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The Top 4 Predictors of Success…

Has science gone too far? Find out what researchers have been studying in the world on entrepreneurship and cofoundership, and hack your self, team, and business to give you a solid advantage right from the start.

1. Experience

It doesn’t matter what some life coaches say, what you’ve done before actually does matter. Research suggests that an “entrepreneur rarely tries something outside of their own experience” according to this study. So if you’re fresh out of Wall Street and want to become a multi-restaurant owner, you better get some experience, stat! Apparently, entrepreneurs have the habit of imitating their old bosses’ strategies, so also make sure you’re working for someone successful or consciously avoiding repeating their mistakes. We, as people, just seem to accrue more information based on experience and in turn, use this to build and grow our business ventures. Give your company the best chance at success by coming in prepared.

2. Network

Experience brings us to networking. You’ve probably had it hammered into your head that networking is crucial for business, and now we’re confirming it! But not in the way you think… Your network, and specifically your cofounders, peers, and confidants, are going to impact the outcomes of your business more than you think. And if you’re not aware of how they will be impacting your ventures, you need to be careful. When building your team, it might be tempting to find people from similar backgrounds as you, that have had similar work experiences or even came from the same firm/university. However, research shows that having peers with similar experience actually leads to less creative and innovative solutions, and decisions are made faster and with less discussion and exploration of options. You lose a lot of potential from a group when everyone agrees with each other… Invest in people from different backgrounds and stages of life for a more rounded network.

3. Adaptability

To ride the wave of entrepreneurship, one must be able to bend and adapt to new situations as they come. But what we must understand is that that can come at a great cost… to our ego. What does that mean? As a cofounder, you have to be willing to accept that you’re not always the best person for the job. This study shows how a great predictor of business failure is the founder’s insistence on remaining center-stage forever. You have to be adaptable, not only to your competition and market, but also regarding your position in the company. What you’ve created is bigger than yourself so you have to let it “transcend your own individuality”. 

4. Compatibility

Compatibility is a quality you have to screen for again, and again. With 76% of cofounders stating that their business partnership is more or just as stressful as their romantic relationship, you should be taking more care about who you choose to build a business with than who you choose to spend the rest of your life with! There are a multitude of traits to test for, but a few that had a positive impact on the likelihood of success were: “partners’ shared assumptions about the partnership structure[,] partners’ mutual acceptance of that structure[…] and partners’ interpersonal skills, such as active listening, reflective observation, and use of positive influence”. We all know you know Sam since college, but do you know every facet of their personality, values, vision, and morals? The list isn’t something you talk about over a cup of coffee. You need to be intentional about getting to know your cofounder, as well as engaging in exercises to promote bonding and interpersonal skills.

HOT TIP: Don’t know where to start? We have you covered: visit our personality segment at the cofounder’s hub and find out what you don’t know about your partner yet.

The Cofounder's

An A-Z guide for those in, or searching for, a business partnership.

The Cofounder’s Handbook provides insight, practical advice, and proven tips from actual real-world cofounders on how to build and maintain a rewarding partnership.

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