Corporate Bylaws: A Letter To My New Businss Partner
Corporate Bylaws… I thought I’d do some readying on corporate bylaws before diving into a business plan. I typed “starting corporation” into Pinterest to see what articles I could devour while jumping at this amazing opportunity you’ve provided and the results pained me.
“Whiten teeth, great bathing suits, start a blog, Free Lash Boost, Cleaning Tips and Nanny to Corporate Life” (hey, that one’s not so bad!) .
What?!? As an “expert” in social media and content marketing, I am well aware that Pinterest is where the glamour and glitter live. However, as the second largest search engine in the world*, I had higher expectations of what I would find to inspire me. You can’t tell me that no one is Pinning articles about one of the most important components of going into business together. Really, no one was Pin-spired to give a girl a run-down of what to even consider other than how white my teeth are at the next meeting?
My Google search procured a few golden nuggets from Forbes and Entrepreneur. They got me thinking about corporate bylaws in ways I hadn’t considered before.
Is our vision for growth to eventually go public?
How will we measure and define our success?
How comfortable are we with loss before recognizing it’s time to restructure or change direction?
What is the exit strategy for each partner in the event of death or disability?
If there is a new marriage, can we require a prenup from the engaged partner with their new spouse so one of us doesn’t end up running a company with the others ex-spouse?
Of course I had already considered these things.
I hadn’t considered how I would feel answering and asking so many very intimate questions, however. Each consideration speaks more to an underlying value than a set of operational guidelines.
I knew that if I went to Pinterest, I’d find more female written articles by women in business. Eighty some-odd percent of users on Pinterest are female. I assumed that I’d find someone else may have encountered this same struggle. The struggle to put your values there in black and white and own them.
But there it was. The same ol’ cliche of what’s important to women in the work place. Having great lashes and finding success with a blog? Well, lashes, yes. No shame in my game. Blogging, no. OK, fine, content marketing is a blog, but, but no, not here. Not one peep on how to write these bylaws or advice on owning your truth system.
I’m not going to tell you how to write your bylaws. You can find those articles on Google. I’m going to create a beautiful Pin in this letter that I’ll never send.
I’ve decided to be part of the solution, instead of griping about the problem on Pinterest. In doing so, I’ll lay my heart open with some honesty and I will have already won half the battle. So here it is… a letter to my new partners and a peek into my soul.
The Company Will Always Come First
As a Mother, I’ve been programed for years to put my children first. As my responsibilities have grown, I’ve also realized that I will sometimes put them second.
They won’t always be this little…
they are only young once! – Everyone
But you know what? I’m only young once, too. If every women just kept sacrificing her life, dreams, youth and talent to raise children and her daughters do the same, then we are a world of mindless drones just raising the boys to rule the boys world. Where would we be as a society if half of our population had been able to contribute their skills and talents instead of being shut away and silently losing their minds?
If I miss this dance show, there will be another and I’m owning that statement. Daddy will be there. We all have family responsibilities and mine is to the new baby. This company is my new baby, and like any newborn, it’s going to get 90% of my waking (and sleeping) thought until it’s grown up and is self sufficient.
I Rarely Recover From Deception
Not to be confused with forgiveness. I will always/eventually forgive, but I also believe there are certain things that are so inherent to ones character that once recognized, they can’t be unseen.
I believe that at the end of the day, my word is only worth what I’ve done with it. I judge others who don’t exercise similar standards for themselves. I believe that unethical behavior and deception are the only traits I will judge anyone for. And maybe bad fashion when they have the resources to not look like they just rolled our of Walmart cir. 1994.
I Will Bleed For You
You being the company. I’ve not got the time to go all stalker on you and boil a rabbit. But I defer to #1. This is my baby now and I literally won’t be able to sleep at night if things are left undone or unsettled. I’m a tad OCD, so when I say “I need to figure this out first…” I really, really need to figure this out first!
You can best support me and our project by promising me a time when we’ll take care of “it,” or address “it,” or tell me “it’s ok” and “it’s not just yours to figure out.”
16 Hour Days Make Me Happy
In the early stages when I’m still excited, nothing makes me happier than jumping in and giving life to the baby. When something has lived in my mind for so long, I only feel relief when I can hold it up and pronounce “behold!”
You’ll see a fairly glazed over, yet eerily focused precision to my eyes and you’ll know that I kinda should’t be bothered. I also may have just gotten Botox and my brows won’t relax, but it’s usually the first thing. Anyway, don’t try to feed me or tell me to take a break and for the love of God, if you try to show me a funny meme on Instagram I may stab you. Just approach slowly with a coffee (splenda, almond or soy milk), set it on my left side and back away slowly. If I’m at a stopping point, I’ll roll back and break my hyper-focus.
