Rocket fuel partnerships and becoming a visionary entrepreneur
The book, “Rocket Fuel,” talks about the needed components to truly get all that you want out of your business. The subtitle of the book is “The One Essential Combination That Will Get You More of What You Want From Your Business.” It’s true – there is an essential combination of two people that can transform how you run your business, allowing you to truly achieve things you’ve never achieved before. This is, perhaps, the biggest ‘aha’ in my firm building career to date (15 years).
“Rocket Fuel” is about two roles called a visionary and an integrator. These are two roles meant to achieve phenomenal results in any business. I ran my firm for a long time without the second component – my Integrator. Julie Shipp is my integrator, and my business partner for more than 4 years now. Julie has skills I don’t have. You’ll hear a lot about her if you hear me speak at a conference, or listen to the Thrivecast podcast. She loves the details, the plans, and the outworking of visions in the life of a firm. When I speak new ideas, she can visualize them in her mind, and she knows how a team will achieve them with processes, a safe team structure, and the proper accountability to keep everyone moving.
I can’t do those things. That fact used to make me feel awful. Now, instead of feeling bad about that, I’ve realized that my role is not meant to be able to do those things. I can’t do everything (and neither can you). I’m meant for big ideas that can really transform our company, deep thought, coaching/consulting, and teaching our clients and team. Without Julie, I couldn’t do what I’m supposed to do.
So, instead of fighting what I’m like, a visionary/integrator combo allows me to wholeheartedly embrace my role. And, Julie can embrace her role, too. And, together, we become rocket fuel.
Rocket fuel means we can exponentially produce more of everything that grows our firm and changes our team and our clients’ lives. For emphasis, our partnership isn’t 2x, meaning we can do two times what a single owner can do (i.e., “Let’s become partners so we can do two times the number of tax returns”). No, we can do exponential things – we can do more than two people should be able to do because we are leveraging the best of each other. Each person in a rocket fuel partnership is leveraging the highest potential of their greatest gift. Essentially, there are no limits. Each person gets to blossom, explore, and blow up all things within their greatest potential in a business partnership. Rocket fuel is truly different than regular fuel.
But, a rocket fuel partnership may not be for everyone because some of you are not willing to accept what a rocket fuel partnership requires of you. It’s not easy. It’s a relationship that requires a lot of work (just like any good relationship). You don’t get to do things that are best for the other partner to do. All of your ideas are no longer owned by you. They are shared with your partner, and each rocket fuel partner gets to vet each other to make sure they are both on the same page.
Rocket fuel partnerships require a healthy level of respect so you need to work together for a few years before you trust each other with this type of relationship. You have to stay on the same page to make sure you are always walking in the same direction and believing the same things. Julie and I have committed to doing this work forever. That’s right. We won’t ever stop being partners and we won’t ever sell our firm. This level of commitment means we are essentially unstoppable, and our learning will constantly always be layering on top of each other. Few will make this commitment. So, you’ll be seeing our work for a long time.
We find that few will commit the time, sacrifice, and giving of knowledge required of a rocket fuel partnership. But, maybe you are ready. Are you?
If so, you can move toward a rocket fuel relationship by reading the book, and then visiting us for the Intuit®-sponsored Thriveal Incubator, August 15-17. You can also start small by finding that person who can see and move operations along in an ordered way. Maybe, it’s an office manager or project manager. They don’t have to be your legal firm partner – they can be a team member.
Either way, you may be void of all that you need to grow your firm in exponential ways. Rocket fuel is one way I’ve found to do uncommon things in very fulfilling ways. If you can work within a rocket fuel way, then you will achieve more, sell more value, and really change the lives of those around you.
Editor’s note: This article is part of an ongoing series; read the next article “Transparent truth transforms your firm’s culture.“