Lesson 3 – Hold Hands and Stick Together
A good partnership is hard to find. Loretta and I are very grateful that we have each other to lean on, rely on, learn from and vent with.
It is a daunting task opening a business and to have someone with skills and ideas that enhance your own is a blessing. Loretta is the Yin to my Yang and together we have found a groove that gets things done.
When we decided to go ahead with opening Vin Gogh, the first thing we discussed was our friendship and how we could protect it through what would prove to be a very rewarding but very stressful process.
We came up with three things right from the start that worked for us and continue to work for us:
- weekends were for family and friends (until the doors opened at least); we spent almost every day of the week together and were very productive but were smart to realize that ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’; we had very productive weekdays and took a break on the weekends
- we had regular meetings (yes, even though we were together almost everyday talking about the business all the time); we felt it was important to sit across the table from each other, look each other in the and check in to see how we as individuals, as friends and as new partners were doing; no business talk; just feelings; sometimes we laughed and sometimes we cried; but all those times we held hands and stay connected
- we quickly recognized our own and each others’ strengths and allowed each other to gravitate to and lead what we are good at; (turns out I don’t have patience for bureaucracy) if we were both weak in the same area, we worked on it together or asked for help
The doors of Vin Gogh Paint and Sip Studio officially opened on October 15, 2014 exactly 13 months and 2 days after we decided to go for it. We can honestly say that our friendship is not only intact but stronger and better than ever.
Now, we just need to remind ourselves to continue to do our ‘three things’ as we enter phase two of the business – operating and growing it.