A Journey to Entrepreneurship: Values & Courage
By Valerie Jennings
Once upon a time, a long time ago, two people decided to create a company, but those two people were not designed to work together. Instead, only one person would survive and the other would fail. How do you know when you should or should not have a business partner? This is an age-old question that plagues the minds of many aspiring entrepreneurs. They say it’s lonely at the top, so then, why not share the risks and rewards with a partner? A partnership can be a glorious thing, and in some cases, you may find it incredibly rewarding and a pure benefit to your company. This blog looks at the personality types and business environments of those who are already wedded in a business marriage and those who are contemplating it today.
Why is a partnership good?
I chose to go it alone, but my sister Michelle has often been there for me. She’s filled in gaps where I otherwise couldn’t and has raised important questions along the way, providing me with an alternate perspective. You may say that’s a form of partnership. Many people cringe when they hear that relatives are involved in a business. Family businesses can often be perceived as dysfunctional byproducts of the family’s larger issues. That said, in my experience, I’ve found her opinions to be rather prudent and well-conceived. I cannot speak for other people’s family businesses since this is my limited personal experience.
However, I will address business marriages. I use the word “marriage” because in many ways that’s how it functions. In good times and bad, in sickness and health, and so on and so on, you shall be my loyal partner… I have worked with many partnerships and I find most of them to be the product of the weakest link. There seems to be one dominant partner and then the rest of them. They say you should find partners who complement your skills. In other words, the areas that you lack, you should balance out in the hierarchical structure of your organization with a partner or team. My response is that you can find the same value in a gifted consultant. The benefit here is that you pay the consultant for his or her time, talent and opinions and hold them accountable. The business can only be as healthy as the weakest link. I don’t mean to disrespect any healthy partnerships because I’m sure there are many and they are extremely successful. However, it’s rather unfortunate that too many entrepreneurs just starting out haphazardly select their business soulmate(s).
I think a partnership could be rather fruitful if a person took the time to look at themselves. By asking important questions such as why do I think a partner would be good or bad; am I a person who requires complete control; do I just need the right team around me to make my dreams a reality; or do I need to take a class on ego management?
I often say in my public speeches that the health of a business is contingent on the health of the business owner or owners. I truly mean this and have made it my personal goal to ensure that my health is a priority. As I have uncovered, my personal journey was not about my abilities to create a company, but about my personal opinions surrounding myself. My personal commitment to spiritual enlightenment and the evolution of my soul-life purpose has been my motivation. In other words, the biggest reward for me has been my personal evolution and watching the evolution manifest into new frontiers and create magnificent things along the way in business. The more I evolve beyond what I currently am, the more willing I am to experiment and trial new adventures. I am, by nature, an early adopter. While I did earn that title by default, it is truly what I am as a human being. My satisfaction is not in the creative process, but in the execution process where I can see the advancement and success of the work being accomplished.
The moral of the story is to know yourself and know yourself well before starting a company or selecting any partners. Business will challenge every weakness of your spirit and any unresolved past issues will manifest into your creation, so choose wisely before you get started.
This blog represents the personal opinions of Valerie Jennings, not the employees of the company. However, any questions or thoughts may be addressed to her at [email protected]