Choose Your Partners Wisely, 3 Things To Think About
Getting into any kind of partnership is always a risky business. Choose your partners wisely, okay great. Easier said then done, right?.
Like any partnership, business or personal, those first moments seem so full of hope. You’re both equally excited, you’re on best behaviors, happiness is high. You’re going to be the most successful business that ever existed & nothing is going to stop you, until it does.
So what happened?
Partnerships are hard. Period. And if you aren’t, first & foremost, solid in your own partnership skills, ain’t nothing going to work out. If your maybe partner is lacking in theirs, that’s a dangerous hike along the cliffs of insanity, one false move & someone is going over the edge. AND If both of you are in crappy realities of what makes a partnership work, Fugettaboutit.
I’ve had my share of the good, the not so good & the it got ugly types of partnerships. (personal & professional). The thing is, I like partnerships, I love the collaboration & I like being on a team. Am I perfect, nope, have I made mistakes, yup – but have I done some things right, absolutely. I’ve worked hard to build & sustain many amazing long term partnerships in my life, & that’s not easy to do.
So now I want to reflect on relationships that work. I asked other seemingly good partnerships what they thought made the biggest difference between a healthy partnership & a not so much. I asked for good things to look for when your starting out & what I found changed my perspective.
Communication. Obviously, right? You’d be surprised! So let’s get this first one out of the way- YOU HAVE TO COMMUNICATE. If your partner doesn’t, cant or just wont, run away immediately. If their way of dealing is to sit back & observe, to see how it unfolds, their intentions are for themselves, not for the team. If they are living in an unavailable, delusional & entitled state of mind, (narcissist) they are not ever being honest, with you, themselves or anyone else & deep down they are miserable. Their partnerships will NEVER work out & they will play the blame game their entire life. Who knows why & who cares, RUN.
Communication is hard, yes. If you’re doing the work to learn how to talk to others, because you understand how important it is, then you ain’t got no time for people who aren’t.
Work Ethic. Do you & your possible partner have the same work ethic? Are you a hustler, hard worker, get the job done at any cost, ain’t gonna quit until it happens kind of bee. Or are you the work when it’s convenient, get distracted easily, feel entitled & wonder why nothing ever happens kind of bee? Are you somewhere in the middle? Where is your partner?
It’s good to have opposite traits, in business & in personal partnerships. Having a partner that knows & likes doing what you don’t is a huge bonus, appreciate that! But if your work ethics on how you show up or what you bring to the partnership aren’t the same same, you’ve got to ask yourself if you want to live this way, are you compatible?
Personality Vs. Character. This is a biggie so pay attention- You have to not base any kind of partnership on personality, you have to get to know someones character first. READ THAT AGAIN. This was a major AH HA moment for me. Before diving head first into any kind of partnership you need to know what kinds of values does this person have. Someone can be fun, charming, say all the right things, get along with everyone & seem too good to be true, (red flag). These can be great surface traits but could also be someone on their best behavior, (for their benefit). Save yourself from the future disappointment, take a minute, step back, & investigate their character.
Be diligent about what you pay attention to. How are their past partnerships? (Be smart & educate yourself on both sides of the story before judging.) Do they care about your needs or are they in it for themselves? Do they have integrity? Are they going to pay back that money they owe or have they convinced themselves of some lame excuse why they deserve it? Are they never to blame? Do they lie, compulsively? Are they not interested in giving anything unless it benefits them? Are they self aware? Is everyone else the problem yet they seem to be the common denominator throughout?
There are a lot of amazing people out there who appreciate honesty, the benefits of give & take & working together. If someone has good character traits you’ll see it & you’ll feel it. A partnership with them will be a heck of a lot less turbulent journey. Who knows where it will go but you’ve upgraded yourself to a much better seat.
Final note: Choose your partners wisely, yes but remember nothing is going to work if you aren’t doing the work yourself. A happy work/life balance is a constant state of mind & it’s not for the fearful. Throw in a partnership & you’re doubling the action. BUT a good partnership, business or personal (or in some cases both), can be amazing. I always say it, & I stand by it, this is your one life & if you’re not doing the work to make it the best possible, seriously what’s the point? Do it & look for a partner that’s doing the same & you’ll create something beautiful & exciting together, I promise.
Erin is the founder of PULP a pure pure premium web agency focused on creative web design & local SEO services for startups & companies that need a fresh squeezed perspective. Based out of surf city Huntington Beach, CA.
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