I made many mistakes with my choices of business partners in my past entrepreneurial ventures.
- Choosing partners that didn’t add the level of value (skills, knowledge, resources) the business needed or that complimented my own skills and knowledge.
- Choosing partners I didn’t know well enough.
- Not implementing the proper legal partnership agreements.
- Not being clear on expectations, requirements, and deliverables.
Thankfully, I never had partners with whom I had major personality differences with, but I did have partners who wanted more out of the partnership than just business.
The mistakes definitely had to do with being inexperienced and not wanting to pursue such a big undertaking alone.
This article on Grasshopper: The Quest for a Co-Founder makes it sound like having a co-founder is a must and the only way to go. But I would absolutely disagree. Although it is still an excellent article with great resources if you do want to find a co-founder.
It’s far better to go at it alone than with the wrong partner(s).
Right now, I’m a solo founder for #365FirstsChallenge and not actively looking for a co-founder. I much rather raise funding/ make money and hire a team to grow the business then take on co-founder(s) because of how complicated things can get with business partnership(s).
Plus, it creates different circumstances when one person is the originator of the idea versus a couple of friends coming up with an idea together. The attachment and commitment I have to my idea/vision/obsession cannot be matched by anyone else. It’s a bad setup to add a co-founder unless he or she truly brings skills/talent/resources that are critical to the success of the business and absent in my own repertoire. I wouldn’t turn away a technical coding genius with the same work ethics and vision—however, not having said co-founder is not a show stopper either.
Being alone to endure the ups and downs is nothing new in my life.
I’m much more likely to take on investors—who in many ways become similar to partners so that’s where I’ll have to engage in being cautious and ensuring they are a good match for the business and for me.
Here are two additional articles worth a read about finding the right business partner(s):
Entrepreneur Magazine: Eight Critical Considerations for Choosing the Right Business Partner