Jonathan's coming with the very soft clap, the very gentle clap, the very soft clap.
Somebody's going to have to explain to me what the hell that means.
Hey, it's Marie Forleo, and you are watching MarieTV. The place to be to create a business and life you love. This, yes, today, this is Q&A Tuesday.
Today's question comes from a lovely lady named Natalie. Natalie writes, "Hi Marie, first off, I love, love, love your show. You are so funny and fun," thank you so much, "I have a Q looking for your A. I'm a holistic health coach. I just graduated last week, and I'm officially starting my business this October. I'll be moving to Los Angeles from Seattle, and I'm thinking of getting into business with my best friend who is also a health coach and currently lives there. We both bring different things to the table. I'm big into marketing and PR, and he already has a network in LA and is a social media maniac. I just don't want to dilute my brand before I even get going by teaming up. Is it ever a good idea to team up right at the start?
I also know our work ethics aren't exactly the same. I'm a super Sagittarius. When I want something, I go after it full force. He's less ambitious and has already told me he plans on working less than six hours a day. I love him and I want to work with him, but not sure if teaming up is such a good idea. If we do team up, do you have any suggestions of things we should discuss before making this partnership official? If we don't, do you have suggestions for other ways we can work together? Thanks so much. So lucky to have stumbled upon MarieTV. XO, Natalie."
Natalie, that is a fantastic and very big Q that we are going to A the crap out of right now, so strap yourself in. Here's the deal. Most people jump into business partnerships way too fast, and they wind up paying the price for it down the road, emotionally and financially.
You asked if it's a good idea to ever partner up as you're getting going. Now, of course, there's a lot of businesses that are very successful that have been partnerships from the get-go. And there's a lot of other businesses who have partnered up in the beginning and have blown up and gone terribly wrong. So the thing you need to ask yourself is this, do you want to partner up because you really want to partner up, it's the best thing to do? Or are you afraid that you're not going to be able to make it on your own?
Based on how you asked your Q, I think you already know the answer to this one, that partnering is not such a great idea in this circumstance. But let's dig a little bit deeper, because I saw two red flags in your question.
Red flag number one, different work ethics. Getting any business off the ground takes an enormous amount of work over an extended period of time. So 12 to 16 hour days, especially in the beginning, are not uncommon. You told me that your friend is a little less ambitious and that he's only planning on working less than six hours a day. God bless. And you're a full force kind of gal. So right off the bat, that's a huge red flag. I don't think that that would work out very well.
Second red flag is diluting your brand. One of the things you mentioned is that you want to build your own personal brand. Now, if you partner up right from the get-go, you're not really building your brand, you're building the partnership's brand. That can be a really difficult thing to extract yourself from later down the road. So if your truest desire is to build your own personal wellness brand empire that's based around you, again, I would not suggest partnering up right at the beginning.
You also asked that if you guys do team up, do I have any suggestions about what you should discuss before you make the partnership official. Lord, do I. Here's the thing. If you're going to go into partnership with anyone, you need, what I call, a business prenup. This is a legal document that explains exactly what's going to happen if one of you wants to leave the partnership or God forbid, one of you dies.
Here's something I want you to remember, and yes, it's a tweetable. The best partnerships handle the worst case scenarios in advance. You have to think through the worst case scenarios in advance, just like intimate relationships. At first, everything is awesome. Everybody loves each other. You're like, "We're never going to disagree about anything." But even in the best relationships, challenges come up and yes, sometimes you want to leave or you want the other person to leave. Bye-bye.
If that day comes, you both need to understand exactly how to deal with the assets of the business. How will you split profits and handle liabilities? Who gets ownership of your customer list, mailing list, websites, intellectual property, any equipment, the processes and systems you've built, the graphics, branding, photo assets, et cetera? You have to have all of this agreed upon from the get-go. It's the responsible thing to do for your business and for your friendship.
Now, here's the thing, Natalie, you and your friend can still leverage each other's strengths to help grow your businesses without going into business together. One idea is you guys can just mastermind. You can meet up once every two weeks. You spend an hour working on his business, devoting all of your best ideas to help him. Then you switch and you guys spend the next hour working on your business and he helps you.
Another option is for you guys to send each other the business overflow. If you're fully booked up, you can send him clients. If he's fully booked up, he can send you clients.
Natalie, that is my A to your Q. Thank you so much for asking it. Good luck on your new life in Los Angeles. Please let us know how it goes.
Now I want to hear from you. Have you ever gone into business with a friend? Did it work or not so much? Either way, I bet you got some valuable lessons, some dos and don'ts that you wish someone would've told you at the get-go.
As always, the best stuff happens over at marieforleo.com. So go there now, leave me a comment and tell me all about it.
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Wow. That slit, huh? Wow. I'm styling myself, taught by Elsa. My feet are happiest in flip flops. I'm going to stay on my game. Listen, folks, no bloopers this time. I was just really good, all right? Deal with it.