Incubators, Pregnancy and Partners … Evolving Into a New Paradigm of Business

I spent last week in Boulder at the Integral Incubator with Craig and 30 or so other integral focused folks incubating the next phase of their own evolution.

I emerged from the incubator pregnant with possibility, hope and a new project.

I’ll tell you more about the project here as time permits, but for now I want to focus on a couple of other things … 1) my new partner(!!!) (we are in a 3-month trial partnership while we engage in the agreement process) and 2) why you probably won’t see me as the sole owner of anything going forward.

(If you are champing at the bit to hear more about what Craig and I are giving birth to, you can subscribe to his Facebook using the new subscription function and check out the videos, pictures, and updates he has been posting about our process.)

In the meantime, drum roll please …. I have found the gal I think is the ideal partner for my LIFT, Money Map and Eyes Wide Open business!  I’m cautiously optimistic. 🙂

Her name is Rachel Rofe and as I was making my list of potential licensees/partners, she was one woman I hoped would show interest.

Lo and behold, Rachel’s email popped up in my inbox a few weeks ago after I wrote my post about the opportunity and now, just one month later, she has just about fully transitioned in her customer service team and moved our content onto her systems while we engage in this trial period partnership and dive into the agreement process.

And not a moment too soon, I tell ya!

When I look at the mess my company devolved into without the right leadership at the helm (I simply could not lead multiple businesses, be a mom, do my personal work, and maintain relationships with friends and family the way I want and the people I had in place unfortunately could not run things without me), it’s truly a miracle that it had the financial success and impact it did this year.

I have repeatedly experimented with exiting my businesses by leaving them in the hands of a team built to run the respective companies three times now and each time I have failed miserably.

While I so want to believe that a non-owner led team can carry on the work of the owner/founder (I mean they do it in the big companies, right?), that just has not proven to be the case for me.

People have said it’s because I have not been willing to fully trust and let go enough, but I don’t think that’s it because when I have fully trusted and let go, time and time again what I created crumbled without me driving things ahead.  This last debacle was a doozy.

And while I CAN drive, it’s simply not my zone of genius to do so.

So I’ve been on a mission to discover the source of my miss-takes.

When things go awry, I have been taught by one of my most favorite teachers, Reverend Michael Beckwith, that something is seeking to emerge and it’s my job to be aware of it and give birth to it.

So I have been asking myself for months what that might be and now that I have some hindsight, I believe it might be that what was pushing it’s way through and out was the realization that partnership is the evolutionary edge of the new paradigm.

Rather than trying to maintain a hierarchical structure in which I am the owner and people I pay are running the show, I am diving into a model in which I don’t need to be in control of anything except that which I am truly the very best at and instead choosing to bring in the right partners, so I can let go of the rest.

Yes, I’ll have to share the success.  And yes, partnership can be challenging and messy.  But, so is life.

So for now on, partnership in any and every business venture or endeavor I get into.  I feel zero draw to being the sole owner of anything anymore.

Entering into partnership can be scary.  Many folks will tell you to avoid it like the plague.

But I feel as if it’s the next phase of our (my) evolutionary development.

To be in partnership requires learning how to get along, work together, not have to own all of it, but instead sharing and together creating a bigger pie — it seems to me it’s what we need more than anything in this world right now.

And it’s not necessarily easy or even taught.

So here are a few things I’ve learned about partnership so far:

  1. Partner with people who have proven results, not potential (I’m notorious for falling in love with potential, but I’m entering into this partnership with a broader view — Rachel is a proven internet marketer);
  2. Partnership requires a high degree of self awareness, truthful communication with self and others and is best done with the support of a community, not in isolation (If you do not have a community to support your partnership, consider bringing in a third party advisor, such as a Creative Business Lawyer to support you);
  3. Setting clear boundaries with an open heart is not to be taken lightly, it may very well be the key to a continuing healthy partnership (boundaries can be challenging, but without them, resentment will likely build);
  4. Not only be willing to have the difficult conversations, demand it (the agreement process I’ve entered into with my new partner Rachel began with me inviting Rachel to share everything that might be hard to talk about);
  5. Take all feedback, critique, and even criticism with an open mind; take nothing personally, and before reacting in defense to a perceived attack, really consider what’s there that could be true before responding (hard, but necessary).

If you have additional partnership tips, please add them in the comments.  I am committed to making this partnership a success and would love to know if there is anything I’m overlooking as we build it.  Oh, and if you have not already gotten the evolutionary interviews we give away free here, do it now because with Rachel on board they will disappear very soon to be replaced by our next evolution.

1 Comment

  1. AnonymousWednesday, November 16, 2011 at 8:16 pm 

    I learned a lot from my experience with LLS and take responsibility for my part in the dissolution of our relationship.  I’m sorry that you think I “dumped” her when that was not the case at all.  I won’t go into specifics out of respect for LLS, but I can say that I feel resolved with what happened.  And regarding my dad, I did receive a lot of gifts from my dad, the most important ones — living a life of integrity and truth because I saw how not living in truth was painful to him and ultimately led to his early death.  The best thing my dad ever did is raise two daughters who learned from his life lessons.  One day I’ll write a book about it.

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