By Maria Rapetskaya,
I’ve been a creative entrepreneur since 2005. My first design company was a partnership with my significant other. It was largely a freestyle experiment in running a business, conducted in public over the course of five years. As a business, it was marginally successful. As a learning experience, for me it was the equivalent of a masters of business administration.
So, by the time I had started my second and current company, I had a pretty good blueprint of don’t’s for running a small business. I had been fortunate enough to make the mistakes that have yielded five valuable lessons learned — lessons that have truly paid off the second time around.
Don’t rush into a partnership.
It was only after my original partner and I parted ways that I recognized that we should never have had a professional partnership in the first place. Just because someone is your best friend, long-time coworker and / or significant other hardly qualifies that person as the perfect candidate for maintaining a business. I say “maintaining” because it’s far easier to get excited about the prospect of starting a company than being able to handle the day-to-day reality of running it efficiently.
The best partner is typically someone whose skills and approach are the polar opposite of yours. The first ensures that you are able to cover a lot more ground without additional employees. The second may create conflict, but it will force you both to defend your business instincts and weed out lesser ideas before you waste resources.
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Feature Image Credit: 10’000 Hours | Getty Images
By Maria Rapetskaya
Founder and Creative Director of Undefined Creative