Starting a new business is one of the most exciting things I’ve ever done. But never did I imagine that one day I would be celebrating 5 years with a PARTNER! Yet here we are . . . this October will be magical year number 5 of sharing Northfolk with my bestie. We didn’t actually start out as besties. We were total strangers actually. I saw Rachel’s work when she rebranded one of my past clients, loved it and reached out. Im a complete introvert, so looking back it’s kind of shocking that I did that. But I am SO glad I did.
The next year we spent working together, mostly passing contract / freelance work back and forth. Until we finally decided, “We make a great team! Let’s just partner up!” In 2014 the seed for Northfolk was planted.
If you search “business partners” online, you will see a sad amount of articles telling you why you shouldn’t partner up and why its best to be solo. But here we are 5 years later, telling you exactly how awesome having a business partner really is.
Reason #1 : Having someone that compliments your weaknesses.
I’m really good at starting projects, and Rachel is really good at finishing them. A majority of our projects, from website templates to planners, I will draft the concepts and rough layouts before passing everything off to Rachel for refinement. Even our client installs work this way.
Rachel is passive. Im aggressive.
She excels at our design software, while I kick butt on the business side of things.
We both pretty much blow at social media. lol
Reason #2 : You get to take turns having “off” days and the other person always has your back.
I remember before Rachel, going on vacation or being sick, or just being in a slump would really set me back.
Now, when my kids are on spring break, Rachel takes over, and vice versa.
We are a well oiled machine that can keep running even if one of us needs some time off.
Reason #3: Inspire and motivate.
I can’t tell you how motivating it is to have another person to bounce ideas off of. Good ideas. Bad ideas. Someone to motivate you and share in not only your exciting moments, but to help carry you through the low ones.
People who wrote down their goals were 42% more likely to achieve them than the ones that didn’t. Telling a friend increases this rate to 78%.
Reason #4 : Communication.
If you’re an independent creative business owner, without a partner, when is the last time you had a real conversation with someone older than 5 with only 2 legs? I know that there are so many small business owners out there that are just craving that interaction and friendship. I used to be one! Sometimes I still am! Rachel likes to go MIA on weekends and I feel LOST! lol
Reason #5 : You basically adopt a new family member.
I think one of the reasons our partnership has worked so well is that we kinda did things in reverse. Most people start as friends or family and decide to go into business together. It can work, but a lot of times it fails. But Rachel and I started as strangers, sorta competition even. Started to collaborate, became partners, then best friends and we are pretty much family now.
We have a great relationship where we respect each other as partners and colleagues, but love each other like family.
Partnerships aren’t for everyone, we are VERY lucky. But even if a partnership isn’t right for you, we highly recommend other options like Mastermind groups or accountability partners. There are tons of ways to work and engage with people without partnering up.