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A simple guide to choosing a business partner

When most people look for their first business partner, they are looking for the perfect fit for their company at that particular time. But that’s shortsighted because the decision is about who’ll have a relationship with that will help you in business in the long term.

You need to ask yourself whether you could see this person in your life 20-plus years from now, and contemplate whether they can imagine you both still adding value to the other’s life. If you are smart about choosing your first business partner, you’ll find someone that will positively impact your life and career many times over. The guidelines I’m about to give you is not perfect but are helpful considering who to partner with:

Know the person

This may seem like common sense, but a lot of people enter into partnerships without really knowing who they are getting into business with. This means looking further than the extraordinary qualifications. Remember, a business partnership as similar to marriage so you have to look for someone that is going to be your other half. Many describe a business partnership as similar to marriage.

Don’t pick yourself

You shouldn’t look for a business partner that is a copy of you. They have to complement you. If your strength is more process-oriented, then you might look for someone who is creative . If you’re an excellent salesperson but not  so great at business finance, then try to consider a partner who understands business accounting. The variety of skills that you and your partner bring, will make it easier to propel the business forward.

Look for vision and values

Since you and your partner will need to constantly make decisions to drive the business forward, it is very important that you share the same vision for the future. All decisions should be like two bricklayers laying brick by brick and not going off and creating separate structures. You also need someone who holds the same values as you do because that’s necessary to build the type of trust needed for a successful partnership.

Find someone fun

This is someone you’ll be spending more time with than with your friends and family. Your relationship will be tested day in and out. Therefore, the friendship you share with each other has to help you make it through those challenging times and come out stronger.

So, try not settle for partnering with someone who you think will be good enough to do the job but rather someone who will be good enough to go through 10 different ventures over the next few decades with you.

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