Having met and spoken with many successful partnerships, it is clear that there are some basics they all agree upon. Partnership is like a marriage. As in a good marriage there are many aspects to a good partnership that enrich the lives of each partner. When the relationship between them functions well it is reflected in many ways from happy employees, things getting done, satisfied customers and ultimately the level of success of the business itself.
Here are some of the benefits that most partners agree upon:
•You have someone to share the responsibility and the risk.
•You have a built in sounding board.
•Clients and customers benefit from having more than one head at the helm.
• Work is shared.
•Someone holds you accountable.
•Relationship is deep because of shared values, respect and trust.
•Each cares about the welfare of the other and is there to back up or fill in when needed.
•They don’t count the hours each puts in. They do what is needed.
•Good partnerships are harmonious, even fun and when there are the inevitable conflicts or disagreements, because of the value placed on the relationship and the mutual goals, they are resolved in a way that is acceptable to each. Sometimes that means that one person overlooks or does the greater compromising. It is done in the spirit of “what I get from this is worth it”…..keeping the big picture in mind.
For all the benefits it is still far better to work as a solo rather than be matched with an ill-suited partner. The cost of a failed partnership is astronomical and can take years to recover. (Health, self-esteem, negative emotional impact, traumatic loss of business, family suffering, friends choose sides, legal costs, loss of a dream, etc)
If you are a solo, you won’t have that person to fill in for you or to share the responsibility. But you can have many of the benefits if you plan and know what you want.
•You can join a Master Mind group where other business people share their experience and advise you.
•You can arrange with a friend or family member to be the support and sounding board. Be careful with this, because when people are close to you, there will be an agenda, perhaps even hidden from themselves that may not always be in your best interest.
•You can meet on a regular basis with a colleague who is in a different business, and be a sounding board and advisor for each other.
•You can engage a Board of Advisors. Choose wisely.
•You can consult with your team of experts (lawyer, CPA, banker, etc) individually or as a group.
•You can hire a coach or include a coach on your advisory board or team of experts.
Human beings are meant to have relationships. Those that are supportive and work like a well oiled wheel are invaluable. But if that doesn’t translate for you into a great partnership….you can enjoy the benefits of being solo and still have some of the partnership benefits as well.