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Now You See Them

Now You Don’t

In the “creek without a paddle”

When you find yourself out of the raft in whitewater rapids without your paddle, a lot of things go through your mind. The first thought is to save your ass. The second is to save your partner’s ass and get back in the boat. In business and in life you often find yourself outside the safety of your raft and in some cases the paddle is beyond reach too. That’s when you need a partner. A good partner!

When the opportunity to bring such a partner on board OpenMoves presented itself two years ago, my coach strongly advised against it. From her experience, partnerships rarely work out and she didn’t see the point of  sharing what I worked so hard to build. ” It’s risky business…just like a marriage, but without the benefits”. Hmmm…

The process of creating an acceptable prenuptial partnership agreement is filled with spreadsheets, legal documents and insurance policies  all desperately trying to answer the what-if  questions and give you an illusion of control. Since I’m not genetically designed to absorb too many details or numbers, I instinctively distill complexities to their simplest forms. In this case when the lawyers finished their dance and it was time to sign the dotted line, it came down to my expedition experience, not  my business one that helped me take a decisive stand.

When you travel by trail, sail, reef, rapid, road, paddle, wheel or foot,  you rely on your partners for everything including your life. This is where your skill at picking the right ones get honed. You need to decide which are good for a laugh and which you can count on when a storm sets in, which are givers and which are takers, which doddle and which get it done, which hover and which give you room to run.  I’ve practiced this skill over many self propelled miles and I’m pretty good at putting together and keeping a team.  And at the end of the day, OpenMoves is no different than an expedition except here we scale trends not granite peaks.

After 10 years of navigating the OpenMoves boat through the rapids, it was time to bring on a co-captain to help shoulder the load and steer us in new directions. Amir is the guy. For starters, we share the same values, goals and the love of good humus.

So when our lawyer scooted the agreement over to my side of the table, I signed it knowing that most likely I’ll never look at the agreement again. Whatever challenges maybe be thrown our way, we have the tools and trust to work it out. The partnership is working. OpenMoves has doubled in size, added new services and is more global and versatile. I think part of the magic is that we operate in an ego free zone, we focus on taking care of our clients and we don’t take ourselves too seriously, but I get ahead of myself.

By the looks of the picture above, our first challenge as partners  wasn’t looking particularly promising with both of us out of the raft; Amir underwater and our paddles floating down river, but our mates pulled us out of the rapids and into the boat and soon enough we were united and heading down river and around the bend.



  • Ronen

    That was worth my time reading. Good for you. I have always felt that you were worth trusting and doing business with.
    BTW, your organization has continued to beacon good stuff. Ed Conolly recently finished up guiding me through an email marketing campaign. His stock answer to my questions was a consistent “Yes, we can do that for you”!!! Amir led a well appreciated webinar for one of my boards this spring.

    If you know and like what you are doing, and you act like customer service is a company value … you have a reasonable shot at success. Imagine that. Ed

  • Thanks Ed, much appreciated… when are you coming rafting with us?

About Ronen Yaari

I’m no guru and I don’t have hundreds of hours of certifications. All I can claim is that I did not squander the time that I was given so far. I took care of my body from an early age and realized that a fit body was going to be the vehicle of choice to propel me around the planet to find what I was supposed to find. I ran marathons, biked continents, climbed glaciers, walked across states, sailed oceans, explored reefs and floated myself over yoga mats. If the sun is down I’m a sleep and if it’s up I’m outside. My biggest accomplishment by far is creating a family that enjoys each other and puts up with me.