Successful Networking: Traits to Look for in a Business Partner
Starting a business is one of the most difficult things anyone can do and many of the best entrepreneurs feel that they just cannot handle it on their own. While entrepreneurs can easily hire a business manager, it is often better for them to find an equally motivated partner who would like to have a stake in the company. While finding a business partner is often great for the business, entrepreneurs often look for the wrong things when they are making this crucial decision.
One of the frequent mistakes that entrepreneurs make when seeking a business partner is that they look for someone who is mirror image of themselves. This tends to be because they have a strong ego that leads them to believe that they are the perfect fit for a business and that anyone who is not like them will take away from the business's success. When the ego gets in the way, they fail to recognize that other people have skills and personality traits that make them valuable to business beyond simply sharing the workload. Another reason entrepreneurs look for like-minded business partners is that feel they will spend less time arguing with someone who thinks exactly the same way they do. When I worked with a business partner with similar visions and aspirations I found myself quickly bored and annoyed that I just heard a parrot reiterating everything I thought. It may be challenging to work with a business partner who thinks differently, but it is even more rewarding. It keeps the entrepreneurial journey fresh, exciting and constantly moving in a new direction.
Building on theories created by the Myer's Briggs personality model, a profile has been created for the ideal entrepreneur. It should be no surprise that successful entrepreneurs are visionaries who are constantly questioning the way things are done and are not afraid to challenge the status quo. Research also claims that the entrepreneur prefers to avoid structured thinking because it hinders their creativity. On the other hand, common sense tells us that they still need to have some level of organization to manage their projects efficiently and effectively. Entrepreneurs are also outgoing individuals with strong leadership and communication skills. However, they also are comfortable working alone as they strategize and conduct research.
These traits should not be representative of every member in the team. As mentioned earlier, the project would become lame if every member of the team perfectly matched this profile. Also, some of the traits described tend to come from contrasting personalities, so it is better when partners with different ideas and varying skill sets come together. If one of them is a natural leader the other may be the one who knows how to sit down and do more of the grunt work.
The most important point of this research is that entrepreneurs must remember that looking for a business partner should be different than looking for a best friend. A business is most successful when different experiences and personality traits are brought together like reactive chemicals, leading to an explosion of success and excitement in an environment that would otherwise be stagnant and dull.