When it comes to Cinebard Films, I can’t imagine attempting to make videos without my partner in adventure (and husband), Josh. We share a vision and a passion for what we do, and everyday that we work together we are building our future one video at a time.
It’s pretty cool when I stop and think about it.
But I wasn't always an advocate for partnering.
The words “group project" still send a chill down my spine.
Working with a partner can be scary. Your entire business is on the line — reputation, money, clients, communication, work quality — and you lose some control over all of those with a partner.
But the right partnership can make your business and creativity flourish, and that is never something to be afraid of.
So, what have I learned since becoming partners in video with Josh?
1. Direct communication is super important.
In a business, the ability to communicate frankly and take critiques as ways to improve (and not as personal attacks) is huge.
Running a business is not the time to be passive aggressive or play cutesy guessing games. Talking frankly takes tact and understanding on both sides, and can be difficult to master. But I cannot emphasize enough the importance of being able to speak plainly to your partner.
Direct communication is actually really helpful in a romantic relationship too, so I call this lesson a win-win.
2. You have to share the load.
Unapologetic LOTR fan here, but Sam had point: trust someone else to help.
The percentages of what you share will largely depend on what kind of business relationship you form, but you will inevitably be sharing work, money (including profits and losses), time, and responsibilities. Deciding upfront how these are going to be split between you and your partner is important (hello plainspeak!).
What you don’t necessarily think about is how to share the creation of your company’s reputation, and sharing in mistakes. If something goes wrong, you're both responsible. You want a partner you can trust to always have the reputation of your joint company at the front of their mind, and will do what they can to minimize and recover from mistakes.
Having a partner you can rely on will help you focus on what you do best for building your business.
3. Creating boundaries will save you.
A drawback of always being connected to the internet is that we are always available.
To stay sane, give yourself off-hours. If your business partner is also your life partner who you live with, you will spend A LOT of time together (which is awesome). But to keep your life relationship going strong, you need to know when to turn off your business relationship.
Maybe right when you wake up isn’t the time to ask if they started the day's to-do list yet. Wake up, have breakfast, enjoy just being together, and then start in on your work to-do list.
Did our solid relationship make us better business partners, or did having to run a business together make us better life partners? It’s sort of a chicken and the egg thing, so let's split the difference and just make some chicken waffles.
Having Josh as a life and business partner has made our work fun, inspired me to work harder, allowed me to fully embrace my creativity, and made us both want to keep following our dreams of making awesome videos, together.
So, I might still cringe at “group project,” but “partner?” Now that’s a word I like.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
As the co-founder of Cinebard Films, Amanda and her husband tell Pittsburgh stories with high quality video production and, most importantly, character. In her spare time she's a dancer, Hogwarts ambassador, and cat lady (when Zira allows it).