Exclusive Content #1: What It’s Like Starting a Business Partnership

You’re in for a treat today! We love interviewing guests here on the Candid Conversations podcast, and at the beginning of each episode we also enjoy sharing with you a peek behind the curtain of our own joint business that we’re starting, Juxta Communications.

But there’s so much going on in our business that it’s tricky to fit everything we want to say into a quick five-minute intro! So today, we’re diving deep into the progress we made on our business during the month of May. If you enjoy today’s episode, let us know and we’ll continue to occasionally add this kind of exclusive content in between regular episodes. Leave a comment below, email us at hello@candidpodcast.ca, or Tweet at us (@Saganlives and @Dn_Nicholson).

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Show Notes Wondering what it's REALLY like to start a business with a partner? Discover the reality of starting a business partnership in this behind-the-scenes podcast episode, sharing the inside scoop about small business partnership!

0:45 Why we’re sharing this exclusive content

“One of the founding principles of our business, Juxta Communications, which this Candid Conversations small business podcast falls under, is transparency. So we want to be able to share the behind-the-scenes of our business.” – Sagan

2:00 How our skills complement each other, both for the podcast and for our new business partnership

“Juxta started out as a conversation that we both had. The podcast came about as an idea and it snowballed from there. You’ve heard in a couple episodes, if you’ve been listening, that we came up with the idea and 48 hours later started the podcast. But Juxta was a whole different beast. So we decided that our skillsets are very complementary to each other, and end up supplementing each other. I enjoy doing the tech side, but I don’t really care about pushing out the content! Sagan on the other hand loves writing content, hence why she’s the content editor.” – Dan

4:10 What it’s like going into business together when we’re friends before business partners

“We’ve been friends for years, and a lot of people would state that if you’re going into a joint partnership with someone, doing it with a friend is the stupidest thing in the world. We’re taking the steps, as two friends, with doing every check we can because we want to make sure this friendship doesn’t fall out.” – Dan

“We want to make sure the friendship is essentially strengthened by the business partnership, rather than negatively affected. And so we’ve made so many strides to make sure that nothing slips through the cracks and so that everything is very well aligned and so that we think ahead for every possible scenario… If you, listening to this show, are thinking about going into a business partnership, then this is one of the things you’ll want to think about. You’ll want to go into it with creating a very strategic business plan and making sure you’re creating an agreement with your business partner where you’re both on the same page and where your spouses are on the same page, and where you have a whole plan for the future. For us, this partnership isn’t something we’re having for a couple years; this is a lifetime partnership. This is essentially a marriage. You need to make sure you’re both protected.” – Sagan

7:15 On risk and business partnerships

“It is such an intense partnership, especially from a friendship standpoint. If this could fail, this could be the end of our friendship.” – Dan

“There’s a lot on the line. There’s a lot of risk with going into business together.” – Sagan

“We talked about risk and how you have to make sure that things are calculated in a way that you have to mitigate risk as best you can. That’s where there are contracts are in place, we’re going to lawyers and our spouses, we’re double-checking ourselves, we’re looking to our extended friends to get an outside opinion; these things and these stopgaps for potential failures are important. I think it was episode 1 or 2 that we talked about, one of the things I like to look at is, ‘how can this fail?’ That’s me being a very technical and logical person. There are so many ways that a thing can fail, there’s only one way that something can be successful. The only issue is in this case if you fail it could be a fallout.” – Dan

“This comes back to, if you check CandidPodcast.ca/thebeginning, that’s where you can hear this whole component of us coming up with the brainstorming session for this podcast, and Dan said to me, ‘what are the ways this podcast can fail?’ That’s one of my favorite questions ever, because that is so important.” – Sagan

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10:00 Partnering in a way that we can both benefit

“The other side of it to me is this whole concept of, when it’s right, it’s right. For both of us, this was the exact right decision. When you go into something, if you’re like ‘yes, this is something we need to do,’ then it’s something you need to do. You need to be strategic about it; you need to make sure neither of you is hesitating. If both of you are listening to your gut and saying ‘yes this is something we need to do, now let’s figure out how we make this happen,’ then that’s a great sign to keep moving forward. That’s what I think has been such a driving point for us moving forward with our business.” – Sagan

“I didn’t have that skillset that you have, so that’s why I wanted to partner in a way that we can both benefit… It came down to the right time.” – Dan

12:30 What we want from our communications agency

“I’ve gotten to this point where I understand how online tools are being used for business, so to teach others how to use them for a business gain in the long-term goal. So the long-term goal for Juxta Communications is to be an education-only piece.” – Dan

15:50 How we figured out what we want our communications agency to be all about & what happened at our first business meeting

“For Juxta Communications, when we officially launch, we’re about this create and educate side of things. We’re focusing on providing services for people because that’s what we’re both really good at, and the education side of this, like this podcast and having online courses and having e-books. So it’s important to have both sides, create and educate.” – Sagan

“I came to this meeting not even expecting her to say yes or to be considering it. I put this out there more to the universe, of ‘I want to start a business together,’ expecting Sagan to pull it back down and say ‘no, but I want to get to the contract point.’ Which is what I wanted her to get to! But instead she came to this meeting with her book of questions and ideas.” – Dan

My notebook full of questions & thoughts & ideas!

