Looking for founder love in this hopeless space? If only there’s an app for that (there isn’t - we checked and only found someone who wanted to find a business partner to develop an app for finding business partners...so meta).
While some entrepreneurs are happily solo, some entrepreneurs like to join forces and form formidable duos or teams. If you believe that a partner can take your business or idea to the next level, it may be time to dive in.
What we notice in people who are in solid relationships is that they seem to be individuals who are generally amenable and hold their own. Perhaps there is a reason why some people appear to have it all. After much deliberation, we culled a list of some rather basic-yet-essential traits of a good romantic partner that also apply to good potential business partners (passion is a given, so we’ll skip that). Let's delve!
There’s a reason communication is often the most important trait of a good partnership. While we came up with other elements such as transparency and delegation of work, we decided to condense them into this one essential trait.
Good communicators keep things transparent, specific, concise, and always ask for clarification if something isn’t clear to them. Vagueness often creates a passive-aggressive air that allows problems to snowball and frustrations to bottle-up, which can be a morale-killer to a company particularly on its early stages.
Transparency reduces conflict because no one had to make assumptions regarding the state or progress of things. Good communicators also listen instead of just waiting for their turn to speak. When it comes to disagreements, they’d offer their ideas with an even temper instead of attacking or getting defensive.
While we are naturally drawn to people who share the same interests, it’s great to find someone with a personality, skill set, and strengths that differ from yours without being planets apart (we’ll get to that later). So it’s good to keep an open mind for someone who complements you.
A typical example of complementary differences is how one partner would enjoy being out around people, gathering an invaluable network, while the other would be the reserved and cerebral type who comes up with breakthroughs. Or your partner can be the calm realist that keeps your gung-ho optimist in check. Diversity in your partnership also prevents your ideas from becoming too thoroughbred and rigid.
As long as you respect each others' spaces and peculiarities, you’ll fill each other’s gaps and make one fantastic team.
Compatibility of Core Values
More important than common interests or complementary personalities are the core values. It’s crucial that you and your partner are on the same page when it comes to your company’s values and direction. Maybe this person is a serial entrepreneur while you have longevity and loyalty in mind.
That’s where “the talk” comes in. What is the reason of your company’s existence? Where do you want it to go? How will you get there? Constructing a specific vision of your ideals and future can prevent you or your partner from unintentionally working on conflicting goals and breaking up when you’ve already invested so much.
Friendship and Humor
Every relationship needs to have the fun factor. Really, ask yourself if you will be able to enjoy being around this person, because you’re going to be spending a big chunk of your day-to-day lives and experience tough times together. If you find this person to be difficult in the early stages, or if they identify as one thing yet behave as another, it will not get easier with time.
Challenges are inevitable, and you should still be able to blow off some steam together and be able to laugh at them in hindsight. Inside jokes are created and bonds are made. Take the work seriously, not yourselves. Never underestimate the power of a good sense of humor.
A final word
It helps to be a good judge of character and not jump into things too early. However, before finding a potential partner, make sure you work on becoming the kind of partner that you would like to have. If you’re not as hardworking and trustworthy as you ought to be, it will be difficult to find the right one. After all, you are who you attract.
So do you think you'd make a great partner? Check out our Valentine's Promo for coworking spaces. Try it out yourself or with a partner/s before it ends!