Monday, 4 March 2013

Spinning Wheels and Good Partners


My fellow Canadians already know what that sound is, tires spinning on ice. It is what I could hear as I drank my first cup of coffee this morning  Still in my pajamas I look outside and there is my neighbor, desperately trying to get his car out of the spot he parked in last night.


So I start throwing on my coat and boots thinking, "Oh man, I hope this guy actually knows how to do this right. I don't want to be out there in my pajama bottoms too long."

You see, (for those who aren't fellow Canadians  there is an art to getting a car going with a push on ice and snow. It's all about rhythm. You creep it back, then you roll forward. Right when you stop your forward momentum you throw it in reverse and creep it back, then forward, then back; switching direction at the apex of each move. If you get that rhythm going between driver and pusher, there isn't much you can't eventually get out of.

So I walk towards his car, he is already rocking according to the art mentioned above. I smile (happy to see this man is a true artist) and start pushing on the back of his car, joining in his rhythm. Push, let him roll back, push, let him roll back. Six pushes later he is rolling down the street yelling out his window, "You tha' Dude!"

Knowing he can't stop, for fear of getting stuck again, I just wave.

As an entrepreneur, you know that there are some things that you just can't do on your own. You need some help. But getting the right help is the trick. You need to find someone who knows what you are doing and can fit your rhythm.

The fact that my neighbor and I both knew how to get a car unstuck meant that with almost no communication we could do together what neither of us could do alone. When you need some help with whatever it is you do, be sure you pick someone who knows your rhythm.

You may be selecting a partner, a coach, an employee or a consultant. In any case, be sure that they suit your style of doing things. Just because your goals are similar, don't assume they will fit your style, your rhythm.

For example, if people want to learn how to cold call and hound contacts until they buy something then I am not the coach for them. That's not my rhythm. That would be like me pushing on the car when the driver was trying to roll backwards. If people want to learn to build solid, long term relationships in business, then I'm their guy, that is the rhythm I'm moving too.

No matter what type of relationship you are building. Be sure to find that person that rocks to the same rhythm as you.

How do you spot it? In the same way I could tell getting that car out was going to be easy as soon as I stepped outside. Look at their rhythm. Before you propose any kind of business relationship, know their values and how they operate. If it is not a rhythm that meshes with yours, then keep looking. Details can be worked out later but values and style is not something easily changed.

Avoid the Wwwwrrrreeeeeeewwwwwwwwwwww! Two people of the same style that both know what they are doing can conquer things that neither could hope to alone.


  1. Nice post. I like what you say here, especially in the context of our discussion. I've been feeling like I'm not getting my services to the right people, and what you wrote points out how important that is. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks Aspen. I'm glad you benefited from that thought. In the end, all of our clients, colleagues, family and friends are people. Life is a lot more fun when we work, live and play with those we share a rhythm with.