Friday, 19 June 2009

My business partner - how we met

Many people ask me how Lorelei and I got to know each other and then end up starting our own publishing company.

I first met Lorelei when I took over the role as Audio Publisher for a big multi-national publisher based in London in late 1998, at an audio publishing Christmas Party and I can vividly recall that I was hosting the party but did not actually know a single guest who was attending.

As a result I spent most of the evening pouring glasses of plonk, handing round canapes and directing people to the loo and was hiding in the kitchen from the horror of it all when Lorelei came in. I recognised her immediately as I had often listened to her reading the audio versions of the Stephanie Plum books by Janet Evanovich whilst travelling the length and breadth of the UK in my previous job as a Sales Manager.

We soon got chatting about her work, my new job and our mutual devotion to cats!

Throughout the next ten years we often met, either at publishing parties or through work assignments and gradually, in that terribly British way, we meandered through acquaintanceship to colleagues through to becoming friends.

We really got to know each other much better when we worked together on a charity quiz event and I was struck by how incredibly well organized and focused she was. These personality traits were part of the reason she was the first person I contacted about my idea for starting up an audio publishing company.

I’ve known and worked with many “colleagues” over the years but the question “what would you look for in a business partner?” was a new one to me. You need someone with drive, energy, enthusiasm. But you also need someone who listens to your views and ideas and who understands the true nature of a partnership and who celebrates, encourages and nurtures that.

I am sure now that I recognized these qualities in Lorelei over the years we’ve worked and socialized together. We complement each other in many ways and we both recognize those “no go” areas that can make or break such a crucial business relationship.

Of course, it also really helps that she is great fun to work with and that we really make each other laugh too!

What qualities would you say are most important in a work mate? - Ali Muirden

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