June 27th 2020
The Partnership Behind The Product
Bethia: “You do know that a partnership is the business model that is most likely to fail, don’t you?” This little gem was passed on to me recently and instead of feeling discouraged, I feel more determined. Is it? Why? What are our weaknesses as the GROWbox partnership? What are our strengths? If we look honestly at our opportunities/threats now, we have a much better chance of not becoming a statistic. I think we have a great chance anyway - otherwise I wouldn’t be here. But everything and all things have ‘weak links’.
Jess: “Weak links”?!! I think the GROWbox partnership is our strength. Where confidence might wane for one of us during the tough times, the other can step in with the positivity and the energy boost that the other needs. Solutions roll and we pick ourselves up again. It’s so much easier and quicker when there’s a team of two. We have loads of complementary skills which knit together and make our GROWboxes the best they can be. What do you think our strengths are?
B: Well, I can see the point of the opening statement - too many cooks spoil the broth? But I think you’re right - the right partnership fills in the gaps that each individual has. That’s what I’ve appreciated most so far. I’m much more cautious than you are - when I say “ew, let’s just wait and see”, you say “no - let’s dive right in”! I think we also have good professional differences - as an ecologist, you have knowledge about the natural world that I am lapping up! As a teacher, I know how to get information across to people effectively. I also think that we are good at problem solving - we have both acknowledged that we don’t work well on our own. We both need the buzz of another person’s energy and ideas. We’ve adapted - lots of meetings, lots of whatsapp back-and-forth keeps the momentum going. We have to be honest about the harder bits too. What are our main challenges?
J: Well, where do we start?! We are new to all of this; starting from scratch in the midst of a global pandemic when the world is full of uncertainty, as well as learning the ropes of social media marketing and having to juggle our parenting responsibilities. It’s a pretty full on life! Thankfully, that’s what we thrive on. We love learning and being the best we can be. We might not be able to have it all (let’s face it, that’s the Holy Grail!) but we can achieve a fulfilling balance and be equally committed to our business goals and our families - both so important to our own sense of identity and self worth.
B: I think it’s sensible to keep reviewing subjects like this. There’s a healthy balance of ‘confidence/can-do’ and ‘how can we improve/how can we get better’. Let’s have this conversation again in six months and see how things have changed. Maybe I’ll be better at saying “yes, let’s just do it” by then! For a product based business, it’s also essential to review the box itself regularly. It’s already come a long way in three months. There’s still loads of potential and scope - I’m excited!
J: I’m so blinking proud of us and our product - working women, working mums and entrepreneurs. We’re working towards a balanced life; a strong partnership and a beautiful friendship - we can even chat about things other than GROWbox and children, fancy that! We’ve made great connections, positive steps towards progress, helped people to connect with the natural world, themselves and each other and will always continue learning. This is our lockdown legacy - together, as partners, we grow stronger.
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GROWnings is a weekly blog conversation by "GROW together!" to reflect our values and behaviours and encouraging open conversation on topical issues.
‘GROW Together!’ is an educational resources and subscription box company to provide fun, personalised learning resources enabling engagement between parents/carers and their children. The activities focus on getting in touch with nature and encouraging a desire to protect it, promoting better mental and physical wellbeing, allowing space for creativity and connectivity. Find out more on our website, www.farleigh.org.uk/growbox, Facebook group, https://www.facebook.com/groups/GROWboxDevon/ and on our Instagram Feed https://www.instagram.com/we.are.growbox/.