It’s another Expert Briefs, where I ask really smart business owners to answer your burning questions.
This week I asked our panel of experts…
Do you partner in your business – like long-term JVs?
If so, any horror stories or tips for success?
Let me have it.
I think you'll enjoy the responses.
Connie Ragen Green of Affiliate Marketing Case Studies says:
I had partners during the years I worked in real estate, but now I prefer to only get involved in joint ventures. I define a JV as a business relationship based on a specific project, with a definite start and end date.
These have worked out extremely well for me and I continue to look for new joint venture partners as my business grows.
Want to see One of Connie's Recent JVs?
Karon Thackston of Step-by-Step Copywriting Course says:
Christine Cobb and I have a site we co-own. We started it back in 2010 and have really enjoyed working with one another. It's great to have someone to brainstorm with (not just about our joint site) and to do the things I don't like/want to do.
One of the things that plays a big role in Christine and I getting along so well is that we bring different strengths to the business relationship. What she's good at, I stink at and vice versa 🙂 We each have something valuable to contribute. We also both have thick skin.
If she doesn't care for something I've written or doesn't think it will work, she tells me. (Politely.) If I'm not big on the way she has something set up to operate, I let her know. (Gently.) There's a great deal of mutual respect involved.
I have been involved in other short-term JV relationships where the other party didn't do hardly anything she was supposed to. It's no fun to be stuck holding the bag and having to do everything yourself. Later, that person expected to be paid for doing nothing.
I think the moral of the story is to know (or get to know) the person you're about to partner with. Make sure you are compatible with your personalities, talents, skills and work ethics or it could turn out to be a situation you wish you would have avoided.
Want to see Karon's JV with Christine Cobb?
Barb Ling of Social Curation Ignition says:
Barb is brilliant in so many ways.
You can peek inside her brain in her Social Curation Ignition course (click for details).
Lynette Chandler of Tech Based Marketing says:
Absolutely, without my partners I have no idea where I'd be.
I've been enormously blessed with great partners. There are many aspects to a partnership dynamic but for me, the biggest thing is honesty. Not just being truthful, but being forthright – even when it is painful.
Years ago, while we were all together in a project, Kelly McCausey and Alice Seba sat me down to discuss my performance on a presentation I'd just given. It was awful. Both the presentation and the meeting after.
In the end, it only made me respect and value them so much more; Knowing they'd give me the truth whether it is what I want to hear or not. In return, I'm prepared to give the partnership 100% when working on my portion of things.
Want to See One of Lynette's Partnerships?
Terry Dean of My Marketing Coach says:
I don't do very many long-term partnerships, because I was burned early on in a few.
One of my ongoing ones has been with Glenn Livingston. It has been awesome. There are two big tips I could give here.
1. Only partner with someone you'd trust with the keys to your house.
The best quality of a good partner is someone you can trust. I'll often do short-term partnerships first and those eventually morph into longer run deals as the trust is built up over time. Even the best contracts won't make a dishonest person someone you want to deal with.
2. Partner with someone who adds value to your life.
One of the projects Glenn Livingston and I did came together because I mentioned that if someone combined Glenn's research skills with my copywriting skills, they'd be downright dangerous. We created the Total Conversion Code together.
It was very profitable for both of us, but what was even more valuable was the skills we both picked up in the process. Both of us have become conversion experts from filling in our weak links.
Kelly McCausey of Solo Smarts Podcast says:
I've no horror stories and after all these years and the different projects I've partnered on, that's a blessing. I've never been horribly let down, stiffed financially or left holding the bag. I have good relationships with every person I've ever partnered with… in fact, I'd partner with any one of them again if the right project presented itself.
I like that my main business is just me. I'm independent and enjoy working on my own most of the time, but, I love to have side-gig partnerships going on around me too.
A few reasons why:
* I feel more driven to meet deadlines when a partner is waiting on me.
* I'm always learning something new from one of my partners.
* My partners introduce me to cool new people I might not have met on my own.
* Partners can cover for each other when life gets crazy.
And hey, sometimes it's just plain more fun to work with other people.
My partnering success tip would be to be open to your partners' ideas.
If you take on a partner, but then want to keep doing everything the way you've always done it – you're missing out and probably will end up frustrating the other person. Partnerships are amazing opportunities to try new things so shake off the same old attitudes and go for it.
Want to See One of Kelly's Partnerships?
Check out SoloMasterminds
Nicole Dean of .. here! .. says:
I have had a lot of partnerships over the years. Just counting quickly I can think of 10 different people who I’ve partnered with over the years.
- Some of my partnerships have been AWESOME.
- Most have been positive.
- A few have not. (I have several grey hairs from one partnership that went south.)
A few years ago, I was much more open to partnerships.
While I am still open to a win-win (or I’d be silly not to be), I’m definitely more hesitant to get into a partnership now than I have been in the past. If I have an idea for a project, I’d usually just create it myself, use my own team, and/or get an intern to help. That way it’s part of my core business.
The number one thing I look for in the people who I want to work closely with?
Well, there are several, but the one thing that is absolutely a must-have is someone who has proven to show respect. (Sing it Aretha! R-E-S-P-E-C-T Find out what it means to ME!)
I always tell my kids that the one thing in life you have to learn is respect.
- Respect for yourself, including your health and wellbeing and your future.
- Respect for others, including their feelings.
- Respect for property, both our own and others.
- Respect for the environment.
Anyone I’d partner with would have to show respect for themselves, respect in their business, respect to customers by providing quality (no shortcuts), respect to others in their field, and respect to me. It’s kind of a broad answer, but it’s just an overall feeling you get when you meet someone. If they are backstabbing people or putting out shoddy products, I don’t really want to be associated with them. If they aren’t showing me respect, before we even partner, then I just can’t partner with them.
A business partnership (or even hiring someone) is very much like a marriage in many ways. If the trust gets lost… it’s very very hard to ever get it back. If there’s an uneven feeling in the relationship or one person feels the other isn’t treating her or their business with respect, then it’s never going to feel “right”.
As for right now, I'm only in a few long-term partnerships.
My most active JV's at the moment are –
- CoachGlue.com – a project that I created with my good friend, Melissa Ingold, and I'm really excited about it.
- MomWebs.com – a web hosting company that I co-CEO with Kelly McCausey that specializes in helping moms get their blogs online to share their message with the masses.
What about You?
Talk to me. Any tips for my readers? I would love to hear what you think about partnering.
Warmly and with big hugs.
PS. Remember, the best way to ensure I get awesome peeps to contribute to Expert Briefs is if you go check out their stuff.
Here's a recap of the JV Examples in this post.
What a wide variety of ways we are all partnering. From software to web hosting to templates. Cool stuff.