can be overwhelmingly difficult at times. Often we are locked within our own minds unable to talk to people about it because they just wouldn’t understand. (Most people have never had this problem so how could they possibly relate?) Only sociopaths and narcissists are immune to the stresses associated with running a business (Interestingly enough, they seem to be the most successful, food for thought 😉 ). We all know that we feel better when we’ve spoken to someone about what’s on in our mind, this is where having a partner is a real benefit. They are going through the same shit you are and completely understand, unless you chose a sociopath as a partner… then you’re on your own shipwreck! (I’ve had one, I’ll talk about that MOFO later). This brings me to my next point..

Getting Naked..

As I said, I have had six partners and what I’ve learned the most from this is the qualities you should look for when searching for that special someone to do business with. Its not unlike a romantic relationship.

 Trust.

Trust is key, only do business with people that have a track record of keeping their word. In a world where a handshake means nothing, finding someone you trust is easier said than done. Trust is built over time so take it slow, don’t marry the first person you meet!

Vision.

Has your partner truly bought in to the idea? Just because the sea gets rough, it doesn’t mean the ship will sink! If the person you’re in bed with doesn’t believe in the vision they will bail at the first mediocre wave. Take the time to not only discuss the vision but more importantly, write it down in the form of a business plan (Yes, that’s that super important document you keep putting off writing).

If your wife wants kids but you don’t, why would she stay in this marriage? (If you had a Pre-Nup  she might 😉 ) Paperwork covers your ass.. Point Final!

 

Experience.

I once had a partner that I gave equal shares to, even though she had way less experience than me. I thought this show of good faith would help motivate my new partner. The truth is, this was my first and second mistake. Firstly if a partner cant match what you bring to the table, they shouldn’t be 50/50. By giving them less shares you might motivate them to obtain more through hard work and loyalty. Secondly, why the fuck am I doing business with someone who is anything less than 100% motivated?

But…having a partner that has a lot of experience is a double edged sword. On one side they know what to expect when entering in to this partnership, they understand how a business works and what it takes to be successful, but on the other side they are likely stubborn and unlikely to try new methods that will push them outside of their limits and routines. Remember, “you cant teach an old dog new tricks” This will require a lot of energy when persuading your old dog to catch the ball in a different way. Balance is everything, you need to find a battle scared lieutenant who is completely open to new ideas on innovation.

The Leech

Having a partner helps you grow, especially if they are more experienced in other industries than you. From one partner I learned general accountancy skills, this included budgeting and cash flow.. I can now predict where both myself, and my business will be financially six months from now. (pretty fucking handy right?). From another partner I learned French (also pretty handy considering I live in a French province). Another I learned new construction technics. Finally from one more, I learned how to protect your interests by talking less and listening more. How to interpret what other people say and how to be ahead of any action they make take. Basically be a step ahead. (Probably the most valuable skill I’ve ever learned)

As you can see most of what I’ve learned has fuck all to do with my industry but EVERYTHING to do with entrepreneurism. Choose a partner that can help you blossom into that awesome entrepreneur you and I know you will become!

Finding someone to share your business with is as important as finding someone to share your bed. Just remember, It’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt, use protection…safety first  😉

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s