5 Keys to a Successful (Remote) Business Partnership

January 17, 2024

5 Keys to a Successful (Remote) Business Partnership

After nearly three years of working together, Lucas Mitchell and I (Andrew Smith) finally met in person, right at the start of Q4 of 2023. My spouse and I flew out to Arizona to spend a long weekend with Lucas and his spouse. Fun was had, meals were shared, and many, many stories were told. I can confirm that Lucas is a real person – and a really great dude. 

Over the years, our clients and colleagues (outside of N&S) haven’t been able to compute how we could run a business together without having met. Well, it happened, so we know it’s possible. So now, the question is, why has it worked?

After working together for nearly three years, Nourish & Sow’s Co-Founders, Lucas Mitchell (left) and Andrew Smith, met in person for the first time in October 2023.
After thinking about it for a few months, I came up with these 5 Keys to a Successful (Remote) Business Partnership.


1) Authenticity

To go into business with someone – whether remotely or in person – both parties have to be true to themselves. It helps to know your work style and understand the things you’re motivated to do and the things that drain your energy. Having met in our mid-30s, Lucas and I both had more than a decade of work experience under our belts. He took the entrepreneurial leap much sooner than I did, but my varied work history and different career pathways helped me learn what I didn’t like about working for other people.

What it comes down to is being upfront about your strengths and weaknesses, and knowing that there’s nothing wrong with being the current version of yourself. When we spent time together, Lucas was the exact person I thought he was, and maybe even more real in person. No facade, no fluff, no fake. He says what he means and backs it up with his actions. He shows excitement, expresses frustration, and always keeps the big picture in focus. His authenticity has inspired me to simply be “more me” and realize that the best thing I can do for Nourish & Sow is be exactly who I am.


2) Implicit Trust

This key factor might actually be the hardest one for most people to feel comfortable with. Some of the people we’ve worked with over the years trust us more than they do some of their own employees. I get it. Business is hard, especially, as the owner, you’re the one who’s investing time, energy, money – sometimes your entire life – into its success.

You might be thinking, What if someone that works with me is actually a bad person and steals money from me or runs my business into the ground? Sure, that could happen. We’d advise to have financial controls and consistent metrics to track the success of your business. But regardless of the systems you put in place, there will always be implicit risk in implicit trust.

However, if you can find people who reflect your values and trust they are the person you think they are, then it will be ok. Lucas gave me the keys pretty much from Day One, and it’s empowered me – someone who may not have been as open to trusting others – to empower our team and trust them to deliver for our business.


3) Intentionality 

This is something I really had to learn as my role in Nourish & Sow developed from employee No. 1, to Director of Operations to COO. Lucas has taught me so much about being intentional with his time, his effort, and his bandwidth.

So many people get caught up in the things that don’t truly matter. At Nourish & Sow, we care about our people and, as an extension of that, we care about the things that they care about. Whether it’s their family, pets, a hobby, a trip or vacation, a side project, we always try to actively listen to our people and encourage them to follow the things that give them energy. Through that, Nourish & Sow becomes one of the things that they care about. By intentionally lifting others up, we can elevate the passion that exists within the company, and deliver better results for the business.


4) Accountability

In my view, accountability is a two-part proposition…


Part 1: Doing what you say you’re going to do, to the expected level everyone has agreed upon, and  in the timeframe you’ve mutually committed to.

Part 2: Realizing it is impossible to do everything in the exact quality and timeframe you anticipate, you must be able to own your failures, mistakes,  and shortcomings


Failure seems like a four-letter word in business. A lot of people are too afraid to fail, to even mention it, lest the prophecy become true. But here’s the truth, everyone in business has failed somewhere along the way, and often entrepreneurs fail many times throughout their journey.

If something – a product, project, offer, etc. – can’t fail – then you probably should get into a different line of work. Now, you can and should do everything in your power to mitigate risk and avoid pitfalls, but doing something new and innovative in business comes with risk. Just because there’s a chance a project will go over budget, or a content due date gets missed, or a client declines an offer doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go out there and try to hit the target you’ve set. Trying and failing, and trying again and again until you succeed IS THE PROCESS.

When running a business remotely with a partner, you must get into agreement on Part 2. In our three years managing Nourish & Sow – things haven’t gone perfectly – far from it. But, everytime we fall short, both Lucas and I are transparent about the challenges and factors – including our individual roles – that contributed to missing the mark.

It’s important here to avoid making excuses; Of course there are external factors that can impact business success, but it comes back to ownership of the outcome. Depending on the specific issues, we hear feedback from each other or our team members (who we value tremendously), and then work collectively to ensure the specific failure doesn’t happen again. Then we go out and give it another shot because that’s what successful entrepreneurs do.


5) Aligned Values

Lucas has always been very open about the things he values personally and from a business standpoint. There’s a lot of crossover between the two areas for him. He places value and importance in things like flexibility of time, empowering others, offering great jobs where people can grow, and achieving financial freedom. Over the first year of our partnership, as my view of the business world expanded from a W-2 employee to entrepreneur, I realized how much I care about those same things.

While we may not have had to “work as hard” on getting our values aligned as other partnerships, it’s still critical to any joint business venture. If you’re looking to start a partnership, think critically about what you value and have your potential partners do the same. Create your respective value lists, find the areas where you match, and have a discussion upfront about the areas that aren’t quite aligned. Everyone in business wants to make money, but if that’s the only thing you and your partner share mutual value, it will be a short-lived partnership.


Need Support with Your Partnership?

Lucas and Andrew offer business coaching and mentorships to other entrepreneurs in a variety of industries. If your partnership needs a reset, they encourage you to reach out.

Use the link below to book a free consultation call to see how we can get your partnership aligned for success.