In November I left New Jersey and flew cross-country to Washington State for two reasons.
The first was to teach an Access Consciousness Bars class. (Which was SUPER. You can read more in this post: New Business Adventures.)
The second was to spend some in-person time with LeeAnn Gibbs. LeeAnn and I have been exploring and playing with the idea of working together and creating a business partnership for over a year.
Our time together was fun and creative. We laughed every day. (A very positive sign!)
We also got some work done. The majority of our time together was spent creating a partnership charter and doing some business brainstorming and planning.
The partnership work we did was based on the book The Partnership Charter: How To Start Out Right With Your New Business Partnership (or Fix The One You’re In) by David Gage.
Some of the question we played with which are based on this book were:
- What do I need or want in order to feel successful?
- What are my fears related to the business or partnership?
- What are my limitations at work?
- What are all the things I think I can contribute to the partnership?
- What are all of the things I want out of being a partner in this business?
- What are all the things I think my partner will contribute to the partnership?
- What are all the things I think my partner wants out of being a partner in this business?
We also talked money, which can often be an uncomfortable or taboo subject, but absolutely essential when forming a business partnership (or even a personal, intimate relationship).
Some other topics we explored together included our personal values and our overall business vision and mission. We also talked about roles and goals, basically who would do what and when over the next few weeks and in the future.
Then we started brainstorming project ideas.
When we were all done we had giant post-it notes hanging all over the place. We had so much fun. (Unfortunately we had so much fun I forget to take any pictures to document our time together.)
Working together like this gave us an opportunity to experience what it would be like to work as partners.
We have very different, but complimentary styles of working. LeeAnn thinks and processes ideas verbally through collaborative conversations. I think and process best by writing but I also thrive on the give and take of verbal brainstorming, trading ideas, and feeding off the synergistic energy of creation. We both do.
In addition to using a variety of colorful Sharpies and giant post-it’s, we also hooked my laptop up to the television using an HDMI cable. As we talked and brainstormed, I typed and captured our ideas in the moment. It was fun, creative, exciting and productive. By the time I left at the end of the week, we had a pretty good idea what it would be like to work and create together. We also had an action list of things we both would be working on over the next few weeks and months.
Taking the time to work through the partnership charter, to get to know one another better and to actually begin working together has helped create the foundation for our business and partnership. It’s giving us both a chance to do what we each do best and to create something that is bigger and better than any one thing we could create on our own.
If you are curious about what we are doing, well, that’s a post for another day. Stay tuned.