Well, I founded my own business, carefully and methodically built it over the years, focused on every detail and got every aspect of the operation just the way I wanted it. Then a management consultant tells me I have to “let go a bit” and bring in a partner–someone with a “complementary skill set” who “brings balance to the team.”
Perhaps I’m off base, but this last part I interpret as “someone who can compensate for my weaknesses.” This presents an immediate problem in that I only have one glaring weakness that I know of: I lack the introspection and self-awareness to know whether I have any other weaknesses.
(Not the right spirit in which to enter a partnership, you say? Well, that’s why they call it a “founder,” because I found the idea, found the capital, founded the business and, you know…finder’s keepers.)
But, in the end, I have to respect my consultant’s input, if for no other reason than to justify the egregious hourly rate I am paying him. Plus, it can’t hurt to cast a few lines in the water to see what types of potential business partners are out there.
Now, where does one find a partner? Well, what do you know, there’s an online service just for this purpose: http://www.b-Harmony.biz—I guess the “b” is for “business.” Says it’s like an online dating site but for finding that perfect business partner.
Let’s see, I can browse all these potential business partner listings for free. OK, here’s one:
Username: Pursuit-of-Busyness: I’m comfortable enough in my own skin to say that I don’t believe in work/life balance. Do you? I enjoy long walks across the sales floor, reviewing key performance indicators at sunset and brainstorming sessions over flat Diet Coke. Pet peeves: Missed earnings targets and nosy board members.
OK, that one’s not for me—just a bit too…intense. Let’s try another:
Username: Font-anella: I love PowerPoint! OK, I’m addicted to it…OK, I’ve started dreaming in PowerPoint. I can help you energize ANY presentation, no matter how dull and un-substantive. Plus, I have an encyclopedic knowledge of which fonts work best for every audience’s demographic makeup. Contact me now for a free demo!
Nope, not enough breadth of experience for the job. I’ll look at one more.
Username: Cultur-iffic: My dream business relationship? You and I will co-chair weekly roundtables to get input from all employees…everyone will have an equal say in every decision. Part of my philosophy is that crying in meetings is not only OK—I encourage it! In fact, if someone begins crying, I physically block the door so they can’t run to the restroom. Remember, today is the first day of the rest of your career!
Please…no more…this is painful. This can’t be the best way to find the right business partner. Maybe I need a new management consultant.
Bob London is President of London, Ink, a full-service marketing and communications consulting firm in the Washington, DC area. He serves as a Virtual VP of Marketing for businesses that need an injection of senior-level marketing and communications strategy, planning and execution. Learn more at www.londonink.com.