Years ago when I first started The Learning Consultants, a much older entrepreneur told me to get a partner.  I wondered if he was going to follow with conventional reasons: “to spread the risk”; “to have someone with different skills”; “to have additional stakeholders who care as much as you do” etc. But he said something different: “so you don’t become bi-polar”. He continued: “You’ll get too high or too low every time something good or bad happens. You need someone to keep you balanced. And, it can’t be your wife. It will ruin your marriage.” 

The older guy didn’t elaborate further and I didn’t counter with what most every entrepreneur would say: “I don’t have someone ready made to partner with”. That was true with me and true for most of the entrepreneurs I know in Connecticut.  Connecticut is wonderful for many reasons. But we do not live in Silicon Valley! 

I thought about that conversation through the years and realize that while bi-polar was not the right phrase, the codger had made a sage point about the need to speak with someone for mental health as well as strategic reasons. 

In my work in the last several years with different entrepreneurs, I know that they have been alone in their thoughts. They usually have exaggerated their worst fears. They often have blind spots that can be easily seen by others. They often have been so immersed in the day to day battles that they have lost sight of long term planning. They need someone else.  They don’t have business partners.  They have me.