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Every wannapreneur story is difficult. Almost every wannapreneur looks for a co-founder.Choosing a co-founder is kind of like choosing a life mate. Your future success, happiness, and fortune depend on the person you tap for the job. Often, your co-founder will present himself naturally in the rush of daily work. Other times, you’ll have to look hard for the right person. Here are the traits that I consider to be important in a co-founder.
Alignment of Values
"Everything changes except the character of a person.
Product ideas, market description, and even founder competencies change over time. Character (what someone deeply values) changes at a comparatively very slow or rare pace.
The diversity of gender, age and training can lead to higher team performance. In contrast, a similarity of values makes almost every individual of team performance harder to grasp.
For example, agreeing on objectives becomes extremely hard if two co-founders value different objectives. "
Passion for the Venture
"While you'll develop the necessary skills, connections, and experience by working in the startup, passion is not something that can be manufactured. It takes a lot of dedication to pushing past the mistakes and errors necessary in a new company, and without passion for the business, it is easy to lose sight of your goals.
This is even more critical with a co-founder because if you feel that your partner has lost interest and is already looking for another business or challenge, then it can sink the company even faster. "
Skills That Complement Yours
You don’t want your co-founder to be an exact image of yourself. While it might be appealing to everyone out together about the same things, you want someone who has a different skillset.
· ⇔ If you’re a programmer, she should be a marketer.
· ⇔ If you’re a designer, he should be a developer.
· ⇔ If you’re an introvert, she should be an extrovert.
Look to the future of the business when you consider complementary skills. If,
for example, you’re willing of selling a product to the Latino community, you should find someone with the ability to speak Spanish or who has some experience in a Spanish-speaking market.
If you know that you’ll need funding, find someone who can speak flawlessly and persuade effectively.
One way of choosing a co-founder is the “one builds, one sells” approach. One of the co-founder duties is to be responsible for building the product. The other co-founder is responsible for selling the product. This complementary approach is a perfect way for many startups.
In non-skillset areas, you can share some similarities with your co-founder.
For example, if you both love Apple products, enjoy the outdoors. Personal similarities are the basis of strengthening. But when it comes to the work that you’re doing together, it’s better to have an effective set of skills rather than a concentration of skills.
Alignment of Vision and Values
Mutual values and vision are difficult to identify but important for compatibility. Before you start a partnership, make sure you and your potential partner are on the same page as far as the vision of the company and the values you hold.
More than likely, your co-founder will be a person with whom you’ve had shared experiences. Through such experiences “true motivations are revealed, not declared”. In other words, you know each other in more than just a superficial way.
You and your co-founder should both want the same thing. Whether you want to sell the business someday, become rich and famous, overtake Facebook, you must both possess a shared goal.
It’s easy to let the passion of a startup create a difference in values. If you’re both excited, then it’s all good, right? Not exactly. Below the surface, look for a match in values (what you consider important) and vision (your goals).
Eagerness to Learn
A good co-founder isn’t someone who has life figured out. Sure, you want someone who’s been around the block a few times. Experience is a great teacher. But the people best suited for the startup life are those who want to learn more.
In any startup, you’re going to learn. A lot. The more you learn, the more you’ll grow — personally and in business as well.
Startups are not for the faint of heart, weak of will, or slow off the pace. Growth takes energy. Change takes energy. Scaling takes energy. Survival takes energy. Every we do takes a lot of energy to bring out the best in us.
Find someone who has the physical and mental energy to pull through the tough times, hang on through the slow times, and grow at all times.
Emotional Intelligence or EI “is the ability to identify and manage your own emotions and the emotions of others.”
General success in life is built upon the ability to effectively manage one’s emotions. In the rough-and-harsh environment of a startup, EI is especially crucial for its success.
It’s true that emotionally changing people can make successful business leaders, but they usually don’t do it with a co-founder in tow.
Startup life gives you plenty of reasons to lose your cool, annoying people out, fly off the handle, or crushed in a flowing heap of emotions. But startup success demands that you have to resist the urge, stay calm, and keep going.
If your co-founder partner has emotional intelligence in his back pocket, consider it a major advantage.
Startup life is never boring. You could be hiring an employee in the morning, describing your business to investors in the afternoon, and taking out the trash at the end of the day.
A company’s co founder job description must be masters of flexibility, possessing the ability to do almost anything at almost any time. If you can find someone who’s in love with this kind of approach to life, you’ve found someone who has true co-founder qualities.
Complete Honesty and Transparency
When you’re forming a company, there are plenty of ways to raise funds, sneak off with lots of cash, or otherwise do nasty and illegal things.
Because this is true, it’s important to find someone who is honest. Be straightforward about what you expect and desire in a co-founder, and insist on 100% honesty all the time.
You probably won’t be able to find a perfect co-founder. There’s no such thing, just as there are no perfect people.
You might pick a complete flop. Don’t worry. Life isn’t over after your first company or your first co-founder. Keep your head up, keep the co founder search on, pick another co-founder, and start another company. Almost every wannapreneur looks for a co-founder. Keep going and you will find the right co-founder for your company.