This is a simple lesson but it took me about eight years of starting businesses and dating to fully learn this.⠀

The lesson is that whatever the dynamic is of your relationship with your business partner or significant other in the first few months, is how it will be forever. This is a slight oversimplification because relationships evolve but I firmly believe that the foundation is hard to change if you don’t get it right in the beginning.⠀

The simplest example of this in a romantic relationship is if the man pays for the first few dates instead of splitting the checks, the man will likely pay for the relationship forever. Because if you establish that as the norm then your partner will view that as part of your dynamic together.⠀

And in business, if you establish your co-founder dynamic as one of equality instead of one with a clear leader, then at scale that dynamic will hold true.⠀

I like to think of relationships as buildings in the sense that you start by building a foundation and then over time you build more and more stories. Once you’ve built a tall building with someone, it’s incredibly hard to go back and change the foundation.⠀

I’ve learned to think long and hard about the dynamic that I want in business and romantically before engaging in a potential relationship because of this lesson.⠀

Photo by @nala_rinaldo