So what is it? What is the thing that helped shape my entrepreneurial career?
There was one particular day where I sat down and took time to look inward, which we all know is incredibly difficult, and put together a list of my strengths and weaknesses. I knew I had a dream to run my own business, but so far my business ventures where not “sticking”. The businesses I had created in the past were always based on a strong foundation, with a really unique concept. I had no fear in launching them, investing my time in them and creating all of the processes for success. But every time the business took off, I found myself slowly drifting from it. And I didn’t know why.
So, looking inward and trying to figure out what I could change or improve upon, I set out for creating a plan that would work WITH my strengths and WITH my weaknesses. I didn’t try to change anything, just become more self-aware. When I put it all down on paper, I had to face it head on and I couldn’t run away from it. I had no choice but to figure out a way to make it all work to my advantage. (That’s right, make your weaknesses work to your advantage, I said it.)
What did I discover? That I had an amazing skill at developing a streamlined way to run business logistics, I loved implementing and managing organization, I knew how to take calculated risks and I had a strong sense of creating an experience for others (whether that was for staff or for clients).
What were my weaknesses? Designing a business past maintaining the everyday process logistics, implementing long-term marketing strategies, taking risks that made me step outside of a safe box, and envisioning a business’ growth on a large-scale. Then you have your typical personality weaknesses: I worked best in a team environment, I *knew* I needed accountability for my best results, and I needed someone to push me beyond my safe space.
I came to the conclusion that I could only gain from aligning myself with a business partner, no matter what entrepreneurial avenue I took. That was my lightbulb moment. I knew that if I found someone who complemented my weaknesses, that something great could happen. I was holding myself back and I could thrive with someone who could see past what I couldn’t.
You’d think that the story started there, that this lightbulb moment triggered a series of events in a great and epic search – but that’s not this story. I created this big self-awareness moment, but then let life get busy and actually forgot! What I did do, is create a vibration for myself that manifested when it was the “right time”.
Six months later I stepped outside of my comfort zone and attended a Women’s Networking Event. That night, I met a woman who would literally change my life. We had a few coffee meetings, I took on a new job in the meantime, we met up a few more times and then like a wave it came all at once – She had an amazing idea for a business and I knew I could help. I jumped in with my entire being and before I knew it, we became partners and created magic together. And the kicker? She complemented ALL of my weaknesses, I complemented all of HER weaknesses! We were yin and yang. We understood each other just as we were. She was the accountability that I needed, the push that I needed, the companion that I needed and the visionary that I needed. What it took, most of all, where two people who were equally committed and equally ready.
When you have a partner, you have no choice but to show up everyday and push through everything, no matter what. For me, getting a partner has changed my entrepreneurial life and has brought so much clarity to what I can accomplish, by being aware of what I can’t. By accepting this for what it is, awareness lifted everything that was holding me back.
I started writing this thinking that gaining a partner was best business decision I ever made, but now I see that it was also accepting my weaknesses as they are.
–To Katie, Thank you for everything that you do.