Thinking of going into partnership with someone or just want to know some background story on Lizz and I and how we got into our partnership? Let me preface, it is not easy, but if you have the right person by your side; it's worth it!
Lizz and I have worked together for almost 7 years!! We practically have our own language at this point, but getting into our partnership 2 years ago wasn't something that occurred overnight over some cocktails and a few good ideas.
It took YEARS of building trust, communication, and learning from one another.
Do we agree on everything all of the time, absolutely not. This isn't a fairytale, this is BUSINESS people and both Lizz and I share the same drive, motivation, and mindset to take our brand where we want it go, together.
I will admit, Lizz and I are often sometimes too much alike. We both know our strengths and weaknesses and we have learned to play off of those.
That is the key ... finding a balance and a flow together.
One way that REALLY helps is to know each other inside and out. Learn how each other's mind works, how they are when lines are crossed, but most importantly; their PERSONALITY!!! This will save you SOOOOOO many disagreements once you learn how your partner's personality and mind works.
I recommend an Enneagram Personality Test, this will give you and your partner such in depth insight on how their strengths and weaknesses and how they are as a person. There are several you can take, but they are definitely worth taking the time to not only do, but to read over with your partner BEFORE getting into anything serious. You want to make sure your personalities are compatible. Remember, this is BUSINESS, this isn't a hobby. This isn't some fun thing just to do to waste some time. If you are serious like both Lizz and I were, you are collaborating to make MONEY! Ain't nothing serious about making money honey! Right, or am I right?? LOL
But, let's get back to WHY this partnership works for us.
We both trust each, that I will disclose right from the gate. I fully know that I can lean on Lizz and she can lean on me. I trust her to not hide money and to be honest when she goes to the bank to make a deposit. Yes, if you think your partner could, would, or should steal some cash from your business together, then you do not have trust! I also trust her to handle situations that arise without me, knowing that she will handle them as if I am there. When we act and speak, it is always on the other's behalf. You don't get Lizz without Nicole and you don't get Nicole without Lizz, even when we both aren't there together. She is ALWAYS on the forefront of my mind if I need to take care of something while she is either with a client or not able to physically be there. This doesn't happen often, but when it does, you will need to represent each other together at all times.
Ok, I will full on admit this from the very beginning, I am a lousy, at best, communicator. I just want someone to read my damn mind ya'll, you know what I'm talking about too! Ohhhhh the struggle!!! Some partners that I know talk every single day, I will tell you truthfully, Lizz and I don't. She has twin babies and I have a toddler; we are both are hands in full while at home and away from the business, so when we communicate, we have learned to be extremely clear, efficient, and understand what we both need from each other. We then will get to work to complete whatever it is that was discussed, but we work together to get things completed.
This is SO IMPORTANT when taking on a business partner. It's laying out your road map to where you want to go and the most important discussion is figuring out HOW you are going to get there, together. You have to be COMMITTED, which is our next topic.
Both Lizz and I share very similar work ethic. We work until it's done. I will admit though, we often can get side tracked because both our minds can go into over drive and we can easily get distracted with some insane ideas. But, we both know we are committed to making it work, no matter what. We don't always agree on everything and having a difference in opinion actually helps us. It allows some space for us to see what the other person needs or is thinking and it can take on another tangent at times.
When I am working at my desk while at home, I keep a picture on my desk of the both of us at the beach that was taken just a few months after we opened Branch. It is a constant reminder of my commitment to her, to our business, and to the success/growth of Branch. Sometimes when I am tired and don't feel like writing captions for social media, or writing a blog post, and/or putting an order in, this picture always brings me back to our commitment. I can't let her down or I will let our business down. I have to follow through, just as I expect her to do the same for me.
We are truly a ying and yang. We have learned what balances each other out, what our strengths and weaknesses are, and we keep each other accountable. We hold each other up when one needs it and we both know we are there for one another. Is it perfect, no. But, it shouldn't be either.
But, at the end of the day, we are both committed, have trust, and continuously work on our communication to make our brand the best it can be. I am better with her than I am without.
Here is a list of some awesome personality tests for you and your partner to take. I highly recommend taking them PRIOR to signing anything on the dotted line. Take several of them, so you have a VERY clear understanding of WHO you are getting into business with. This step is important and you can save yourself time, money, and stress ahead of time by finding out if you both are compatible enough to run a success business together.
1. Ennegram: https://www.truity.com/test/enneagram-personality-test.
2. The Color Code: https://www.colorcode.com/choose_personality_test/
3. 16 Personalities Test: https://www.16personalities.com/free-personality-test