I’d like to think it’s these quirky things you’ll come to appreciate. Maybe? I may have lost you…
I’ll Turn To You And Ask If You Want To Jump In The Car And Split
It won’t ever be good timing, either. We may have a deadline. Maybe even an appointment the next day. I may not even have gas in the tank and there certainly have been times in my leaner years that I started diving without much as cash to pay for the nights hotel. But I know when I need to get out and go. Even if I just need to daydream about it for a minute.
I think you might just take me up on it from time to time, too.
You know when I realized that I would build anything with you that you may ask?
Orlando, Feb 2018 in the grass between the JW Marriott and the Ritz Carlton. We had just left the pool bar and were chatting about what we would change in the industry and how we could revolutionize it if only we each had our Daddy’s support. Your Daddy being your actual Father who founded the company and my “Daddy” being my employer who was unable to let go of control enough to trust anyone he ever worked with. (And who is the Plaintiff in suing four of former partners… huh… the words of an old Mentor comes to mind “We see the world as a reflection of ourself,” but I digress)
In a moment of wistful daydreaming and promise that we were going to change the way this industry thinks, one way or another, I offered up the only solution we had complete control over at the time. A suggestion I make quite often when at a loss for words or when I’ve hit a wall… there are three versions, really. One is “Wanna get outta here?” Another is “Let’s sing Christmas Carols,” and in the grass with you that day, it was “Cart wheel contest?”
Before I could pretend to be kidding, you went feet over head and laughed. I did the same and in that instant, I knew that I would throw myself at anything we ever decided to do together. If you had said “Kendra, we’re setting up a Lemonade stand.” I would have said “Pink or Yellow?”
I’m sure there is a study abut some physiological response that releases dopamine or serotonin or something when you do a cartwheel, sing, or remove yourself from the situation. I can promise that I will always choose one of these irrational options before saying something I don’t mean or get angry. I don’t “do” angry.
I’ve Never Experienced Jealousy
I’ve never experienced jealousy for the same reason I’ve never been angry. I think both are cop-out words to mask feelings that otherwise make us feel small. It seems like no one wants to admit weakness, but you know what, screw that. I’m going to be really honest with the big words so that people in my life are not confused. My ability to articulate and communicate will never leave anyone wondering where they stand. You will always be able to make your most informed decisions knowing where I stand.
I’ve not been jealous, but I’ve been broken hearted when another girl went to Prom with a boy I loved in High School. (He lived 2,000 miles away, otherwise, come on, he’d have been all over it, right? lol) I’ve been disappointed when my ex made mistakes that don’t belong in a relationship. I’ve been scared for the future when the bank because I was deceived and I felt helpless and stupid. But not mad. I’ve felt isolated and lonely, I’ve felt anxiety and terror, but I’ll never just say angry.
The best way to overcome anger and jealousy are to live a better life. I’d rather scream “Look at me now” while doing a little jig than scream “You mother-*&%$!”
When someone is mad, I look for the big words that are behind the anger. Then, I see them as a hurting child and I nurture them with healthy communication until they can tell me what course they want to take. Sometimes just reminding another that they have a choice is enough to ease their foot off the gas. Like when Mom says “Do you want broccoli or asparagus?” Well, you have a choice, even if you don’t like either of your choices. Be an adult and make the hard choices with the big words.
When I admire someones talents, wealth, beauty, “stuff,” etc., I don’t get jealous. I hope to learn how to achieve those things for myself. Or I say “Yeah, I like tacos too much for that.”
This is why I don’t feel threatened by a team member coming on that is “better” than I am. There will always be someone better, smarter, kinder… whatever. There is only one me and I’m either what is needed or I am not and that’s just part of company evolution. Mark my words, there will come a time when I need to be replaced. Ideally because we’re considering selling and we’re letting new management step in. Lol
My Loyalty Is Probably Unhealthy
If you ever discover that I’ve deceived, wronged, cheated, stolen or acted without integrity, I’ll hand over my shares, no questions asked. I’m pretty old-school, being primarily raised by my Grandmother. She was a “Stand By Your Man,” kinda gal.
I will defend and support any choice you make. In times of disagreement, they will be discussed privately. A united front while running a company is crucial. I will always speak my mind, but when we come to an agreement on how to proceed, I will throw myself at it and go down swinging like it was my own. We’re part of a team that deserves that dedication and unity. I believe that, again, like with parenting, when employees feel that they are being led by two people who are united and unbreakable secure, that they can flourish. That security is what allows them to envision the future of the company and still being a part of it. They are inspired to do better work and grow up into amazing assets.
People are going to be trusting us to make the right decisions. Their families will depend on us doing the best job we can and I don’t take that honor and privilege lightly. And I can’t wait to see what we all can do together.
Corporate Bylaws will come in time. For now, you know me a little better.
Start Up Strategist