YOU GUYS… It’s my one year anniversary of being fully, 100% self-employed! 🎉 This has been my dream for a while now. I always knew I’d get here one day but I’m not sure I would have predicted that it would happen the way it did. If you read my Bold Boss Tribe Story, you know I was laid off last year due to a downsizing of my department. You also know that Bold & Pop is my third company. So what has contributed to Bold & Pop’s success while I opted to shut down my other businesses? My business partner. No, I’m not kidding. I 100% believe that having a business partner… Scratch that. The RIGHT business partner has contributed greatly to our success. Could we have done this on our own individually? Yes, probably. Would we have grown to the level we are at so quickly? No freaking way!
When I was in business school, they always talked about how businesses with a business partner typically are more successful. I thought they were nuts! Why would I get a business partner when I can’t even get these people in my group projects to do their part??? Heck-to-the-no I don’t want a partner! So I went it alone with my first two companies. Don’t get me wrong… They did alright. I made some money with each but never at the level that allowed me to make them my primary income and I’m not sure they ever would have allowed me to get to that point. (Full disclaimer: They were also product-based companies which may also contribute to the difference.)
Doing everything yourself is not only exhausting but you only know so much. You only have your experience and knowledge to go off of. I was the one doing the work. All the work. Using only my best judgement to make critical decisions. As much as we all would like to think that we know it all (or even enough to get us by), we don’t and we probably never will.
Having an extra brain, one that really gets you and has the same vision as you, is beyond essential. I get it though. They are hard to find so this might not end up being a business partner but a mentor or some kind of support system or team. Basically what I'm trying to say is you can’t go it alone!
Ok now that I got that out of the way… Here’s why I think our partnership has lead us to success:
This is the big one! I have someone holding me accountable. Now listen, Anna’s not my boss, nor am I her's but we feel an obligation to each other to show up and get shit done. I kid you not, I just had a conversation with Anna that I needed to bring my dog to the vet for some shots in the morning and that I would also be skipping out a little early for a yoga class (all after taking 2 hours off in the middle of the day on Monday for an appointment) so I was explaining that I would work late to make up the time. We both ended up laughing because we often work late and come on, being able to make our own schedule was a goal of ours! But my point is, if Anna weren’t around, I’d probably roll out of bed and start working at noon rather than 9 am. Those items on my to do list that aren’t pressing would continue to get pushed back. Basically, she unintentionally helps me keep my life together.
We both have different backgrounds and skills but in the same industry. While we both have extensive experience with social media management and web design, Anna is the graphic design and branding genius. I have experience with photography and assisting with branding/graphics projects as a creative director of sorts. This gives us the ability to put our skills together to offer more services to our clients. It also allows us to work really closely on projects to get feedback from one another to provide the best possible outcome for our clients. I’m not sure I would be able to even offer web design services if I had tried to start freelancing on my own because I don’t have the graphic design skills that Anna has!
We’re Biz Besties
We started out just being coworkers. (Well technically Anna was my supervisor but we always worked together as equals because she's cool like that 💁🏼) We hung out a few times when we lived in the same city but didn’t become friends until right before I moved back to Connecticut. Long story short, we became great friends which makes working together seriously fun! But we also know that we can work well together so that combination is like winning the lottery! Now we’ve basically morphed into the same person finishing each other's sentences in a seriously freakish way.
I get it though. Not everyone has a person like this to be their biz partner or you’re a seriously successful solo-preneur. Having a business partner isn’t the end-all, be-all of success. Trust us, there are many avenues to success. But having a partner has helped me and has definitely been a determining factor in Bold & Pop’s success. We probably mention that we need two brains on a daily basis!
Determining what your weak point is can help identify what you need though! I always thought I was super productive (which I am) but I didn't realize how much more productive I could be when I had someone to help hold me accountable. If you're like me, joining an accountability group or finding an accountability partner could be just what you need! Want to offer another service you might not have expertise in? Try partnering with another professional that is an expert in that area! It doesn't need to be a business partner but having someone to be your biz bestie can definitely help your biz and makes it a heck of a lot more fun!
Now that you know our little secret to success, what has worked for you? What is the one thing you contribute your success to?