We’re so grateful to be celebrating EvolveMe’s 4th anniversary - four incredible years working together as co-founders and now close friends.
And four years is worth celebrating! While more women are becoming entrepreneurs in midlife (women started 47% of new businesses in 2023!), less than half of all new businesses make it past 5 years.
What’s our secret? It’s the one thing we’re most proud of - and grateful for - our partnership.
We believe we’re better together. And that’s the premise we founded EvolveMe on – women supporting women for community, collaboration, and accountability.
We’re often asked by solopreneur colleagues - many of whom wish they had a “co” - what makes our partnership work.
Check out our five secret ingredients that turn a business partnership into a powerhouse of success.
1. Complementary “superpowers”:
Picture this: one co-founder is the visionary with a knack for big-picture thinking, while the other is the detail-oriented, let’s-figure-out-how-to-do-this wizard. It's like Batman and Robin, but without the capes (unless that's your startup vibe – we don't judge). That’s us!
Successful co-founder partnerships thrive on complementary strengths. When each partner brings their unique superpower to the table, it's like having a dynamic duo that’s bigger than the sum of its parts.
According to our Gallup Strengths surveys, our skillsets are quite dissimilar:
Judy: Achiever | Input | Ideation | Learner | Responsibility
Linda: Woo* | Communication | Positivity | Achiever | Includer
*Winning others over
Linda has the mindset that “everything is figureoutable”. That comes in handy when launching a startup and learning to fly the plane as you build it. Judy, a researcher at heart, loves to dig into the “why” and leave no stone unturned.
Our partnership works because of the mutual respect we have for each other’s approaches. Bringing these complementary skillsets together makes for a richer experience for the women we work with in EvolveMe and models the power of collaboration over competition!
2. Communication, communication, communication (and humor)!
In any solid relationship, communication is key. But in the fast-paced world of startups, it's EVERYTHING.
Successful co-founders have a direct line of communication. It’s like this - we finish each other’s sentences! Whether celebrating victories, navigating challenges in our family lives, or sharing a hilarious giphy for our newsletter, open and honest communication is the glue that holds the partnership together.
And a sense of humor and appreciation for the ridiculous is key - we'd burn out quickly if we couldn't share the laughs along the way!
3. Resilience = friendship:
Let's face it – startups are a rollercoaster. There are highs that make you want to shout from the rooftops and lows that have you questioning your life choices. In these moments, the bond between co-founders becomes a secret weapon.
The resilience to bounce back, the ability to lift each other up when things get tough, and the unwavering belief in each other that says, "We’ve got this" – fuel us to move forward.
And this holds true for us at work AND in our personal lives. We’re there for each other as friends through the ups and downs of navigating midlife, empty nesting, aging parents, and managing everything life throws our way.
4. Shared values and vision:
Imagine navigating a road trip when one person wants to hit the beach (Linda), and the other is all about the mountains (Judy). It comes easy for us!
In a successful co-founder partnership, shared values and a common vision are like having a GPS that keeps you on the same route and allows you to go to the places you like best – because the other person has your best interests at heart.
When both co-founders are aligned on the mission, values, and where they see the company going, it creates a synergy that propels the business forward with purpose, playing to each others’ strengths.
One of our smartest moves when we launched EvolveMe was to create values that would be our north star – for decision-making, partnerships, and our company culture.
5. Celebrate diversity:
Variety is the spice of life! Successful women co-founders embrace diversity – in ideas, perspectives, and approaches. It's not about having a clone; it's about appreciating the richness that different backgrounds bring to the table.
Whether celebrating diverse opinions in strategy sessions or Linda’s love of black coffee and Judy’s matcha cravings, the magic happens when difference is acknowledged and celebrated.
So, there you have it! The not-so-secret ingredients that make our co-founder partnership click. In the world of business BFFs, we're not just building companies; we’re building community - lifelong friendships and networks of support.
Here's to all female co-founders out there – may your partnerships be as joyful and successful as EvolveMe’s!
(Sending our first email broadcast!)
Ready to get strategic about your next move? Download EvolveMe’s Career SWOT and discover how your strengths can lead to new opportunities!