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Building a healthy co-founder relationship is key to a great business! Starting a business involves a lot of passion, and drive. It's a lot of hard work, but is also extremely exhilarating seeing something you built take off. There's this saying I was told once that really stuck with me:
"Life is to great, and oftentimes to hard to do it alone"
I would argue the same goes for starting a business. Disregarding how much work it would be for an individual to do by him/herself, starting a business on your own is a lonely voyage. For this reason, I would recommend having a co-founder. But you want to have a healthy co-founder relationship don't you?
Prior to choosing some random person to be a co-founder, consider the immense amount of time you will spend together, and the immense influence this person will have on this business you are trying to create. If this sounds interesting to you, then let's dive in!
Choosing a Partner
As previously mentioned, choosing a great co-founder is no easy task. Having a bad co-founder could potentially make it impossible to form a healthy co-founder relationship. This is something that a lot of thought and consideration needs to be pout into. My advice would be to partner with someone you already have a good relationship with and trust already.
Since a great business should be centered around something you are truly passionate about, and should reflect your values to the world around you, a good co-founder should also have exceptional moral character. Furthermore, in choosing a co-founder, find a close friend who shares similar passions and values. This way you can have confidence that the both of you will push the business in the right direction.
How To Split Company Between Co-Founders
I'm going to give some uncommon advice here, so bear with me. And the reason I can confidently give this uncommon advice is because I believe in building an uncommon business: one focused on spreading value to the world, focused on helping others and building authentic relationships.
How a business is split up between co-founders is one of the key reasons co-founders split. I recommend the business is split 50/50 between co-founders (or just evenly amongst all co-founders if more than two). Why? Simply because uneven splits tend to lead to resentment over time. If everyone has an equal share of the company, then no resentment can be formed here.
The typical advice is to split the company unequally intentionally. This way, if the company runs into a dilemma and the co-founders disagree, then the company won't fall into stalemate unable to make a decision. With a 50/50 split neither co-founder can make the final decision. This is why this advice is uncommon. However, is all co-founders share similar passions and goals for the business, an agreement should ALWAYS be able to be made over tough decisions. Especially in a healthy co-founder relationship.
Having equal split forces the goal of agreement. One person cannot just take charge without the other agreeing.
Decide What Success Looks Like
Above all, you and you co-founder must agree on what success looks like for your business. This is essential for building a healthy co-founder relationship. One person might want to turn the business in one direction, and the other wants to go into another direction. If your business is lead by two different compasses pointing in two different directions, the business is doomed to be torn apart.
Ensure the both of you agree on the intentions behind the business and the direction you wish it to go. Disagreeing on this is the number 1 reason co-founders split. Before even considering a co-founder, share your mission statement with them! Your mission statement should clearly illustrate the values and goals of the business you wish to create. Make sure all co-founders are on the same page.
What's the secret to any healthy relationship? Nurturing it! The same goes for building a healthy co-founder relationship. Co-founders must spend intentional time nurturing the relationship.
Remember, your co-founder should be a close friend. Take time to not only nurture the business side of things, and talk about business concerns and challenges, but also take the time to deepen the friendship.
Form excellent communication with your co-founders. Also, make sure to make a habit of spending quality time with each other. In his book, The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg talks about how much of what we do during good times, and bad times is based on habits. Forming healthy co-founder relationship habits is essential to get through the hard times.
The relationship you share with the co-founders of your business can make or break it. Relationships can be hard work, but as people we need people, and the time put into relationships is more than worth it. Especially when it comes to developing a healthy, life-giving relationship with your co-founders.
Catch you on the flip,
P.S. If you are wanting to, or have ever wanted to start a business, but are lost on where to start, click here and check this out