One of the biggest obstacles to growth is the inability or unwillingness to partner. It’s a hindrance I really get. Finding the right business partner is like finding the right life partner, a rare thing that takes us on an extensive search both internally and outwardly. More often than not a heap of mistakes are made along the way resulting in heartbreak, loss of confidence, confusion and mistrust. So why keep trying? There is only one reason, and that is that the reward is so great it is worth all the trouble and failed attempts to get there.
So let’s chat about why partnership is great, who makes the perfect partner and how to find them.
Why Partnership is Great:
Partnership is great because we all have different strengths and weaknesses.
In order to reach our full potential we must at some point stop trying to be everything to everybody and acknowledge who we are and more importantly who we aren’t. By its nature, having a strength means we are lacking in its opposite. For instance, if you are a great listener, that is a skill that many wish they had, but it may mean you don’t speak up, assert yourself, tell your story. Another example is this. You may work fast (a fantastic ability) but it may mean you sometimes miss things or slip up. The right partner fills in those gaps.
Another reason for trudging through the hard times to find a good partner is the wealth of resources they bring to the table.
Each human is like a mini world. Connecting well with just one will open the door to their circles of many. Think of all the people you know and the people they know. It goes on and on. In finding one right partner, you inherit 100+ people and all their skill sets, knowledge and connections. Think of these folks as in-laws who want to come to the table and support the newest member of their family… you!
The third and perhaps the greatest reason for choosing partnership is the way it opens your vision. I’ll share my own story as an example. I founded a non-profit called Three and a Half Acres about five years ago. Before that my experience in business was running my yoga studio Land Yoga which I am the sole owner of. At Land Yoga I always made all the decisions on my own. Nonprofits don’t work that way. There is a board of directors who are involved in all the decision making. I had to learn to work a different way. It still happens that just about every time we meet there is a board member who makes a suggestion that I have the instinct to say no to just because it’s not what was in my vision. I’ve worked alone for so many years that it’s my habit to make quick decisions and give a definitive no when a suggestion comes my way that doesn’t match my very clear and singular vision. Now I’ve learned to hold that “no” back in my mouth. Instead I think about why I chose that board member, their expertise and experience. I try to see the vision they have in their head and when I do their suggestion makes total sense. Sometimes I realize that their vision is much more inline with where the organization should be going. Then I open up my view to align with theirs. A partner can see things which are hidden to us because of our programming and limitations. When we form in partnership we get to work through that and double our vision. Sometimes we even get triple vision: ours, theirs, and the one we create together.
Who Makes the Perfect Partner:
The first thing to remember is that there is no perfect partner, only the perfect partner for YOU. Find someone who can compliment your strengths with their opposite strengths, who sees a different perspective but one you respect, who can open circles, bring resources and most importantly who you can lean on trust and communicate well with. You are going to need excellent communication skills when things get tough and they will get tough. If you’ve chosen well, you’ve chosen someone different from you. That means disagreements will happen maybe a lot of them, major ones. You’ll need a deep respect for your partner and a clear process for decision making. Sound familiar? Partnering in business is very much like partnering in love.
To identify the qualities you are seeking in a partner, do a self assessment first. Here are some questions to ask yourself.
Write your answers down so you can see them on paper and gain greater clarity.
- What is my biggest strength?
- What are some of my blind spots?
- What kind of energy would balance mine best?
- What skills am I lacking that I could use in a partner?
- What cultural awareness could I use strengthening in?
Journal extensively on this question:
- Where do I see myself going and who is the person I need in my life that will help me get there?
How I Can Find My Perfect Partner:
Finding the right person or persons to partner with for a project or to grow your business doesn’t have to be stressful.
Start by answering the questions above and putting out there that you are “in the market”.
Talk to people about your perfect match. Wherever you are, keep an open ear for the right find. Don’t go exclusive right away. Date around. Try out different partnerships gently in low risk, low commitment projects before jumping in to a long term, legally binding situation.
We’ve all had that love at first sight situation which turned out to be more lust than love and ended up blowing up in our face. That can happen with business partnerships as well. Go slowly and build trust and communication grounding your relationship for a healthy fruitful future.
