Of new ventures and old scores…

Starting a new venture is like a relationship – you don’t really know what you are getting into unless you take the plunge.

And so ensuring that you discuss everything beforehand is essential, actually critical to the success of the venture, or the relationship for that matter.

Everyday I come across individuals coming together to get something done – can be a cutting-edge Fintech app, or a traditional asset manager. That initial phase is so interesting – the excitement of something new, of achieving something more than a salary slip, the apprehension but confidence that it is the right time…

This lasts about a month or two.

Then comes the boring bit – actually getting it done.

Here is where a lot of the enthusiasm gets punctured – from the lofty visions of world conquest, to settling bills of pesky vendors. You want to get the exciting stuff done, but who in this world has ever been excited about debit and credit? Or leave calculations?

Now you may say that hold on – one can hire people to get this done.

No sir, when you start on your own, you are the accountant and the HR, and the IT guy as well. Unless you are well-funded, which is a rarity. And even if you are well-funded, no seasoned investor will let you off the hook by going on a spending spree. Investment is all about – show me the money.

So here you are, three months into your new life, already missing the comfort of a proper office and an assured salary, wondering – what the hell did I just get into?

There are others who come to me after bitter experiences in their already soured partnerships. This is the messy divorce of the corporate world – partners fighting for the spoils – which in this case are generally clients and sometimes staff as well.

Many of these are new firms – the ones who mostly started starry-eyed as the ones above, and quickly hit realization. The seven-year-itch doesn’t spare business as well now does it?

And so here are two people, who just a couple of years back professed their love and admiration for each other and informed the world that they were going to make a difference…now unable to stand the sight of each other’s business cards.

It isn’t an easy fight, and of course, the most money is made by the lawyers (who else), with the clients mostly excusing themselves and finding their way to saner pastures.

A sad way to end a dream…

New or old, relationship or business, the basics are the same. Find the right partner, ensure they are trustworthy, and then trust them. Not blindly, but with a heart. You cannot have a good embrace with one hand behind your back, nor can you build something lasting with one finger on the exit button. Business need not be cut-throat, you can be complementary, take care of people and even your competitors, and still have a good thing going.

The point is to be true, selfless, and hardworking. The rest follows.

Wish them luck. Both the newbies, and the hardened fighters. Just hope that they don’t run into each other:)

See you tomorrow!