Contract negotiation · Feature Development

I have all the ideas, but not enough drive to pursue them. What kind of co-founder do I need, and what kind of arrangement is reasonable?

Promise Jarius Founder and CEO @Lifemap Consulting

February 2nd, 2018

I am an abstract thinker. I see solutions in unusual ways but I find it difficult, in fact, impossible, to translate these into concrete activities, capable of yielding results. I blame lack of experience and resources, but deep down, if I'm honest, I'm easily distracted, and I fear launching anything. I have half finished everything, from books to websites to business proposals to songs and play scripts. Apparently, a co-founder could be a complement my disposition, or so I've been told.

James Corbishley Inventor and sustainable energy startup

Last updated on February 2nd, 2018

Hi, I think it’s good that you’re honest with yourself - many potential entrepreneurs are also creative / procrastinator types. Unfortunately that means unless your ideas are very good, you may struggle to find the right person who wants to invest their time and effort into your ideas. There are far more ideas people than people prepared to fund/facilitate those ideas!


I think your ideal partner will probably be fairly different to you but still compatible - you seem to have been advised of that already. From how you describe yourself, you will need someone whose skills and personality are complimentary to yours - not the same. But also you need someone compatible.


Getting on with someone you have just met is not usually that difficult. When you work together, this is when you find out.


I think you’re looking for a partner a more proactive than you might be, but not on the opposite spectrum. If you argue all the time because your partner is totally different to you and how you operate, you are probably incompatible. If you are the one progress chasing your partner, they are also wrong. You want someone who tends to be the one pushing things forward more than you would do ordinarily but at a pace you are able to cope with. This is important since you will need to work in your own way to get the best out of yourself. And you also need to move forward quicker than you are doing.


Also with ideas, I think you want someone who will listen and consider your ideas - not always agreeing but not dismissing them out of hand either. For us creative types, it is good to have constructive feedback - so that we decide whether to proceed, modify our ideas, or drop the idea and move on to something else. And you should do the same for your partners‘ ideas and input.


Finally, when you get going and hopefully taste some success, you may surprise yourself and find out you have latent abilities and personality traits you never knew before. I thought I was a lazy student who relied on a good memory. When employed I did only what I thought was necessary to get by. But once engaged on something I felt was worthwhile, I find I have developed characteristics and levels of motivation which surprised people who know me well.


Good luck!

David M

February 3rd, 2018

Honesty is always good, so that is a plus. As to the rest...my thoughts. Half finished book and script is going to be tough to find someone to finish . UNLESS you find someone who has a huge passion for the content. 50% ownership is fair in such a chase, but could be even more if you are not going to participating in the re-writing process, which is far more intense than the initial writing. Business...if you have a patent that will attract some people. Really though....man if we are being honest here. FOCUS. I mean that’s seriously one of the biggest obstacles. And if you cannot focus enough to complete the process there are just a whole lot of challenges and problems that you are going to encounter. I personally don't know anyone, nor have I ever met any entrepreneur who says or thinks "Man I wish I could find someone with ideas and a lot of half completed projects." In fact, I usually steer clear because in my experience they are just too scattered to get anything accomplished with. One minute they are passionate about founding one thing..the next they are derailing over here...and in the end it wastes everyone’s time.

I would say pick the 1-2 projects where your passion, competence, and abilities are the highest and FINISH them. The reality in non sugar coated terms: No one cares that you have a lot of ideas...its not noble...it does not make you seem brilliant...it most definitely does not make you an entrepreneur….it just makes you come across as scattered. That is the hard reality of how most will view you if you go at them with that approach. It is good that you are diversified. My encouragement would be study the process of writing a business plan, the write one for one of your businesses and work through that solely and learn from that process. THEN if that venture does not work out work through some of the others. With regard to books and scripts….research and study the process. Being a writer brings with it skill sets and elements that are really outside of the realm of Cofounders lab or most people in it. If you are talking about monetizing these projects, you need to understand and learn about agents, managers, and publishers if you are dealing with books. If you are dealing with TV and movies the studio process. Keep at it, try to see if you are not giving yourself enough credit..and really push one project through to completion. I think once you do that, you will find more ability than you are giving yourself credit for!

Paul Garcia marketing exec & business coach

February 2nd, 2018

Reasonable is a vague term that depends on your frame of reference. However you are facing the same kind of situation most "wantrepreneurs" face. Full of ideas, no practice or discipline established to move forward. It depends on your personality, but you don't necessarily need to work with someone else as a co-founder. You probably do need to work with someone else in terms of organizing and distilling your ideas into a plan, and someone to hold you accountable for doing the work to get to the next step.


I don't know what the resources are in Nigeria, but in the United States we have an organization called SCORE, which is a something-something-of retired executives. These people will meet with aspiring business people to help walk them through the next steps, wherever their starting point is: just an idea to looking for expansion. This is a free service. They do have a web site with many resources you can access even if you can't meet with a counselor in-person.


Overall, the thing that's likely to benefit you most, is finding someone with a little experience that is willing to hold you to a schedule of next steps, even if you're the one defining the next step. Like going to the gym, if you have someone who checks on your progress, you're more likely to be disciplined about keeping to the schedule.


Good luck.

Alena Kropáčková Former gymnast, traveler, blogger, volunteer in TED.

February 4th, 2018

I am completely same person! :)

Anonymous

February 2nd, 2018

In order to attract a co-founder, you will need to demonstrate you are fully invested in your idea. If you are not willing to drudge through the drudgery and do the work that is necessary to move your idea along, then nobody will join you or buy into your idea. It's a tough pill to swallow, but the truth.

Alan Huber Unique ability to solve business problems

February 2nd, 2018

You have ideas- so does everyone


What else do you have? If the asnwer is MONEY- you can find a person that will be right fit.


If answer is NO MONEY- you are pretty much stuck UNLESS you change

Naiem Yeganeh

February 6th, 2018

> "I have all the ideas, but not enough drive to pursue them"

Welcome to the club brother

Graham Musgrove Entrepreneur & Consultant

February 2nd, 2018

Hi Promise, great to hear from you. Procrastination surfaces in many forms, you might need a mentor type business partner.

The details of what is fair in a partnership largely depends on the details.

Rob Hirsch Traveler, nature lover, & entrepreneur

February 3rd, 2018

You'll need a founding team who will do everything. I say founding team, not cofounder, because the person/people who validate your idea and turn it into a business will need some business, technical, and marketing know-how. You can try to look for 1 person with all this or a couple of people. There's a more important question.


What are you bringing to the table? Can you fund it? I'm scratching my head (and so will potential cofounders) on what your value is.


My suggestion is to jot all your ideas down (it's what I do) and when you find one you can't stop thinking about, dedicate 8 months to validating it. You'll create a website, do marketing to find your target market, and begin generating leads.

Mr. Kelly Johnson Looking for Co-founder

February 6th, 2018

Talk with friends. Try to convince one of them to go with one of your ideas. The only reason I say this I can't imagine anyone would want to do anything with your ideas if the ideas don't even motivate you enough to stick with them.

You are not an entrepreneur, you are a wantrepreneur and it's going to get you nowhere. Having ideas doesn't make you an entrepreneur, executing those ideas does.

The only thing you can do is figure out how to not get easily distracted and focus. If you can't do that, it is what it is. Your not en entrepreneur. Move on.