Launching something brand new all by yourself is scary business, and partnering up with a close friend to put two brains together to create something awesome can be either the most fulfilling or stressful venture of your life. Way back almost a year ago now me and one of my favourite humans in the world Rebecca started working together on our online magazine, A Little Opulent. It has honestly been one of the most fulfilling ventures of my life so far, not just because I’ve learned so much from co-running a magazine, but I’ve also found myself in the most supportive partnership I could ever ask for. When you find yourself in a partnership that allows you to thrive and really become the creative/entrepreneur you want to be you know you’ve chosen the best business partner for you, and I feel so lucky every day to be able to work alongside someone who I've built such a positive and supportive relationship with.
So maybe you’re thinking of partnering up with someone to chase your dreams together this year, and today I wanted to share my best advice for going into business with a friend and the biggest lessons I’ve learned along the way so far.
You have to be on the same page When we first started brainstorming ALO together, Rebecca and I were completely on the same page. We wanted to create an online space that really encompassed all the things women (and men) our age were passionate about, with a firm focus on creativity running through. Your foundations have to be in-line with each others before you even get started or you're already setting yourself up to fail. Break down your intentions and goals with each other and make sure you're both wanting to take the same path - and most importantly, trust your gut. You'll know deep down whether you trust this person or not.
Outline each other’s roles The biggest thing both Rebecca and I have learned this past year is that it's so important to play to your strengths. When deciding which sections we'd both manage it was so obvious to us straight away who'd be better looking after which section, and even on a day to day basis we split up the daily tasks to play to our own strengths and processes. Get down on paper who is looking after what, and make sure it's a collaborative process when you decide how to separate tasks between you both. It's super important you both know who is doing what and that you respect and understand each others workloads as well. If there's initial financial investment as well, putting together a super simple contract together just to protect yourselves is an option worth exploring.
Communication is key Rebecca and I talk all day, every day. Our boyfriends get super frustrated with us and we have to make a conscious effort sometimes to not always be iMessaging each other throughout dinner and date nights. We're always forwarding each other emails, running through ideas, and collaborating in so many different ways. Communication is so important throughout every stage of your business. You shouldn't need to hold each others hand every step of the way and it's super important to trust each other with your separate workloads, but staying in tune with what the other is working on and supporting each other when you need to is the basis of a healthy working relationship. There will be times when you need to make tough decisions together and having a good communication process is key.
There’s no I in team One of the things I love about mine and Rebecca's working relationship is that we always leave our egos at the door. We're a team first and foremost and we always put the magazines needs ahead of our own - it's not a one person show and we're always focused on making decisions together that promote what's best for ALO. The best partnerships are where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts and it's so important that you don't make it about yourself but instead about each other and the business you're growing together.
There is so much more I could say on this topic but hopefully this gives you a little insight into what it's like to work alongside a business partner. Whether it's a side project or a full blown business venture, if you're thinking about going into it with someone else my biggest piece of advice is to not rush into it - have enough meetings and brainstorming sessions together that you need until you both feel confident that this is the best step for you to take.
Have you ever gone into business with a friend? If not, would you consider it?
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