For a partnership to work, all parties must place a higher value on the advantages of shared work and risk than on the efficiency of making unilateral decisions and keeping all the loot.
Perils of Partnership
It’s always a gamble working on new venture with business partner, and I have always struggled to meet my match (so to speak). I know my weaknesses. In website design, I lack visual flair. I lack salesman, but very competent in managing client expectations. The problem I have found is that what I do naturally, other find hard – which is to learn, and accept learning is a contant progress. This resistance to learning can prominently manifest itself in a “I just want to manage/coordinate” attitude, as if that ability doesn’t have same requirements. Stand still long enough, eventually you will get run over. This attitude leads to a strange imbalance where the partner who is struggling to be a partner, attempts to manage the other. Doomed to fail, as that goes against the very nature of partnership, or indeed any relationship.
My lesson was to ignore the “sell”, and wait for proven ability. And it usually doesn’t take long. Whereas I will naturally cross boundaries, to fill natural gaps left by start-up hierarchy and responsibilities, the partner may quickly resist moving out of their perfuntory assigned title. As any self-employed person will know, most people like the idea of taking a gamble on an interesting start-up idea, but most will quickly lose interest once they realise it is way out of their comfort zones. It’s not for everyone, as most are used to a “Mortgage-driven” mentality, which is naturally self-oriented. Think of those armies of perm staff out there plodding in careers, or making a career out of responsibility avoidance. Not all of them, but those are the ones that keep companies moving and exploring.
Starting a business with a business partner can usually cause more problems than it solves. This is usually the case when the partners are unable to agree on the same thing, the amount of responsibility for each is different, and the direction of the business is different as well. These differences can cause a business to fail quicker than anything.
Problems with Having a Business Partner
So my search continues. I operate very well as a one-man band, and have a wealth of expertise, experience under my belt. In addition to a wide network in development and testing, to provide support is more specialist areas. Maybe my search is futile, as it seems the way I have always worked and operated, appears to be more in tune. Consultancies can quickly muddy the picture of what a client requires, as financial rewards is measured in terms of scope of work that the client can be convinced they need. And as I have never agreed with the weak “all’s fair in love and business” (a phrase adopted by the winner, naturally), I cannot agree with this model in any event.
¹Perils of Being In Business with Women
²Perils of Partnership
³Problems with Having a Business Partner