Remember when you were a kid playing video games:
Legend of Zelda, Battletoads, and Mario…
If you were like me, you spent countless hours in front of the magic glowing box. These games showed us worlds of impressive difficulty, of magic and of teamwork. These games showed us partners like Mario had Luigi, teams like Rash, Zits, and Pimple.
These games let us experience something else besides new worlds…
You got to have a partner of your own, you got to experience why working with other people is beneficial, the games got easier and the experiences more fun when you added a player 2.
All of a sudden the work got split in two, you got to share the victories, and if one of you happened to suck at certain levels you could always trade off. This might be why whenever I look to start a new project or business I look for a partner, and after reading this article, I think you will realize you might need one as well.
Entrepreneurship might be the biggest step in your life. The hours are long and the workload is huge, you arm yourself with the right tools, spend hours learning, but at the end of the day, you are still alone.
Think about it, how many successful companies can you think of that started with a single founder? Paul Graham said it best back in 2006:
“…it’s a vote of no confidence. It probably means the founder couldn’t talk any of his friends into starting the company with him. That’s pretty alarming, because his friends are the ones who know him best.” – Paul Graham
Without another person to work with you are at it alone and the support you get from family and friends while great, might not be enough. They don’t understand it like you do, and they don’t have anything at risk.
A partner is not an employee, they share the risk and the reward and that makes them amazing; as my old boss would say “You play harder when you have skin in the game.” Because you are giving equity to a partner you may feel like you are losing something, that they don’t deserve it as much as you because it was your idea but you NEED them to have it.
An employee might care about your business but will it drive their life, will they talk about it with passion, will they work hard for sometimes terrible pay; NO, nor should they, but a good partner….they are on the grind with you! A partner will allow you to grow to a larger size than you could alone and at a greater speed.
Remember, it is better to have 50% of a watermelon than 100% of a grape.
I can talk to my friends, family, or a contractor about the business but no one will understand it as a partner. They know the decisions that have been made, they know the issues that have come up and they know the direction that you are working towards.
No one will get your thoughts and musings on the business like they will, and being able to share the good and the bad with someone makes it all the easier.
Who do you think cared about the mushroom kingdom as much as Mario? Luigi! If you have picked the right partner to work with then they will share the same passion. The days where you need motivation, you have someone who is dedicated to the vision to feed off of, to be pushed by. Ross and I talk about the business and how we see it going almost every week now. I don’t mean the basic day to day conversations about the work, or who has what file, I mean the state of the business, what we are focusing on, and what is working. You will have someone in your corner that wakes up every day with as much passion as you do.
You feel overworked, or someone asks you to go out and you would rather do that then write the blog post you should push in a few days. You decide to push the post a few days because you are the boss. We are dedicated to our craft but at the end of the day, we are human.
With a partner, there is someone else in your corner, but they are also someone who holds you accountable. You didn’t see rocky ignoring Micky, and whenever he was slacking he got called a bum. With a good partner, they don’t just support you while working, they hold you accountable when you get lazy when you stop pushing they kick you in the butt.
Mario and Luigi might have been brothers but stick with someone who is a just a friend. You want someone that fits with your personality, that you get along with, but once you know you won’t pull your punches with.
With a long time friend or a family member, you may hesitate, look for someone you have to know for a few years. This person could be one that you have worked with on a small project, or that you know from working life.
If you want to test if you can work with someone is can be a great idea to do a small project with them. Organize a small presentation, or give them a piece of work that you need done and see how you work together, you don’t just beta test software!
You can learn a lot of things from video games but in real life, you only get one real play through. If you play the game right, you can go pretty far but I think you will agree that you will get farther with a partner.
This is your only playthrough, start building your team, go find your player 2!
Already have a great partner? Comment below about how you began working together or tweet at us @HustleGrindCo. Looking for a bit more about partnership? Check Stronger In Numbers: Why & How The Dynamic Duo Behind H&G Works.
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