Not every couple is built to go into business together, and that’s okay. But if I’d gone into business with anyone but my wife, our company, Worldgate, wouldn’t have made it.
Choosing who to partner with is one of the most important decisions you’ll make as you begin your entrepreneurial journey, since your relationship with your partner will determine how you go about solving all the other problems that you’ll all face together. For instance, going into business with my wife Katelyn meant that we had to figure out how to balance the triple whirlwind that is our company, romantic relationship, and kids.
To stay on top of our responsibilities, we act with intention. Whether we’re scheduling a date night or sitting down to have a conversation about something that’s bothering us in the business world, we always try to think clearly and stay present in how we approach our relationship.
As for our business partnership in particular, we work great together. I’m like a kite, flying high and full of ideas. And Katelyn is my kite strings, keeping me grounded to reality. In other words, I work to nurture and expand our client relationships, while Katelyn runs our internal operations for finance and human resources. Thanks to our partnership, I’m proud to say that Worldgate was eventually recognized as one of INC. Magazine’s “5000 Fastest Growing Companies” one of the Washington Post’s “Top Workplaces” in 2022.
Regardless of who you choose as your business partner, be intentional as you carve out roles and responsibilities. Never stop communicating with each other, as entrepreneurship is a dynamic experience–rarely will two days ever be the same.
As you figure out who your ideal partner is, keep in mind your own strengths and weaknesses, and find someone who complements those. If you’re a visionary, find someone who’s better at on-the-ground management. If you’re good with people, find someone who’s good with things.
Once you settle on a partner, each of you should lean into what makes you effective. This way, no one has to be a jack-of-all-trades, and each of you can specialize.
Ultimately, find a partner who not just complements you, but who shares your values. After all, if your co-pilot is looking to steer the ship in a different direction, there’s no way you’ll reach the shore. But if you’re aligned, the high seas are yours to conquer.