Our Secret Recipe for Successful Partnerships
The Birth of delsurtranslations
The following reflection and professional advice has been written by Virginia Minhondo, COO and Managing Director of delsurtranslations.
It all began at the end of the summer of 2002. It was one year after 9/11 and six years before the burst of the US real estate bubble that caused the infamous 2008 market crash. There we were, cradled right in the middle of these crises, two young and enthusiastic Spanish-speaking translators from Argentina ready to take on the world.
We had just won an internship to work at a translation company in Miami, Florida, so naturally, we jumped at the opportunity. Although we didn’t know it at the time, the professional experience we were gaining, coupled with the culturally-diverse nightlife of Miami Beach, would set the stage for our future business partnership.
The Forging of Our Business
On one of these hot Miami summer nights, Angelica and I sat across from each other at Clevelander Bar & Grill. As we enjoyed the sweet sounds of Latin and Reggae music that filled the air, we watched the young crowd dancing and having fun. An immediate nostalgia came over us. We yearned to go back home, to once again be surrounded by family, friends, and loved ones whose strong ties were tugging at our hearts. But, we knew that if we went back, it couldn’t be the same. I certainly didn’t want to return to my old job, and Angelica didn’t want to continue teaching. Something had to change because we had changed.
As we sat in silence, it suddenly dawned on me, “Let’s open up our own translation company!” When Angelica turned to me with a glowing smile, we both knew in that instant that we were carving our new path. With a celebratory clink of our bottles of Corona, we sealed the deal.
17 years later, our relationship has blossomed as both business partners and friends, so we’d like to share with you, our secret recipe for successful partnership.
5 Key Ingredients for Successful Partnerships
1. Share a Common Vision
Angelica and I had always wanted to make a living in translation. After all, this is what we studied in school. But we didn’t want this particular project to define us. We agreed that we both needed time and space to ensure we had a life outside of work. With this common vision, we were able to better define our shared goals and determine how fast we wanted to achieve them.
A common goal helps you to define the business and work as a team. Talk openly about your values, your vision, your hopes, and your dreams. If done properly, these discussions will begin to shape your common goal, and your partnership will begin to blossom and grow.
2. Develop Mutual Trust
From the very beginning, we divided our tasks and responsibilities. We had complete trust in each other, knowing that we’d carry out the scope of our responsibilities to the best of our ability/knowledge.
When both partners feel fully trusted, they likewise feel valued which ultimately leads to a greater desire to succeed. However, trust is not a given. It is important to remember you are both individuals, so learn to honor these differences. Be honest and fair, have patience and be willing to support each other without judgement or ridicule. Strengthen your emotional intelligence by actively listening, and above all else, keep your ego in check
3. Separate Personal and Professional Lives
Angelica and I have gone on – and continue to enjoy – many vacations together. At home, we go out to dinner and enjoy spending time together. When we are with our children and spouses, we consider ourselves friends, and when we are at work or are traveling for business, we are partners.
Separating your personal and professional lives doesn’t mean remaining clueless about what your partner is going through outside of work. Quite the contrary, it means that when discussing business, you remain focused on the business, and when sharing your personal lives, you set the business aside and concentrate on what your friend needs. When you succeed in learning how to separate your personal and professional lives, you will be well on your way to developing a lifelong successful partnership both in and out of the office.
4. Foster Mutual Respect
This might be the most important ingredient of all. Without mutual respect, everything in life falls apart. Throughout nearly two decades together, we’ve both been through a lot. From marriages, pregnancies, and the raising of our children, to divorces, relocation stresses, and the loss of loved ones, we’ve had each other’s back.
Knowing and trusting that your business partner respects your decisions in life is vital for both your friendship and your business partnership. It has been shown that fostering mutual respect reduces stress, minimizes conflict, and increases productivity. You can work toward this goal by encouraging each other, avoiding any desire to judge, and developing beneficial conflict resolution techniques.
5. Create Flexible Working Environments
Having a similar sense of humor, Angelica and I laugh at the phrase we have coined that sums us up perfectly, “each princess owns her own castle.” Since we are both still raising our children but live 40 kms (25 miles) apart, we have worked diligently at establishing two separate offices. This allows us to be closer to our respective homes and children’s schools. We are two partners with two separate offices.
Creating flexible working environments, whether that means establishing different work locations or even different working hours, is a critical step toward strengthening the partnership and solidifying the business. Think of this as the final ingredient in your partnership that blends it altogether.
We are delsurtranslations – your strategic translation partners!
Ok, we confess. We were so excited about the launching of our new and improved website that we wanted to shout it out to the world. And, what better way to promote our launch than by sharing the story of our business success, how our business came to be, and how we’ve flourished over the past 17 years? It made sense to us, to bring you into the fold. But don’t just take our word for it. Here is what our clients have to say: