Business Breakup: What I've learned from breaking up from a bad partnership
I usually work at Starbucks every morning and I get a lot done. While working on our new idea with my partner, I drank a lot of coffees to get me through it.
We came up with the business idea, and we have seen that our industry doesn’t talk about how communities are important in almost any kind of business. We agreed to teach others ‘How building a COMMUNITY is the key to getting new clients’.
We had a few interviews and many people loved it. They would even give us money. They’d ask us, “Where can we buy the book?” But we didn’t even have the book written yet. I was thinking, ‘WOW, we can sell and we don’t even have the product! That’s crazy!’
Lesson #1: “Move fast, break things” + and later “fix the broken things”
So I ran with it and finished 90% of the book, 200 pages in less than a month. I was like, “YES! Let’s sell it”. My partner said, “Let’s wait until he corrects it because it has to be “100% perfect”.
However it was just fine as is. When you overthink you accomplish nothing.
I love the idea of ‘move fast, break things’ mentality, but, as a side note, I don’t agree with ‘move fast and don’t fix broken things’ though. Just want to make it clear… Always fix things if they get broken! Anyway, I digress…
Because you move fast, 80% is usually good enough. Good enough is better than not done at all.
Our book was 90% done and it didn’t get published just because it was waiting for a comma here and a picture there. 🤦
Lesson #2: Trust your partner. Delegate tasks he/she is good at. Leave ‘em alone.
The website got done 90-95%.
We really needed 3 funnels:
Landing page for the email list
Checkout page for book
The 30-Day Challenge Page
All funnels worked. Checkout pages could take payments. “Perfect!” I thought.
My partner is good at sales and ‘people’. I trusted him wholeheartedly with sales. I was pretty sure he could sell well. I wasn’t bad at sales myself, but why do it, if you got a ‘pro’ sitting next to you?
I was good at tech, websites, funnels, copywriting. So this was my forte. I worked on that. But my partner kept on going back and forth and changed things almost every morning as I had been writing it. I said, “Fine. As long as we get it done and move on, I’m ok with a few changes”. Most changes were acceptable, but some I had to get rid of because it was just bad copywriting — which turned into more arguing.
When you choose a partner and they are a ‘pro’ at something, leave them alone and work on other things that you do best. Let them do their magic. Trust me, it will be almost always better. Even if you honestly think your opinion is better.
When you check your ego at the door and work without emotions or others’ opinions, it works out the best! What always matters is the result.
Lesson #3: It’s OK to be unique and have different content creation style even if you have partners! Personality sells better than generic boring stuff.
On this particular morning I sat at Starbucks and worked on my content to publish on our social media content so we could attract new clients.
I’d been writing a funny post about why people should start a community.
Suddenly, out of the blue, I get a message from my partner that said, “You know what, let’s call this thing off. We should part ways as friends. Your writing style is very different from mine… We can’t continue like this…”
I glanced at my phone with disbelief. Is this a joke? After 3 months of hard work? Why now?
He wanted to break our partnership because of a different style of writing? The funny thing was that he did like my writing style of the 200-page book that I wrote a month ago. At least he said that to me. And now my writing style isn’t compatible? Why now…?
We got on the call and it seemed to me that he perhaps didn’t like that I was too flamboyant or informal in my writing. Sometimes I cracked jokes and wrote funny… But whatever… Its my style I guess.
It’s ok to be me. And YOU be you. Why pretend you are someone else?
I proposed we have each of us a separate a Twitter and a Youtube account. After all it’s nice for both of us to grow an audience. And we can always invite them to our events, interviews and give them our book. The more the merrier right?
Lesson #4: We came SO close… Sometimes you are 3 feet away from the gold and you don’t know it.
For the past 3 months I’ve been working on the new book, the community challenge and the actual members community. I’ve put all of my working hours just to make this work. And we achieved a lot!
We had a lot of accomplishments:
- the How to Build an Online Community book was done (around 200 pages)
- the website was ready to go (sales page for the book and the challenge)
- the funnels were ready
- payment pages done
BUT… the content for social media was still missing.
We had to complete just one last thing — publish the content, which would put us in front of ‘our’ people.
🏁 One more push to the finish line. 🏁
Once we would publish and do our interviews we would start getting prospects into our pipeline.
We were SO close from getting it done.
We had clients who were ready to pay us!
There’s a story in the book Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.
A certain Mr. Darby had a gold mine in Colorado during the Gold Rush days. It served him well for a short while and then apparently dried up. He drilled a little farther, dug a little deeper, but nothing. So he gave up and sold the mining tools and the land to a prospector for a few hundred dollars. Within three feet of the place where Darby stopped drilling, the new owner tapped into a gold vein worth millions.
The incident changed Darby’s life. He never forgot his mistake in stopping only three feet from the gold. Years later, he said, “That experience was a blessing in disguise. It taught me to keep on keeping on, no matter how hard the going may be, a lesson I needed to learn before I could succeed in anything.”
“One of the most common causes of failure,” concludes Hill, “is the habit of quitting when one is overtaken by temporary defeat.”
Don’t stop three feet from the gold.
The same day our partnership fell apart I felt surprisingly calm. I wasn’t upset at all, not at my partner and not at the time I lost.
The chains have fallen and I felt freedom and liberation of doing things how I, myself, love doing it:
Writing in a quirky and fun way.
Having freedom to decide how to express myself.
Realizing that it’s beautiful to stay the way I am.