When we started Eagle 15 years ago I had never started a company, had never raised cash, had never even been a President of a company. The process we went through in a relatively short period of time involved all aspects of creating a net new company, but with the assets (contracts) that we had bought.
There was the opportunity for me personally to own the whole thing … but I chose to create this company with a group of partners. Obviously there are pros and cons to this, but 15 years later, and indeed throughout those 15 years, I have no regrets.
Had I chosen to own the whole thing … I would have had more money, but I valued partners higher.
1. A good partner looks out for their partner(s).
2. A good partner will do everything in their power to help their partner(s) to be successful.
3. A good partner will NOT undermine their partner(s).
4. A good partner will communicate openly and honestly.
5. A good partner will be happy for the success of their partner(s).
6. A good partner will TRUST their partner(s) … and expect to be trusted!
When you have a symbiotic partner group there is strength in their common support, their bond and in their shared success. A “team” will always operate better than a group of individuals!
It is not unlike any strong relationship … and possibly second only to family.
Just like a marriage, when a partner starts to operate in their own best interest, to the detriment of their partner(s) then you have problems. If that goes on, the trust is eroded, the relationship deteriorates and unless things are fixed then “divorce” is likely!
It is lonely running a business on your own … partners share in the equity, but also increase your chances of success. I’m happy I made that decision.
Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
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