I was reading an e-commerce merchant forum yesterday (forum was private so I won’t post a link here). There was a post by a woman in Brazil who was frustrated with her partner in the United States. It seems this business is still a new site and the US partner wants to take a two-week vacation. The partner in Brazil does not like this (understandably, this is a busy time of year for internet e-tailers) because she will be left to deal with all aspects of the business for two weeks — something she isn’t prepared to do. The partner in Brazil was very angry and upset. I won’t belabor the details of this poor woman’s strained partnership, but it does underscore some important points.
Starting a business is an endeavor in which hard work and sacrifice will be required. Vacations are part of a ‘job mentality’ rather than a business ownership mentality. Vacation? Hmm… I have not had one since I started my business. In that same forum, many merchants reported that (other than a long weekend here and there) they too have not had vacations since they started their businesses. One merchant who had been in business a while said it was 6 years before she was able to take some time off. So if you want vacations, you’ll need to examine this and decide if a home-based business will really be right for you.
Another important point here is about choosing partners wisely. Partnerships might include the people who perform outsourced services (these kinds of partnerships can usually be severed easily). However here I’m speaking about an actual business partner who owns a stake in the business. Both partners should not only want the business to work, but should be willing to WORK to make it work. A lot of people want but fewer people will do what it takes to achieve their goals. Getting the partner’s expectations out on the table up front can red flag some of these realities in advance.
What about you? Can you comment on relationship issues with your business partner(s)?