INSIGHTS

5 things to do with your Cofounder

... that will help your relationship flourish

You’ve spent enough time talking shop with your cofounder that you feel you know enough about them. However, the entrepreneurial journey will certainly lead you to a few unexpected twists and turns. You need to prepare for those, and most importantly, be a united front against potential obstacles.

This is where trust, knowledge of each other, and predictability play an important role in partnerships. If you can guess what your partner is feeling with accuracy, or understand the reasons behind their strategies, unity and synchronicity will be easier for both of you.

So what are some (fun) activities that you can do with your cofounder to promote harmony? Here are a few ideas to give you some inspiration.

Play games

Duh! Games are an easy way to come up with hypothetical scenarios, engage different areas of your brain, and aspects of your personality that you wouldn’t be using on a daily basis. Create high stakes and high stress scenarios without putting your business on the line by jumping into a game or two. Get as competitive as you dare, or pick a cooperative game and be on the same team.

The choice of game is up to you. If you and your partner are “gamers”, there are a number of strategy and team building games that you can play online or together on the same console/computer. If you want to work on communication, task delegation, and teamwork, try Lovers in a Dangerous Spacecraft, Overcooked or It Takes Two.

Push your boundaries and watch your cofounder push theirs by learning a new skill together. This will only be as valuable as how far you’re both willing to step out of your comfort zones for it.

If you’re looking to figure out what your cofounder’s decision-making looks like under pressure, a good game of chess might be just what you need. Are they aggressive? Reserved? Do they focus on dominating the board and leave their pieces unprotected? There is a lot you can learn from a person by how they play a game. If you’re not familiar with chess, though, or just prefer something more modern, try a game such as Santorini, which provides insight from the moment you pick your character, to your final move.

None of these speak to you? The world is your oyster, and it’s definitely not lacking in games. Go forth and find a game that both you and your cofounder would enjoy.

Go to an Escape Room

I know it’s the current year and Escape Rooms are so 2014, but you’d be surprised at how much you can learn about a person when you’re both stuck in a room trying to find clues! Cooperation and high stress come to a head in escape rooms, but the importance of keeping your cool and acting in a timely manner is the difference between winning and losing. Pay attention to your dynamic while in the room. How do you pitch ideas? Do you act before taking the time to explain what you’re doing? Do you trust your cofounder to solve a puzzle on their own or are you micromanaging them? Do everything with intention and you’ll learn more in one hour than you would a month in the office!

Alternatively, make this into a friendly competition by taking your employees with you. Work on team communication, task delegation, and as a bonus, increase morale, by creating two teams: one led by you and the other by your cofounder. The first one out wins!

Brainstorm different business ideas

This is a place to let your imagination go wild! Come up with a completely new idea and talk through how you would make it happen together, from the start-up phase to the end. Think about areas you aren’t experienced in, businesses that don’t exist, niches that are too particular… The point of the exercise is to work on your brainstorming and creativity, strategy, and planning. The creative brain can only draw from our past experiences, so creating new scenarios to work with will help you and your cofounder flex that muscle. As an added bonus, you’ll learn what kind of ideas your partner is able to provide, how risk-averse they are, and how inventive they can be. Try not to be too much of a nay-sayer in this activity, it’s supposed to help you bond, not create an argument about a situation that isn’t even real!

Want it to be extra challenging? Imagine starting a business in an alien world, or in your favourite fictional universe. How would you sell NFTs in the Marvel Universe?

Plan a vacation

You don’t have to take a vacation if you don’t want to (although it will be much more fun if you do!), but the simple act of getting together to plan an amazing vacation will show you very interesting aspects of their personality. How orderly are they? Are you buying train tickets months in advance or at the train station in London? Are they open to being spontaneous, or are your days planned to the millisecond?

These aspects of their personality will translate into how they act in business and getting to know them will only be beneficial to you and your partnership. And maybe, you’ll even get a trip from it, which is so much better for your partnership than just planning it!

Learn a new skill together

Push your boundaries and watch your cofounder push theirs by learning a new skill together. This will only be as valuable as how far you’re both willing to step out of your comfort zones for it. Are you afraid of public speaking? Try an improv class! Are both you and your cofounder beginners in the kitchen? Go for the baking class with the strictest teacher! Not an artistic bone in your body? Try painting together.

If you pick something you’ll both enjoy but isn’t necessarily out of your comfort zone, you’ll still be able to grow from the experience, especially when it comes to bonding and trust. Learning a skill involves a level of vulnerability that is not often seen at the office, one that comes from admitting ignorance about a certain subject. That means that you absolutely can’t pick something you already know how to do!

HOT TIP: Stay tuned… The Cofounder’s Hub will soon be coming out with our own activities for cofounders. Who knows, you might get that trip after all!

The Cofounder's
handbook

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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