Resist the urge to pick a partner because others think they are important or of a certain status.
I speak from experience when it comes to going down this road. Choosing a partner because you think they have clout or because other people seem to like them on Instagram will not end you in a happy situation. Remember that no one is as they appear online and that there is no perfect partner, only the perfect partner for you.
Finally, remember that however careful you are with your picker, mistakes in partnership happen. Be ready to exit if and when the time calls for it and always get into any partnership with a plan for how to get out of it.
Are you working on partnership in your life? Share your experience and if any of these tips helped you in the comments below or send the blog to someone else who is!
If there is one secret I know about life it’s to show up for it. Even if you are not ready, unsure, and frightened as hell, you will always prosper in some way from showing up even if it’s to learn your lesson for next time. Growth will never come from hiding.
My commitment to showing up was the beginning of a major shift in my life, one which has continued to reveal ongoing benefits. One great thing about learning to show up is it gets easier and easier each time until you don’t have to think about it at all.
One day you realize that you are just naturally in the muddy mix of your life and you can’t believe there was a time you chose to stand on the sidelines.
Here are 3 simple ways to start showing up more in your life and gaining the immediate benefits of engagement:
- Say “yes”. Shonda Rhimes Book Year of Yes is a great one to read if you have a tendency to say no to things and want to make a shift. Forcing yourself to attend parties, meetings, and events is a real necessary and level one part of showing up. Start saying “yes” to invitations (even the challenging ones) or they’ll stop arriving. Risk being uncomfortable for the reward of being present.
- Quit the snarkiness. Snarkiness, sarcasm and judgement are ways of disengaging. They keep you outside the story. Drop them and get inside where the mess of life happens. That’s next level showing up. You’ll never be fully in your life if you’re always judging how others are living theirs. You will never understand the tough choices people make until you are busy making your own.
- Dissent. Showing up means bringing all of yourself, even if that means towing unpopular opinions. Share them and let yourself be known for all that you are. This is the highest level of showing up. It involves bringing all of yourself, even the dark, quirky, and strange parts into the room. When you can show up in this way and be accepted you know you are in the right circles. You’ve found your people and you’ve found you.
Which level of showing up are you and how could you level up your ability to show up this summer? What do you find the most difficult and most rewarding aspects of showing up? Take the time to reflect on how you are showing up in all aspects of your life and relationships. Share your stories in the comments below!
Who wouldn’t want to reduce stress? Stress is the leading cause for heart disease, gastrointestinal problems, headaches, weight gain, and premature aging. It can lead to anxiety, depression, and completely dismantle our lives and yet we are largely lost as to how to combat it and often even how to see and acknowledge it.
Most of us don’t notice our stress until it has debilitated us, taking out our backs, locking up our necks, or giving us a horrible stomach ache. Once we have let the stress go that far, it is hard to bring down. A great help to managing our stress and reducing our chances of chronic illness would be to notice it sooner.
You can learn to notice the first signs of stress in your body by checking in with yourself throughout the day. Ask yourself, “how is my breathing?” If it seems shallow, short, locked up in any way, that could be a sign the body is under some stress. Quickened breath is also a clue. Look for breath position. Is it high in the chest (stress sign) or low in the belly? If breath quality/location is hard for you to access, you can check in with your vocal tone. A stressed body will often produce a high, airy voice and a calm one a full round sound.
Go ahead and check your breathing rate and position and vocal quality now! What do you notice?
Observing your breath is the quickest way to reduce your stress instantaneously. Choose a spot you feel your breath the most, like your nose, chest or belly and just watch as it comes and goes. You don’t have to do a thing. Simply observing is an art which has enormous impact. Many will tell you to deepen or lengthen your breathing. I would say to just watch. We are so quick to make adjustments but our systems know what to do to run most calmly and efficiently if we only get out of their way. Learn to be with what is and your body will thank you.
Get in the habit of observing your breathing multiple times throughout the day. You should see an immediate reduction in your stress level each time and a cumulative decrease in your stress level over time. If it helps you can even set an alarm for checking in with your breath every hour until it becomes second nature. This simple act will have a profound impact on the quality of your life and could even save it. Nothing should be stopping you from starting today.
