I hope you enjoyed my interview last week with John Basedow. He is a successful entrepreneur that we can all learn something from. However, this week I want to dive back into the My Journey series.
So, I’ll be getting married in 3 short weeks. With such a monumental date quickly approaching I have been far more reflective than usual. I have learned so so much through the process of dating, getting engaged, and getting prepared for marriage. Many of these lessons I have been able to apply to my business life, and even my business experience has been able to speak helpfully into the process of bringing another person into my life passions and dreams. And now in light of my impending marriage, I want to discuss a related topic this week.
Getting Back Into The Story
The last time we were in this story, we left off doing some marketing at Quantify in the summer, in order to try and build up a base of clients. And wouldn’t you know, some of the things I tried actually worked! (If you want to see what specifically worked for me, you can check out my blog post from a few weeks back.)
Things Are Looking Up
Our company was approaching our first official tax season. We had developed a decent base of clients but were still looking for other opportunities. Around November I was introduced to a CPA (Certified Public Accountant) who needed some help during tax season. After a few months of talking and negotiating, we nailed down a “partnership” type agreement to work together during tax season. This seemed like a dream scenario for us because it quickly infused us with a good book of clients. A couple months later we were introduced to a partner at a large CPA firm who was leaving the company and had a book of tax clients he needed to be prepared. Another amazing opportunity that fell right in our lap!
I don’t want to get into the details but neither of these partnerships worked out for various reasons. We finished tax season but quickly parted ways with both parties shortly thereafter. Through the whole process I learned so many things as a young entrepreneur. I was only 25 at the time and that tax season was easily the most stressful time of my life. I couldn’t believe as a brand new company what we had gotten ourselves into. There was one specific lesson from that time that I want to focus on today.
Ever heard the saying “date before you marry”? Even if you haven’t heard it before, you have more than likely put it into practice in your personal life. You don’t just go and marry someone before dating them, right? (I wouldn’t recommend doing so at least!) But the same goes for business. If you are going to partner with someone or work with them on a professional level, you should “date” them first. Make sure you know the person, what their values are, how they carry themselves, etc. Are they trustworthy? Will they do what is right? Will they represent you well? These are all critical questions when doing business with someone and the best way to determine a strong answer is by “dating”.
Prevent A Divorce
Start your relationship off slow. If you are considering bringing in a new business partner, get to know that person on a personal level. Work with them on a few clients and see how it goes. You may think this person is the perfect fit, the one you’ve been looking for, only to find out they are the exact opposite. “Dating” insulates you and your company/product(s)/ideas/clients from getting banged up from some kind of organizational divorce (or, bankruptcy). If you went “all in” from the start, then you’re liable for everything that happens, good or bad. Building a relationship is always the right decision.
Every situation is different. I am not telling you a specific time frame for “dating” before you can “marry”. Sometimes it can take a day and sometimes it can take years. That is for you to determine. The idea is to be sure of the person you are taking on a relationship with before you marry them.
I have been involved in good, bad, and ugly dating scenarios both in my personal life and business life. I am extremely blessed to have two incredible business partners who I know, trust, and I’m happy to call them friends. I am even more blessed to have the most amazing fiancé I get to marry in a few short weeks!
But none of these relationships were built without first dating.
To really work the metaphor, one way that I am “dating” you is by writing this blog. In case you haven’t noticed, I really do pour my heart out on here. Things I say may offend some people and others may just flat out disagree with me. But everything I write is 100% transparent; because my hope is that you can take something away of value while getting to know me on a relational level. However, dating isn’t a one way street and I would like to get to know you better as well. If you are reading this and we have never connected, shoot me a message and let’s chat. We can talk about business, sports, the outdoors, whatever you like. I love building relationships and helping people any way I can.
Have a great weekend!