One of the greatest things in life, and one of the most frustrating, is that we are always learning. We are learning to be better people, learning to make better decisions, learning how to better the world. One of the most important things I've learned in recent months is that your relationships are everything. This is true in your day-to-day life and in business. Emily and I have learned that the key to a successful business is a brilliant partnership. It has not been easy, in fact it has been very trying a times, but we're constantly working on being the best partners for one another.
What does that mean? To be an ideal partner? For us, a great partner must be: trustworthy, reliable, passionate, invested, tenacious, influential, courageous, bold, collaborative, ever learning, a problem solver, and self-confident.
How do you ensure that you are being the best partner imaginable? Self evaluation is critical. We are constantly keeping ourselves, and one another, in check. Here are a couple of questions to get you started:
Are you honest, loyal, solid? Are you dependable? Would your partner call you if they were stranded on the side of the road?
Can you follow through on what you say you're going to do? Do you execute on your required tasks without being told to do so?
Do you have vision? Are you committed to seeing that vision through? Is your business the reason you get out of bed in the morning?
Do you dedicate time, energy, and resources to making your vision come to fruition?
Are you willing to labor through the times of strife even when you can't see the light at the end of the tunnel? Are you persistent, pressing, pushing yourself?
Are you a leader in your everyday life? Are you someone that people look to for perspective, insight, and advice?
Are you willing to step outside of your comfort zone? Are you willing to go where others have not forged a path?
Are you decisive? Are you impactful? Do you stand out?
Are you willing to be a part of the team? Are you an effective communicator? Do you accept constructive criticism? Are you willing and able to be a sounding board for those with whom you work?
Are you constantly reading, watching, and talking to people different or more experienced than you? Do you pursue knowledge on a daily basis?
Do you think outside the box? Are you willing to rework a situation until you have achieved the most desirable outcome?
Do you push away self-doubt? Do you trust yourself? Are you willing to release into the world your thoughts, ideas and desires?
Are you not yet partnered with someone but have a brilliant idea? Seek out a partner with whom you have a shared vision. Make sure that your relationship can exist with trust and cohesiveness, respect and openness, competition and challenge. Seek someone with an opposite skill set of yours, but with whom you can effectively communicate. Your partnership could make or break your company, so choose wisely.
Remember that a business partnership is like a marriage. Til death (or a million dollar exit) do we part. And that means it's going to be a lot of hard work, but it will totally be worth it. Keep learning and keep pushing yourself to be the best partner you can be, because doing life (or business) alone would be dreadful.
Until next time,