Friday, 10 July 2009

It takes two, baby! More on business partners...

I’d like to expand on my business partner’s post the other week.

When Ali approached me with her great idea for Creative Content and asked if I’d come onboard, my immediate reaction was YES! I’d be crazy to pass up an opportunity to work with a woman who has over 27 years of experience in publishing and who is so well respected within the industry.

Of course, after the thrill of that wholehearted ‘yes,’ the fear set in: I’ve been a self-employed freelancer for years – and the thought of taking on a partner was daunting ... a bit like marriage, I suppose!

I knew I liked her as a person. We’d worked well together organising some charity quiz nights. We both loved audio. And cats. That was a start!

If I’m honest, the main thing that worried me was that we’re both control freaks. I should say at this point that I think control freaks get a bad rap – to me, a control freak is someone who takes personal responsibility in all areas of work, who cares about details, who wants things to turn out as well as possible and who’ll go the extra mile to achieve that. All good.

Only tiny problem is, they sometimes think they’re the only ones who are capable of doing anything properly!

But in fact, my fears were unfounded and it’s been fantastic. I know that I can rely on my partner: if something needs doing, it will get done. And working with someone so competent has forced me to up my own game! It’s even turned out surprisingly well when it comes to working out areas of (admittedly rare) conflict. We agreed early on to be honest with each other and – so far, anyway! – we’ve each been willing to step back once in awhile and let the other take the lead if necessary.

I’ve been very lucky with my business partner – and it’s got me thinking about why it’s crucial to choose the right person: this is someone you’re going to be spending a lot of time with (real world and virtual), a person you’ll be trusting with your investment (both of time and money), a person who will perhaps see you at your worst (under stress!) and will still have to like you and want to work with you – a person who’ll be in it for the long haul.

So if you’re looking for a business partner, I hope you’ll be as lucky as I’ve been and find someone who’s like Ali: hard-working, responsible, incredibly creative, with a good sense of humour and a great sense of fun! - Lorelei King

We’d love to know:

What are your business partner’s best qualities?

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