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The Silent Partners

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The Silent Partners

It’s a week of firsts, children across the world beginning their first day at school, someone nearstarting a businessby starting their new job, another starting a new business.

I watch the social networks fill up with the trepidation of parents sending their little ones to the big world of primary or secondary school, and it reminded me of a client I have who is about to start a business. Like many others, they think they are alone, almost to the extent that they are in fact the only ones venturing into the scary world of paying their own taxes and owning up to their failures, mistakes and successes.

However, there is a certain quietness out there, beyond the madness of the noise in our heads as we endeavour to jump-start our new business. That quietness is also full of noise and busy-ness. What only the experienced business owner will realise is that even though starting a business is daunting, there are people out there who are watching, minding, and wishing us well. They are throwing us tit-bits of information and help, enough for us to catch on to, but not obvious hand-outs.

“To background voices, calling from a distance,
Silent partners, listen to the hush
Silent partners, you know they don’t say nothing at all”
~ Pat Benatar (The Silent Partners)

These silent partners read our blog-posts, read our tweets, provide clicks and unique visits to our websites, or in the case of back-links. They talk about our businesses to their friends and families, or indeed at networking events.

We often think of the real helpers as banks, enterprise boards, mentors, coaches, and they are always in our sights as we drive our new business out of the safety of our dreams into broad daylight.

If you are starting a business, or in the process of expanding, think of the silent partners helping you quietly propel your business and your confidence to the next level.

Felix Dennis, author of “How to get rich” talks of the Sharks (investors, hedge-fund managers etc), the lesser deadly dolphins (venture capitalists) and then there are the fish (seed capitalists). The fish are the people who are close to us, and support us no matter what. These are the quiet swimmers who provide the network, the confidence and the unconditional “love” that we so desperately need as a start-up. They will help nurture our business without the demands of the dolphins or the blood hungry threats of the sharks.

Seek out your shoal, swim with the fish, and tap into the resources that are on offer for your new business. But most of all, remember the most important person in your new business – YOU! You are the goose that lays the golden eggs. Protect your eggs, but look after the goose.

Have you any stories to share that helped you when you were beginning? Please share them below, and then go vote for this post on Bizsugar!

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This post is part of the HP SugarTone contest: “Making your business amazing”, sponsored by Hewlett Packard

Elaine Rogers is a Business Trainer, Coach and Writer. She takes pain away. She helps soothe the rough and tumble of running a business through education, information and coaching. And a bit of entertainment. Elaine hangs out at The Smart Train She provides online training and coaching solutions in the areas of MS Office Skills, Business Skills, and Soft Skills. She also provides exclusive content for her ever growing email list.

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  • Elaine, Ive stopped trying to do business with people well that I should probably not be doing business with. It’s taking me a while to realise this because before, the sale was the be all and end all. There are plenty of people that get me, the way I work & how we can help each other. I no longer worry about the rest 🙂

  • Rogjenny

    I think what works for us- is not to think about growth and progress but to swap them for ‘sustainable’. One relationship can be the fruit of a whole audience. It’s important to always appreciate the power of the spoken word. It’s mightier than the pen, thus, in effect- the sword.

  • Honestly? I feel the ‘recession’ has brought small businesses together! Something like a ‘recession’ will prevent some from starting a business anyway, but I know if it wasn’t a recession, it would be something else.
    I see first hand the different outlooks lately – whether from my clients, large and small, or my peers. Thankfully, Niall, we are also realising that we don’t have to do business with absolutely everybody, especially as we discover our niche area or area of expertise.
    Consider your own business, and how your focus has changed over the past 12 months. You have recognised the changes and your interest in all things Web 2.0 🙂

    And yes, we will attract more of the work we like, if we stop taking the work that we don’t like! Unfortunately, some have to learn that the hard way, but all is fair in love and business, as they say 🙂

    Thanks for reading, and sharing your thoughts!

  • Hi Jenny,
    Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment, Growth and progress and ultimately important to drive our businesses forward, but I feel you have hit a good point in that it must be sustainable, which I personally prefer, as it is not as cut-throat as driving hard like a bat out of hell, ignoring all that happens along the way.

    It’s important also, to create situations where people other than our clients know what we are doing, so that when they realise we are doing something great, will sing our praises and help develop our brand.

    100 voices are surely louder than one 🙂 – as long as they are all singing from the same hymn sheet of course!

  • Nice post Elaine. I learnt the hard way that I don’t need to take on every client that comes my way, and had some really steep learning curves along the way. I’m lucky that I do have some really good Fish who do promote me and what I do and do so because the truly believe in what I do and the way I do it.