You will find in time that you don’t even have to remind yourself to observe your breath. You will do so regularly and naturally as needed, re-regulating your system and finding peace in the moments of being one with this most subtle of human acts.
“I wish I had your discipline”
is something I hear so regularly it got me thinking. It’s said as if it is something I inherited from parental dna and not actually what it is, something I learned, nurtured, and refined. I want to answer, “You could” but it’s always clapped back with “I’ve tried” “I just don’t have it”. That defeatist attitude finally drove me to write this blog and lay out once and for all how you too can grow your discipline to equal or even beyond mine.
10 Simple Steps to Becoming More Disciplined Today:
- Break down each task/goal. Avoid overwhelmment by making a list of what you want to achieve and breaking down each task/goal into its smallest components. Commit to which tasks you can do in a given time period and put each one in your calendar treating them as any other important appointment. Consider that things will almost always take longer than planned and build in lots of room for set backs so when those obstacles happen they are already accounted for.
- Shut down distractions. Multi tasking is so 2010. 2019 is all about putting full focus into one thing at a time and refusing to allow any distractions in. Before you sit down to work on any item on your to do list, make sure you are ready to be fully present. Shut off ringers and close open tabs especially but not only those related to social media. Refuse to be reactionary. You do not have to respond to calls/texts/emails every minute. They will be there when you emerge from your task.
- Set a timer. One of the best ways to train discipline is to set a time frame for working on one task or project and commit to staying on task until that time is up. This may feel really uncomfortable and challenging at first but this will pass as you train yourself to stay with tasks through the urges to run. You will build a unique and powerful inner strength and discover how much you can accomplish when you refuse to dilute your focus.
- Take the questioning out of it. Decide in advance that once you create your plan of action, it can not be negotiated after. Know that there will be voices in your head suggesting otherwise and be prepared to actively ignore them. This will become easier with time as those voices tend to back down when they are not attended to. When you are very advanced at discipline you may be able to adjust your schedule/make acceptions after creating it, but in the beginning when you are building self discipline you should not allow for any alterations or rationalizations for why something can not be done.
- Do not wait for inspiration or to feel like it. It’s a dangerous myth that one has to be inspired or moved to get work done. Have a day you’re not feeling into it? Do the work anyway. That’s the pro level. Everyone thinks inspiration leads to action but few realise the greater truth that action leads to inspiration. That’s your edge.
- Re-write your why every day. In the My Bliss Book planner there is a place to do this on every page. Remembering your big picture and why you started and keeping that vision clear and present each day is going to make taking all the actions you need to take to get there so much easier.
- Think long term. Train your mind to visualize the long term payoffs of discipline. See clearly where you will be when it all comes together. Draw it. Write about it. Put it up on your wall if that helps. Make a commitment to choose this reward over and over again against immediate pleasures and gratification. Prepare for temptation by practicing seeing yourself resist temptations that have diverted you in the past. Rehearse in your mind exactly how you will respond moving forward.
- Remember that you are an adult. The train has left the station and the time to get it right is running out. Take responsibility for your actions, lack of action, mistakes, and setbacks. Refuse to blame others when you fall behind. Grab hold of your life the future you desire.
- Award good behavior. Celebrate all successes, even the small ones. Award yourself with anything you want except by giving yourself slack when it comes to discipline or by allowing bad habits. Buy yourself a treat. Congratulate yourself verbally, in a journal, to friends and family. Bask in the richly rewarding feeling of getting things done. You will call upon and remember that feeling in the future when you have doubts and it will fuel your continued growth in self discipline
- Get support. Don’t try to do it alone. Find a friend or an accountability buddy that will help you to stay on track by checking in on you each week. Choose that tough love friend who doesn’t let you get away with lying to or shorting yourself. Just telling another person your goals will provide you with that extra pressure to come through.
Do you relate to any of these tips? Tell me which ones you’ll be using in the comments below and share you have other self-discipline techniques that have helped you.