Lately, I’ve been trying to my eat lunch with either a friend of coworker each day. I got this advice from a great book called “Never eat alone“, my good friend Rollin recommended to me a few years ago. I only recently listened to the audiobook.
The book is about how to create and maintain business relationships. It has some hard and fast rules on how you should engage with business partners, ranging from throwing dinner parties, to positioning yourself in their line of travel.
Today while having lunch with my friend Alex, former artist for TOBlender.com. I was telling him about my next venture. In particular, I was complaining to him. I don’t usually complain, but since Alex is a world class problem solver, I decided to vent some of the frustrations I’ve been having in my businesses.
I think of myself as one of the best initiators I know. If I have an idea I just go with it. I can always think my way around obstacles of any size. I went on to say, that often times the only thing in my way is the lack of a motivated team to help execute the idea, and carry the ball when I get tired.
The moment I said this out loud to Alex, I came to the realization, that I was actually not as good at solving problems as I thought. The problem of forming a good reliable team is one I am unable to overcome to this date.
I’ve started over a dozen companies, ranging from 1 to 8 members. Every single time these ventures have ended up in failure. I either get tired of the venture and quit, sell it, or kick people off the team who were not pulling their weight. It feels like I am unable to find anyone who shares the same motivation and passion to get things done like me.
The founder of Wattpad.com, Allen Lau, actually gave me some good advice about partnerships. He told me that if you expect your partners to push and work as hard as you. You will only be disappointed. There is no such thing as equal partners, and measuring someone by your own standards is unrealistic. You just have to take what you can get, and make it work.
Though I know this advice, its quite hard for me to be this vulnerable. I don’t want to be taken advantage of, I really don’t like that feeling.
I’m reminded however of my other mentor Edwin Lun’s words. You may feel that your partners are not pulling their weight. But at the same time, your partners can be thinking the exact same thing of you. Everyone gets the feeling that things are unfair at some point. It’s impossible to please anyone 100% of the time. It is therefore vital to vent your feelings or you can rage out of the partnership.
As a result of my lunch today, I’ve decided to work on this aspect of myself. I have all the technical skills I need to start any company. I just need to get better at handling my insides. Build up security and once I have that security, I can share it with a good team.
My first steps towards getting more secure is to find a good book. I’m currently reading Daring Greatly.
Hopefully this is able to give me a framework I can use.