We’re going to a wedding this weekend.
You know you’re getting up there in years when it’s no longer your friends that are getting married but their adult children, which is the case here. Having been married for 35 years my own wedding is a distant memory but I do recall a few things about the day that I think have some business implications as well. Pretty romantic, huh?
One thing I remember was a sense of great optimism. We were making a statement about our belief in our relationship and how we were better together than we would be as individuals. Attacking life together was going to advantage us and pooling our emotional and financial resources (which were pretty limited at that point) would give us a leg up. I don’t think we thought about it in those kind of terms exactly, but we knew it was the right thing to do.
What we didn’t know was the work involved. Anyone who tells you that a marriage is an easy walk in the park probably hasn’t been married or for very long. The stress of every day life can test not only the partnership bond but also the very concept of being together in the first place. Making it work can be hard but it’s been tremendously rewarding.
New businesses are the same. You have a great idea. You think you can add resources, gear up, and do something better than anyone else is doing it – solve a problem with a product or provide a service. You take on partners – investors, other workers, even the people who pay the bills – clients or customers. Easy right?
Ha! No sane business person will describe it as easy. It’s a lot of work and unfortunately the business failure rate is almost as high as the divorce rate. How the partnership deals with adversity and ever-changing conditions shows a lot. Is there honest dialog or a lot of shouting? Are you working on the problem together or are people retreating into their safe shells while things fail around them?
I love weddings, maybe because I’m an optimist at heart. I love young businesses too – I work with a few in my practice. The key to both is a commitment to work together to solve the mysteries that are life and business. So far, so good for me. You?