Before we make those grand plans for 2014, take a moment to consider this: how much of what you want for next year is based on what you didn’t get last year?
If your goals for 2014 are completing something you began in 2013, there might be a very good reason why you didn’t get it done this year. Was it to do with a lack of time? Perhaps unrealistic expectations? Unreliable partners who let you down? Maybe a poor balance between personal life and business priorities?
Whatever the reasons are, wouldn’t it be great knowing you’re going into the new year without making the same errors again? Not only that, how about making plans for 2014 without the baggage of the things, people, finance problem, etc. that held you back in the past twelve months?
Walking away from 2013 takes more than simply leaving the past behind and hoping it fades into the background. It doesn’t. We come across the same challenges, bump into the same people or have to repair financial deficits. Ideas Genius suggests some practical ways of moving forward while locking the past in the past.
Of course finance is important. Cash flow is the life blood of any business, and chasing payment (ultimately, not getting paid) is a pain in the… assets.
However a lot of entrepreneurs say you have to be willing to work for free or next to nothing when you’re starting a business. So what do you do when you find yourself in that situation where you’re doing work without getting paid? Even if you are working speculatively, you’re committing your valuable time and expertise which is worth something. We think you could consider the following 3 ways of getting the best from the situation.
There was once a businessman who was sitting by the beach in a small Brazilian village.
As he sat, he saw a Brazilian fisherman rowing a small boat towards the shore having caught quite few big fish. The businessman was impressed and asked the fisherman, “How long does it take you to catch so many fish?”
The fisherman replied, “Oh, just a short while.”
“Then why don’t you stay longer at sea and catch even more?”
The businessman was astonished.
“This is enough to feed my whole family,” the fisherman said.
The businessman then asked, “So, what do you do for the rest of the day?”
The fisherman replied, “Well, I usually wake up early in the morning, go out to sea and catch a few fish, then go back and play with my kids. In the afternoon, I take a nap with my wife, and evening comes, I join my buddies in the village for a drink — we play guitar, sing and dance throughout the night.”
The businessman offered a suggestion to the fisherman.
“I am a PhD in business management. I could help you to become a more successful person. From now on, you should spend more time at sea and try to catch as many fish as possible. When you have saved enough money, you could buy a bigger boat and catch even more fish. Soon you will be able to afford to buy more boats, set up your own company, your own production plant for canned food and distribution network. By then, you will have moved out of this village and to Sao Paulo, where you can set up HQ to manage your other branches.”
The fisherman continues, “And after that?”
'Never stop being creative. Your success depends on it.'
"Hardship often prepares an ordinary person for an extraordinary destiny" - CS Lewis
It’s a common cliché that no two relationships are the same. This is true for both our business and our personal lives. Your partnership with one person can be more effective than with someone else. This blog breaks down some of the ways in which people work together.
I’m going to keep the jargon down to a minimum and use everyday illustrations to really spell it out. In my observation, there are 5 primary types of relationships:
1. The Fork and Knife
In this kind of relationship, both Fork and Knife split the work and address what needs to be done together. They both sell tickets, or run the event, or paint the hallway or make the cupcakes. This relationship is about many hands making the work lighter or easier. Yes, one could do it by themselves (I have on occasion tackled a piece of meat with just a fork) but working together gets the job done better. One might have an advantage in a particular area i.e. access to a different kind of resource or audience. Overall what they want to achieve is the same thing.
2. The Ball and Bat
This is often the kind of relationship mentors have with their mentees or coaches have with clients. The Bat gives the Ball energy to go further than it could have under its own ability. In this type of partnership, the Bat and Ball don’t make the same journey. They are essentially independent until they come together. It’s only when they come into contact, that the power happens - not independently, but through their exchange.
3. The Ball and Glove
This is similar to the Ball and Bat partnership and is seen in cricket or baseball. The Glove helps the Ball connect to the right stumps or base. The Ball travels a vast distance but it’s the Glove that catches it, gets it to the right place and makes the journey worthwhile. This type of relationship is common for creative people who can have 101 ideas a minute and need more strategic partners to make a business out of the idea.
4. The Spade and Bucket
The old school ‘bringing home the bacon’ analogy - when one of the team brings in a lump sum and another apportions it to what needs to be taken care of. The role of both parties is handling resources but in different capacities. I know a great fundraiser who can generate money for whichever course she chooses. Her partner takes those resources and manages the account that needs to be done. The Spade may seem more dynamic but the Bucket can handle more than the Spade could by itself. In fact, it can handle more than one Spade.
5. The Panties and Bra
Sometimes the same method cannot be used to cover the essentials. This is the idea of the Panties and Bra relationship. They both cover different areas yet can be identified as a matching pair. They do not do the same job and are not interchangeable They have fundamentally different ways of working. However without one or the other, things can be left exposed.
These are the five broad areas in understanding the kinds of partnerships you may have to negotiate. It is important that you know what is best for your situation.
However you see yourself, once you get what makes your partnership work (or not), you’ll be able to improve on it to get the best out of it for both of you.
For more insights on working relationships, contact firstname.lastname@example.org and follow us on Twitter @ideasgenius.
'What would you do if you weren't afraid?' c/o @egoellamay