“It’s really important when you’re starting a business with someone else to have all those questions and to really dive deep into what will this business look like, how will this affect our friendship, what will this look like 5 years down the line; going deep into all of that is important.” – Sagan

“We truly respect one another and truly believe in each other’s skillsets and appreciate each other’s skillsets. We genuinely think the other person is extremely awesome and can do this amazing skill that other people can benefit from. If you’re going into business with another person, you need to believe in them and trust them and think that they’re amazing. If you don’t think that, then that might be a bit of a problem.” – Sagan

“I knew that this business would work out, because knowing how you function, I knew you’d come back with questions and clarification, and the fact that you’re getting into the gritty details. I’m an ideas person and a technical person, hence why I knew this conversation was going to go at least to the point where I wanted it to go, with some freelance contracts.” – Dan

22:40 Balancing starting a new business with our other life & business partnerships Get tips on starting a business partnership & find out what it's REALLY like to go into business with a friend...

“When it comes to business, it always feels like there are so many life circumstances happening. And there are! But at the same time, it doesn’t mean you have to put your business on hold. And I think this is where a lot of people fail or struggle, where they think, ‘oh, well after I move house, or after I get married, or after I finish this big project at work, or after I help this person in my life who is struggling with a problem, then I’ll move forward with my business.’ But the thing is, if you wait until after that next big thing, then something else is going to come up and be a big issue for you. You have to make that decision and say, ‘this is a priority in my life, and there are other important things happening right now, but I’m also going to make this happen.’ If you are strategic, then you can actually make these things happen.” – Sagan

25:00 On motivation and starting your own business

“There is no good time. Having said that, I could have picked a better time to not plan a wedding, buy house, and start a business. But it is still working for me, and the only reason why it’s working for me is because I have this end goal of being able to work at home with my kids when I have them.” – Dan

“What I didn’t ever expect was doing my business with someone else. I don’t have the strength or willpower to call the shots and have myself as a self-sustaining business. Having to answer to a deadline is one of my abilities, I enjoy doing it. Having Sagan as a planner, who thinks business plans are sexy, that’s not my forte. Coming into a business partnership, you need someone who’s going to complement you and talk to you about different ideas. So that as a business owner is my goal. To have a reason for why you’re doing it, you need that.” – Dan

“I know so many business people are getting tired of hearing that they need to know their why. Because it’s annoying, because everyone tells you to do that. But here’s the thing: the why is what leads you to the how. And that is why it matters. And I think that’s the problem with the why; so often people say ‘you need to understand your why,’ but they don’t explain WHY you need to understand your why! To me, it’s so important, once you understand your why, then you can figure out your how, and then you can figure out your action plan, and then you implement it and then everything happens; everything rolls forward from there, but it all starts with why you’re actually doing it. Which is so important.” – Sagan

31:30 The importance of internal communications in a business partnership

“Having a business partnership makes everything so much easier to see that we can have this future where I can take weeks off to go travelling, and Dan can take weeks off to spend time with his future kids. I think that’s super awesome. It’s interesting too because the way we’ve been talking about our business, Dan said, ‘just manage me, give me deadlines.’” I love that because I love managing people! It’s so important when you have a business partnership to understand where each other’s at in their lives and to come at it from that angle. If one of you needs more support or direction, you’re there to give it and to be extremely supportive to one another.” – Sagan

“It all comes down to communication. You have to be super clear with each other. We’re looking at this business plan and we’re looking at timelines of things we need to get done. From a business planning standpoint, Sagan complements me in a way of being able to look at the nitty gritty details and holding yourself accountable. Having her as a business coach and as a partner has been fantastic, because she’s been keeping me on track and she’s been helping me achieve my goals. So really what it comes down to is, what are your goals and how are you going to stick to them? And don’t look at anybody else online! Not gonna lie, I have a bunch of people I follow, Gary Vee, Terry O’Reilly, Ross Simmons, I’ve got all these influencers who push themselves to that point. But I don’t want to be an influencer, I just want to do something that allows me to spend time with my future kids. I don’t want to be top dog on the Internet. It’s not about hitting the top bar; it’s about hitting the bar that’s going to fit for you and hold yourself accountable.” – Dan

37:20 How to find time to work on your business when you have a busy schedule If you've ever been curious about what starting a business partnership is really like behind the scenes, now's your chance! In this episode of the Candid Conversations small business podcast, we dive deep into the challenges we've faced in the first couple months of starting a business (and what it's been like to do this as friends before business partners...)

“Find the time that works for you, even if it’s an hour a week.” – Dan

“If it feels that much like it’s work to you, if that’s every single day, then that’s a problem you have to face. That’s a deeper issue that you need to deal with.” – Sagan

41:10 Our internal communications plan & Honesty Policy

“It’s okay to feel overwhelmed, but when you talk about it out loud, then you can figure out strategies and solutions the problem. And sometimes you can realize that, ‘oh, let’s take the day off together,’ or, maybe you can work together to figure out, ‘okay, what exactly are you stressed out about, what can i help you or support you with, here are 5 things we can do within the next 30 minutes that are going to be game changers.’ So it’s so important to have that honesty policy and internal communications plan written into your business plan if you’re going into business with someone else. You need to be honest with one another and to be okay with complaining and talking with one another, to communicate.” – Sagan

“To be able to clearly identify what you’re feeling, too. And if you’re a solopreneur, then talk to your spouse about it, because they’ll be supportive of what you’re doing anyway. To be able to talk about it and having an outside opinion does help. Definitely talk to anyone you need to!” – Dan

“One of our policies is we want to be as transparent as possible. We’re all about education; that’s what we strive for. Being as transparent and honest as possible is one of our core values at Juxta Communications.” – Dan

46:00 Thanks for listening!

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46:35 Outtake 🙂

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For example, you could…

  1. Tweet at us (@Dn_Nicholson and @Saganlives) to let us know what you thought about this podcast
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Get even more of a peek behind the curtain in our book, A Year in the Life of Candid Conversations: Behind the Scenes of Creating a Podcast From Scratch.

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