Partnerships can't be 50-50 because it will cause horrible situations down the road. Many, many companies have split up that way. We make day-to-day decisions as if it’s 50-50. I respect if my partner thinks differently. We've listened to each other. We've sat on it, sought advice. But if it becomes something that we haven't resolved, we’ve got to move some way. And so, I'm moving us this way, wrong or right. - Tina Zwolinski, skillsgapp
We work very hard on that relational aspect. Our clients pay us enough so that we don't have to have a million different people that we can barely get to know — John Barnes / Pendleton Street Business Advisors
To address a large influx of new work, we ended up hiring multiple employees. But then I realized I was focused on getting warm bodies of passionate people that had some great skillsets, but were not necessarily aligned with the future of my organization.
So, what did that cost us? It cost us some of our people. No founder ever wants to be in a position where you have to transition people out, but I also think that’s the time I grew as a founder. I had to make those hard calls, and they were the right calls whether or not everyone involved knew it at the right time. Nika White / Nika White Consulting
The way you find talent is through passion, and if you find somebody that’s passionate, you can develop talent. Quentin Middleton / Middleton Made Knives
I started an internship program. I’m passionate about helping other women in the industry. And honestly, the only way anyone gets anywhere in life these days is through knowing people and having privilege.
I️ don’t have full access as a woman, but I️ do have some. And my business partner, Jack, has lots. With our combined access, we can create and hold space for those who don’t feel as welcome in this trade and expose them to less accessible aspects of the trade. And we need all the people who want to be here to stay in the industry. Katie “Bell” Williams / Hammer & Bell Design-Build
Transparency builds a really strong core. It’s important to let people understand where there are fires (problems) and let them see the fires, especially when they are tiny at first. You can’t just show people a burning building because they’ll be like, “Okay, I need to get out.” The small fires prepare you for the big ones. Will Patterson / PatCon Industries
It's hard for people who aren't visionary to see your vision. So, when you’re talking with, for example, finance people and bankers, they want concrete numbers—and that’s gonna be really hard to produce. If I could go back in time, I would discipline myself more.
If you’re not naturally drawn to that, get motivated and learn by listening to podcasts and reading bios on the companies that you admire. Read The Personal MBA. It’s boring business stuff, but I thought it was so fascinating because I needed to learn it. Marco Suarez / Methodical Coffee
A lot of times, founding entrepreneurs — like me — are a particular problem. They have emotional ties to the company they’ve started, so they get in the way. Sometimes the business has to become its own thing, and at some point, the founder has to take a role like CEO, which means you staying in your lane just like everyone else. You can’t just throw on the Owner Hat and trump people on a leadership team. That’s very hurtful and it actually dismantles the organization. Those kinds of things happen when the owner is feeling the weight. Jason Blumer / Blumer Associates
I've been meeting with a mentor for about eight years now, and no matter the problem, work or personal, it always comes down to the expectations you have for yourself, the expectations other people have for you, and the expectations they have for other people.
If there's a misalignment, then that's why we have the constant frictions. And that's normal, you know? It’s just life. It could be a negotiation for a thousand-dollar project, or it could be a negotiation for a million-dollar one: the foundation's still the same. Ramon Nieves Lugo / UniComm Media Group