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 and nothing is going to stop you, until it does.
So what happened?
Partnerships are hard. Period. And if you aren’t, first and 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 and 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 and the it got ugly types of partnerships. (personal and professional). The thing is, I like partnerships, I love the collaboration and 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 and sustain many amazing long term partnerships in my life, and 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 and a not so much. I asked for good things to look for when your starting out and 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 and observe, to see how it unfolds, their intentions are for themselves, not for the team. If they are living in an unavailable, delusional and entitled state of mind, (narcissist) they are not ever being honest, with you, themselves or anyone else and deep down they are miserable. Their partnerships will NEVER work out and they will play the blame game their entire life. Who knows why and 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 and 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 and 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 and in personal partnerships. Having a partner that knows and 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 and 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, and investigate their character.
Be diligent about what you pay attention to. How are their past partnerships? (Be smart and 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?
Educate and keep your mind clear so you’re able to pay attention and protect yourself. I’ve unfortunately had to learn the hard way that there are some serious wolves in sheeps clothing out there and they are very good at what they do. Deep down they know they are losers but it doesn’t matter, if you’ve got something good, something that would benefit them or something that makes them look better, they will use you, period. THEN they will try to claim it and/or take it for themselves AND THEN justify it using any means necessary to anyone who listens. Legit crazy and not worth another second of your time.
On the flip side, there are a lot of amazing people out there who appreciate the benefits of give and take and working together. If someone has good character traits you’ll see it and 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 work/life balance is a constant state of mind and it’s not for the fearful. Throw in a partnership and you’re doubling the action. BUT a good partnership, business or personal (or in some cases both), can be amazing. I always say it, and I stand by it, this is your one life and if you’re not doing the work to make it the best possible, seriously what’s the point? Do it and look for a partner that’s doing the same and you’ll create something beautiful and exciting together, I promise.
Erin is the founder of PULP a pure premium web agency focused on creative web design and local SEO services for startups and companies that need a fresh squeezed perspective. Based out of surf city Huntington Beach, CA.
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