The Importance of a Great Partner in Life and Business

Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan, Gary Vaynerchuk and Lizzie Vaynerchuk, Sandile and Zodwa Zungu (Rest in Peace, Mam’ Z); Chris Sacca and Crystal English. The former in each of these couples is a dominant, world-renowned businessperson. The latter, in their respective ways are, also dominant, world-renowned business people.

Who is "with" you?

Each of these business gods has had with them, goddesses by their sides since they began on their paths of greatness. I find it fascinating, the fact that, if one always looks at successful women or men, they have been married to the same person long before they became the dominant person that they are. It says something about consistency and the importance of a great support system.

During an internship, I said to a boss that I was unsure of my girlfriend’s ability to keep up with my lack of being around, due to my hustling -- not for a lack of patience or support or anything of that nature, but more on the intensity side of things.

What is the typical timeframe for success?

You see, a lot of people believe that they can support the (if we are honest with ourselves) selfish hustle that a partner is on. And they can -- but only for about five months or so. After a while, say, before the results start coming in, most of the support system or partners leave. It is a grueling time for all people concerned with the relationship -- business or otherwise. Only after a couple of years on the hustle, does the hustler become successful. My boss said to me, “If she supports you and understands you, you do not have anything to worry about.”

My lucky story. How will you work on your luck?

Granted, we had only been dating for around six months at the time. I have known her since my first year in undergrad. But as you know, dynamics change when you begin dating as opposed to just being friends. A solid six months later, at this typing, we are approaching the one year mark. She has seen me through two more internships (during school!) and countless other events. I have also seen her through various goals and/or achievements that she set out to get.

The truth is...

The same rings true for the above-mentioned (and almost every other) couple. Even if you are divorced, or separated, at some point your partner was a good influence on you in some respects. And that is the magic of great partners. This not only applies to one’s personal life, but also to one's business life.

David Ebersman, David Wehner, and Sheryl Sandberg, have developed alongside Mark Zuckerberg, the behemoth that is Facebook, today. Belinda Johnson and Brian Chesky have also, together, made Airbnb the colossus of a company that is today. Sandberg has been with Zuckerberg from 2009, Johnson with Chesky since 2011.

In 2017, Facebook and Airbnb have reached unimaginable heights, Facebook becoming an acquisition beast of note, with noble buys like Oculus VR, Whatsapp, amongst others. In all of these situations, the CFO was a key partner, guiding Zucks and Co. Same with Belinda Johnson and all the regulatory obstacles that Airbnb may have faced, and still continue to face to this day.

Is uncertainty guiding your future?

In business, and in life, there is a tendency for entrepreneurs to "go it alone," for great lengths of time. Or they may delay the introduction of someone into their life or business, for fear of uncertainty. Entrepreneurs (or hustlers, whichever you prefer), by their very nature have an incessant need to be in control of something -- because so much of their lives and business seem as if they don't have control for a time. 

An entrepreneur knows and believes in the depths of their vision for their company. Finding other people that have the same level of intensity and/or drive often proves to be extremely difficult. Entrepreneurs have a resilient nature and the ability to face rejection and disappointment head-on. 

Searching for a business partner. Searching for a personal relationship.

When looking for partners, whether it be in personal relationships or for the business, many entrepreneurs seem to be willing to go through more trauma and test more than the average number of person's to find the correct fit. It is well known that incompatible founders can lose the business more quickly than the entrepreneur who is a problem solver. 

However, once the entrepreneur finds a person with whom everything clicks and the feeling and compatible nature of both the personal and business side match a fairly quick an accurate decision can be made. The relief one has when finding another like-minded soul is immeasurable. But the value that you create together and for one another, and in the cases above, for the world, is life-changing.

Don't settle.

Often times, people accept sub-par (to their own standards) people, because they have something that breeds complacency for the other person, but not a healthy relationship. This manifests itself in the form of "talented assholes." 

Occasionally people will stay together in relationships, because one cooks, or the other "looks hot, and I probably won’t find someone else that makes me look good in front of my family/friends." Some entrepreneurs hit this point when they become tired of the loneliness -- because, let's face it, it's often lonely. It's a tough road trying to hold up the pressure all by yourself day after day and year after year.

Stay close to your original goal for business life and for your personal life. 

The value created in situations such as these, is nil. For the immediate future, there may be some benefit. But in a business, as in life, you need to make sure you find the right partner. Only by becoming as close to being sure about this decision as possible will you be able to ensure success. Success does not have to be worldwide domination, but it does have to live up to what you and said partner/s have envisioned for the future. 

Find "compatible" for both types of relationships. 

Find the right person, even if it means being lonesome for the longest time. Of course, in business, if the "talented asshole" has what you need for success at this time, you may have to utilize their "ass-sets" for a time. But as soon as you can, find somebody else with whom you can create genuine value for your business and also one who can help you in your business and as a life partner. Find compatible.