Monday, April 9, 2007

Trust . . .

is hard to come by and we are lucky when we have it. Trust in yourself. Trust in others, and they in you, is the essence of a workable and a good partnership. My partner and I developed our trust over years. When we met, I had a small business and a daytime job. She had a small business, too. Separate but equal we came together because she needed the service I was selling, dance lessons. But soon after we met, I discovered she was doing something in her business that I had done as a boy and now as a man found I really missed. Truck farming and farmer's markets.

Gradually, over the first year or so of our knowing each other, we became involved. I asked her to compete with me as a dance partner. She asked if I'd help her by managing a concession at a rock concert. We worked with each other and over time it became clear that she and I were looking for similar things in a partner. I retired from my day job. She built a concession stand. We began to work the summer circuit of fairs together. Twenty hour days, for a month at a time. We still kept our businesses separate but they were definitely growing closer together.

But in those early years we came close many times to breaking up. One time she pulled over to the side of the freeway and demanded that I get out of the truck. We were on our way to Ventura and had been having a discussion about how to treat our employees. She began to insist that it be done her way. I told her I didn't work for her but with her. And at dance practice, when we were preparing for a dance contest, my demand that a step be done a certain way would often get in the way of us actually being able to dance together as a team.

So how did it happen that we developed a trust that became a partnership?

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