Theirs was an exciting public relations partnership. Laura Beth DeHority and Roberta Silverstein, both of San Jose, California, had talents that complemented each other and working habits that dovetailed. Silverstein, "who must have been a bat in a former life," quips DeHority, would work into the wee hours of the night and leave dozens of e-mails for DeHority, which she read when she logged on the next morning. "We formed a virtual agency with talent that would rival the finest public relations firm," DeHority says.
Then DeHority's life changed dramatically. "My husband and I adopted a son," she says. "I wanted to enjoy more time with him. I didn't want a nursery school to raise him. Roberta and I talked about it, and it didn't seem like a problem at first. Then, as we contemplated the future of our business, I realized I didn't want to work 50-hour weeks. I wanted to limit the number of clients we had, and Roberta, the primary earner in her household, wanted to increase their client base and grow the business. My reluctance to put in more than 25 hours a week meant she sometimes had to work 75. I was her anchor--though she never made me feel that way--and it was unfair to her."
Eventually, DeHority and Silverstein dissolved the partnership. "But we were able to walk away friends," says DeHority. "I know now how important it is to have similar personal goals if a virtual partnership is to be successful."
Creative Consortium Ltd., (773) 929-0468, email@example.com
InteleWorks Inc., (770) 979-9459, firstname.lastname@example.org
Jaffe Associates Inc., (202) 383-6633, http://www.get-serious.com
NWB Managed Care Development LLC, (803) 883-5055, http://www.nwborg.com
WowGlobal, (202) 342-0979, MsTMathieu@aol.com