Selecting a co-founder is one of the most important decisions you can make in your business. You’ll be tied to this person for many years and go through the best and worst times attached at the hip. Some say it’s like a marriage. I say it’s like a marriage, but you spend a lot more time together, and you make much harder decisions, and rather than a few kids you end up with dozens of employees.
Either way, here are the key considerations before tying the business knot with someone.
Determine your type of personal relationship.
Are you working side-by-side every day or checking in once a week? Are you grabbing drinks at the end of each day or having a partner lunch once a month? Either is fine so long as you’re on the same page and fulfilling each other’s needs.
Make sure the person is open minded.
One of the key tests for a potential co-founder is making sure they can put aside being right in order to do what’s best for the partnership. This can be tough when you’re looking for someone very technical and knowledgeable. This type of person can be brilliant, but if they have little EQ, they’ll be difficult to work with over the long haul. Being humble, open to new ideas, and willing to collaborate on decisions is key to making a successful co-founder.
Ensure an equal level of commitment.
You don’t need to agree to work 80-hour weeks or be in the office until 2am every day, but you want to ensure that both of you have similar commitment levels. If you both have families and want to be home by 5:30 each night, that’s fine, just make that known and agreed upon upfront.
Assess your own weaknesses and strength.
We all have strengths and weaknesses, it’s a life fact. The key is becoming aware of them and developing good strategies for leveraging strengths and mitigating weaknesses. Highly successful people have dialed this in and figured out where they excel and where they struggle; then they surround themselves with the right environment and right people.