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10 questions every entrepreneur should ask before partnering up


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Owning your own business can be its own reward: more independence, more flexibility, and even more financial control. No wonder so many women are teaming up to launch passion projects. If you’re thinking of creating a business partnership, look to spiritual empowerment coach and Well+Good Council member Kelsey Patel. An experienced entrepreneur herself, she’s learned a few lessons along the way—and she’s sharing the questions she asks herself before starting any new partnership. They’ll help you, too.

Getting into business with anyone can bring great opportunity, satisfaction, and reward. On the flip side, starting a partnership with someone who isn’t aligned with you or doesn’t share your values can result in losses, undesired consequences, and even failed friendship. It’s a lesson you’d rather not learn the hard way.

While some people may be willing to almost entirely base a business relationship on a potential partner’s zodiac sign and its compatibility to yours—I’m right there with you! I do consider someone’s astrology sign in many of my important and personal working relationships—there are other important characteristics to consider that go far beyond that astrological intel.

Here are some questions to consider when choosing your next business partner, employee, colleague, or creative collaborator.

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1. Do they get your vision, talents, and abilities—and respect your business philosophy?

2. Do you respect them and their value and shared talents?

3. Are they someone who makes you feel more stressed or less stressed when you’re with them?

4. Are they just like you? Or do they challenge you to think bigger or help you with elements you’re not good at (e.g., are you good with money or do they excel in finances)?

5. Would they pick up a piece of garbage on the floor of your business because it’s a kind and helpful thing to do or just walk away? Would they change the toilet paper roll when it’s empty? These are serious questions; the answers say a lot about a person!

6. Consider your own top five personal priorities (e.g., family, health, travel, new moons, learning reiki, weekends off, a sale at Barneys, et cetera).

7. Are they willing to support the things that are important to you and respect/assist you in pursuing or taking care of them?

8. Do they seem to really listen to you, or are they just pushing their own projects, work, and to-do lists?

9. Are they flaky or reliable? Will they take responsibility for themselves and their work?

10. Have you both discussed what is expected from one another in this business relationship?

As someone who has been a multi-unit business owner, entrepreneur, teacher, creative collaborator, silent business partner, and more, I’ve come to this conclusion: We’re all different. We all have unique ways of working, creating, and communicating. When our individual talents and contributions are respected, our core values are aligned, and our communication is open, amazing things can get accomplished.

For me, working with people who are kind, supportive, passionate, dedicated, trustworthy, and simply willing to show up with joy for their work is one of the greatest gifts in business.

Kelsey Patel headshot
Photo: Courtesy of Kelsey Patel

Kelsey Patel is a sought-after spiritual empowerment coach, yoga teacher, reiki healer, and meditation teacher. She is also the creator and founder of Magik Vibes, a soul-enhancing lifestyle brand, the resident reiki instructor for Soho House, and a head teacher at The DEN Meditation and Unplug Meditation in Los Angeles. Kelsey has been featured in  publications such as US WeeklyHarper’s Bazaar, and The New York Times.

Make 2018 your healthiest, happiest, and richest yet—with a little help from Well+Good’s (Re)New Year program!