As an entrepreneur, you have many connections, but perhaps not a partnership. Your social account is full of people you have gotten to know over the years, and possibly, you have even collaborated on some projects together with some of these people.
But do you dare go into the unknown ventures together? Do you have what it takes to stick your hand out to one of these connections – friends – and jump into business together? You know you like this person right now, but what about 5 years from now? You’ve already heard the statement, “Never get into business with friends or family” and it makes you skittish to try something like this.
I want to talk to you about jumping into a partnership with a friend of yours. For this article, I talked with Nathan Hirsch and Connor Gillivan, co-owners of the FreeeUp network. These guys have established million dollar eCommerce companies together over the years. And they are best friends.
Something like this is possible! I sat down with the guys to see exactly how a partnership with a friend can work out successfully. For those of us who have someone in mind to run a company with, what they have to say can prove invaluable.
1 – You Can Tell When They Want More
With Nate and Connor, it worked exactly this way. Connor had been working for Nate, doing some data entry jobs. After some time, Connor showed initiative and Nate began to see Connor was serious about shouldering more responsibility and helping carry more of the workload. Eventually Connor solidified this when he approached Nate with a partnership proposal.
Watch your friends work. Try them out on a collaboration project for your business and see how they handle the job. If they give 110%, it’s a good chance they’re going to go all the way for your business because they understand how to handle the small stuff eloquently.
2 – A Partner Knows When To Give and Take
One of the diversifications of a partnership is the fact that this person isn’t you. They won’t think the same way as you, and more than likely won’t complete a project or even run the business as you would have it run.
While they are still looking to succeed just like you, you need to realize there are always going to be challenges when you have a partner in your business.
Nate and Connor both agree they are different people, and, at one point, both were trying to run the company in two different ways. It wasn’t until they sat down one day and just talked through each other’s faults.
They began to see how Nate had stronger leadership roles in some areas and Connor had stronger leadership roles in other areas. You should remember this fact when you are considering a partnership, and learn and understand what your strengths and weaknesses are. As Nate put it, “Divide and conquer” these things so the company doesn’t suffer but flourishes as you take on the roles that each of you is best suited for.
If you are seeing a conflict happening in your partnership, it’s time for a sit down. Figure out what they’re good at and what they’re not so good at and see if there’s a compromise of sorts in which you can distribute the leadership responsibilities. This worked for Nate and Connor and today they understand how to give and take in different areas.
3 – Don’t Mix Business Partnership With Personal Relationship
Don’t forget that you’ve got a friend working with you. Nate and Connor have always tried to keep a mantra of not mixing these two things together. It’s a good practice to implement; however, people are only human sometimes and stress levels can get high when projects are on the line. Also, when a business challenge is being faced, don’t allow it to interfere with your employees or clients. Keep it behind closed doors and work it out together.
Just be aware there’s someone else in the boat with you and always remember to talk it out with your partner, forgive, and move on to greater things. This is really the key to a successful partnership. It’s having someone who can let things run off without affecting their work or personal life towards you…and you to them.
If you are both friends, then you will understand when the other person needs space and when they want to talk about it. Be ready to work it out whenever the other person implies it. It’s a specific key to allowing both of you to move forward.
While most people may want to stay away from their friends when it comes to business, it’s the friends with which you can apply yourself the most. The person who knows you the best will understand exactly what they need to do to push you to your limits, how to say something hard to you, and not take any crap when you’re wrong about something. A friend will not only keep you honest, but they will be there to pat you on the back after a job well done.
Why? Because they want you to succeed just as much as you want them to. It’s a two way street. When you find that person who dives in with both feet just like you, and has a high standard of working, you should start a collaboration and see where it goes. Who knows? You may be looking at your next partner!
Wade Harman is a content writing wizard with an M.A. in Cognitive Psychology. He shares social media psychology and other marketing tips online related to cognitive trigger response. He loves to fish and read comic books for fun, to get the creative juices flowing.