  • Anonymous

    Elaine – Nice Post

    My current company is my second business venture. First time out I had 7 partners. This time out I flew solo. I took great motivation and courage from many stories. Got them all from one book “Success Principles – How to Get from where you are to where you want to be” Jack Canfield

    This book was recommended to me – sort of a business bible now.


    P.S – For those you don’t know me I am not an Irish Amazon. Getting no kick back from the above promotion 🙂

  • Thanks Paul,
    And thanks for the book recommend – added to my very long list of books to research/buy 🙂

  • Hi Mairead,
    Thanks for stopping by and sharing your learning with us. Steep learning curves provide for deeper empathy for our clients.

    How could we know what is feels like to be working with the wrong clients if we have not experienced it ourselves? However, that is not to say we must experience all events (like the loss of a loved one for example) but that we can empathise and feel their pain and therefore help them deal with it better.

    The fish are out there in their shoals, even more so now when things are more difficult for people, it’s amazing how human nature evolves and really comes to the fore when needed. Faith in self, and faith in others. And belief in self and belief in others 🙂

  • This is a beautiful post Elaine, you write “If you are starting a business, or in the process of expanding, think of the silent partners helping you quietly propel your business and your confidence to the next level” and it reminds me of all the other silent partners that we have, the partner at home that silently hopes and prays for our success, the parents that silently swells in pride as their child takes their first steps in the business world, the friends and family that silently support us and are ready to jump in and help at a moment’s notice and the silent part of ourselves that continues to learn, to hope, to dream and to accomplish. They are truly our greatest (and mostly silent) fan club.

    Like the old proverb says “Silence is also speech”.

  • Torihawthorne

    Fabulous read.. Its so true, when we find our “shoal” we are no longer alone, we become part of a great network… We’ve taken the first step to build the business we have chosen and this ‘silent partner network’ gives us the confidence to do more and venture down new paths…

    I know this myself, there a things I ventured into this year that I would have only dreamt of before… But my ‘shoal’ has given me the confidence to take my ideas to their next levels..

    Fab Elaine

  • Thanks Catherine – love the proverb.
    It’s nice to remember our silent partners, and to acknowledge them, and THANK them 🙂

    Glad you enjoyed the post – thanks for stopping by 🙂

  • Thanks for reading Tori 🙂
    We are in the midst of the shoal, safe guarded by numbers – we human mortals crave support and reassurance, and it sure helps to know the support is there when we embark on those treacherous journeys into the unknown, running blind sometimes!

    We must also applaud that support, and be eternally grateful for it, and reciprocate when we can, or pass it on to another biz starter/owner 🙂

  • I read somewhere that bringing the internet to the developing world is and will be done exclusively through the use of mobile technology, which very much ties in with what you are saying in this post. The potential is already big but as you point out, but it’s about to get truly enormous!

  • Roisin Bell

    It would be great to hear the experience of a business which is already using proximity marketing (via a smartphone as opposed to a sandwich board! See Anne Perez’s post: ) here in Ireland. Does anyone have any experience to relate?

  • I was talking to a guy who’d been involved with telecoms in Tanzania and his impression was that they’ve almost skipped ahead of developed countries in some regards. His anecdotal views were that they pretty much use mobiles for everything, especially payments – restaurants, bus tickets, yadda yadda.

  • Obviously proximity marketing will be big, and tailoring local advertising to mobile users profiles (and preferences) will be another step towards targeted marketing – knowing 75% of mobile users in a specific area at a specific time are male rather than female could trigger one type of advertisement to be displayed on active billboards. These are all logical progressions, the technological obstacles are already being R&D’d by various companies.nnPersonally, as far as my own interests go, I think mobile gaming using real-time real-world gps feedback and augmented reality will be massive. You won’t be playing games on your smartphone, you’ll be using your smartphone’s camera to gain access to an alternate reality layer that sits on top of what you see around you.

  • Bluejeanyouth

    Hi sayso looking for investors partners Mission Cafe

  • Sayso

    the Mission Pennyfund needs silent Partners and donation for our Mission can anyone help us open our missionoHelp Sayso

  • Hey This is some great thing never tought that it could work like that, good job! 

  • Welcome to Tweak Your Biz Adam. You’ve given some great points to deal with a very hard time in business life. Looking forward to your next post

  • SPartner

    How can a Silent Partner go about selling their interest in a project?

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    More tips to acquiring funding for small businesses – where to look – via

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