RUNNING a business on your own is rather like steering a huge ship around the world single handedly. It’s a lonely job.
You have days when the seas are calm, the skies are blue and plans are piecing together very nicely. Then there are choppier days when you’ll draw upon your strength, focus and determination to keep moving forward, and, of course, the dark and stormy days where pure instinct and adrenaline kick in along with the will to survive and stay afloat, with or without a lifejacket, while the sharks circle around you.
Sometimes it would help to have a crew or, at least, another person tucked away in the crow’s nest to spot danger and see sparkling opportunities on the horizon. Someone who can do all the things I can’t do while I’m busy doing the things I’m doing!
I’m navigating my way through unknown (and pretty deep) waters at the moment, trying to steer my ship towards success, making new acquaintances every week on my journey. Friend or foe? Parrot or pirate? Dolphin or shark? It’s not always easy to tell.
So when you get a call out of nowhere from a complete stranger who wants to go into business with you, you have to smarten up, guard your treasure and steer very carefully.
I’m a huge believer in fate, so I always think that things happen for a reason. I usually say that to myself when the not so good things happen. When times are troubled, I tell myself that something good will come from seeing through that challenge, even if the golden nugget isn’t immediately obvious at that moment in time. When things are great, I call it ‘synchronicity’! The amazing powers of the universe...
The call got me thinking about how great this journey could be with two on board. I am in no doubt whatsoever now that I need a partner. I need to bring someone on board who "gets it" but sees things from a different angle. Someone who will strengthen the business.
Just like in life, we all have an idea of what our perfect partner is like. We have our wish list, our mandatories, the things we will compromise on, the things we will put up with and the things that we absolutely will not tolerate.
I know my strengths and weaknesses and I know what I need in a partner, but how do I find that? Unlike life, I don’t know if this can happen naturally or if this is a relationship that needs a bit of a helping hand.
I met my actual partner completely out of the blue at a barbecue. I wasn’t looking, it just happened. However, I don’t think my business partner is going to appear in a puff of barbecue smoke with a sausage in one hand and a spreadsheet in the other. Therefore, I think that some manufacture may be necessary. (Why do they not do a Jim’ll Fix It for businesses? BBC - there’s an idea for the commissioning rounds...)
I have a fantastic business advisor, my Jiminy Cricket, so I am incredibly lucky in that respect. What I also need is someone who’s going to come on this journey with me. Someone whose strengths will complement mine, whose weaknesses I can compensate for with my strengths, someone who will share my vision and guide me on my mission towards achieving these dreams. Someone who will bring something to the table that I can’t and do the things I do in an average way, exceptionally well. Someone similar, but different. Someone just like me, but not.
Am I being too fussy? Maybe that’s why I am still ‘business single’.
Time I think to get out there and meet ‘The One’ or have an ‘X-Factor’ style audition perhaps. Speed dating for business owners, a business equivalent of a singles ad.
There are websites where you can bag yourself a sugar daddy or a man in uniform (and probably many other things depending on how "niche" you are) but as yet, I’ve still to find one that will help you meet the perfect business partner.
Maybe I just need to go to more barbecues.
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