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June 12, 2018

When I started Hustle & Grind, I started as a lone wolf. I spoke to a handful of my friends about the concept but I always pictured myself building and growing the business solo. It was an approach I thought I could handle and one that at the time I believed was realistic.

I was wrong.

This isn’t a project that was started just a few months ago. I’ve been building Hustle & Grind for more than a year as a side hustle. I’ve never been able to put 100% into it and after carefully reviewing my own situation – I realized the issue slowing me down from having the ability to launch was looking at me right in the mirror. I was getting in my own way. 

I didn’t know exactly how I would get out of my own way but I knew something needed to change. So what did I do? I looked for someone who could fill gaps in the puzzle and that person was Findlay.

Earlier this year, I was listening to a podcast with Hiten Shah and he said something that struck a cord. In different words, he essentially pointed to his partnership with Neil Patel as being one of the biggest drivers to their combined success. He also expressed the value of switching back and forth in Batman & Robin roles depending on the project.

For me, I was playing Batman in projects where I should have been playing Robin. While I’m a huge believer in pushing myself into areas that challenge me and force me to learn new things – I was biting off more than I could chew. Findlay was studying computer science and had a couple years of experience with startups under his belt managing communities and getting sh*t done like a boss.

Since bringing Findlay on board, Hustle & Grind went from 0 to 100 real quick. The last couple months have been a combination of surprises, failures, big wins, arguments, and successes. It’s been refreshing having someone to take a Batman role on certain projects and have no issue being Robin on others. When it came to the branding & various design elements for Hustle & Grind, I was Batman. When it came to product development and sourcing, Findlay was Batman.

So what are some key things that have allowed this partnership to work well?

1. Relentless Honesty

It’s important to be straight up with each other and make communication as open as possible. If one of us is struggling on a task – we have no challenge asking the other for assistance. If one of us is having a hard time understanding something – we don’t hesitate to request clarity. If we’re not in agreement with something the other person has done – we don’t hesitate to raise our points for why we disagree with that approach.

2. Own Your Mistakes

I’ve made a handful of mistakes over the last few months. The key has been owning up to these mistakes when they happen and coming together as a unit to find a solution. I could have sat on a few of these mistakes and tried to fix them in a silo but that’s not what a partnership is about. It’s about being honest, owning your mistakes and then coming together as a unit to find a solution.

3. Trust Your Partner

This is where it all comes back together. If you don’t trust your team – you’ll never sleep at night. Trust is something that is earned and doesn’t happen overnight. I’ve worked with lots of people over the years and while there are lots of people I would trust with any project; there are a few who have lost that privilege. When the stakes are high, you need someone you trust on your side.

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