8 EO members share lessons from their best and worst business partnerships
Contributed by Kym Huynh, an EO Melbourne member, EO Global Communications Committee member, and co-founder of WeTeachMe. Kym is fascinated by entrepreneurs and their journeys, so he asked EO members from various chapters to share their experiences. Read his earlier posts on what EO members wish non-entrepreneurs knew about entrepreneurs and how EO members define success and the impact of core values.
Choose partners with opposite skill sets
The best business partnership for me occurred when partnering with people who had completely opposite skill sets.
I previously owned a construction company. My partner focused on construction, margins, operations and managing suppliers whereas I focused on strategy, business development, HR and finance. It worked so well. I’ll never partner with someone who has a similar set of skills to me.
— Ron Lovett, EO Atlantic Canada, founder of Connolly Owens
Depth has benefits over breadth
The most powerful gift my business partnership gave me was the experience of depth rather than breadth.
Because I had someone who both relied on me and gave me much, I did not have the option to jump ship whenever I wanted a new experience.
This partnership taught me that one gains the most out of life when one goes deep. Some of my learnings from this—resilience and how to live a life of meaning—are priceless.
—Tui Cordemans, EO Melbourne, founder of Koh Living
There is no blame. Only learning.
Nick Bell and I have been business partners for 10 years, and friends for much longer. The key to our success is that our friendship is stronger than our business partnership.
We’ve had disagreements, but:
- We are prepared to not let ego drive our decisions
- We are prepared to let the other take the lead; and
- If one of us is wrong or fails, we consider it part of the journey.