I understand entrepreneurs that chase deals, that work their tails off to gain independence for themselves and loved ones, the ones that consistently work 18hr days all in the name of dedication, personal progress and success, but at a certain point we have to realize we’re human. Corporations, small businesses, online ventures, etc are all invented, developed and managed by humans. Our success in literally any aspect of life boils down to partnerships. It could be a strategic business partnership or an equity kicker or even an affiliate relationship, but It all comes back to relationships.
I understand the logical thought process behind partnerships and the perceived value; It makes the entrepreneurial process “easier,” “fun,” “exciting,” and mitigates risk. Who doesn’t want a business partner that brings good intentions, an area of expertise and added value to a team?
The business dictionaries definition of Perceived Value is: A persons opinion of value to him or her. It may have little or nothing to do with the market price, and depends on the ability to satisfy his or her needs or requirements.
This leads us to the question that every entrepreneur eventually asks: Are business partnerships worth the hassle or is it better to just man down your own business?
About 2yrs ago I asked my mom for advice. At the time I was in a business partnership that wasn’t working and she said something that blew my mind. She said, “Son, if partnerships were meant to last, then God would have a partner.” For the first time in my life I had no rebuttal. To this day every time I enter a new business partnership I hear her words of wisdom whisper in my ear before I sign the dotted line.
Logically speaking based on mom’s advice I shouldn’t engage in business partnerships. But, once again I’ll revisit the notion that I’m human. Partnerships are valuable to me because it makes the process fun. I’ve always said it and I’ll say it again, I’d rather be broke and appreciate what I have than be rich and take things for granted. I came to the realization that I’m a people person, protector and provider. I want to help my friends and family achieve their goals. That’s my secret sauce and what keeps me up at night.
I believe business partnerships are only valuable if you share the same principles, morals, vision and goals. Don’t be fooled by the perceived value of partnerships, instead ask is the person I’m partnering with a good human being? Do I enjoy her company? Have I seen her at her best and worst? Can I handle her at her worst? Or even more importantly do I want to handle her at her worst? If you answered yes, then consider the perceived value that she may bring to your team. If you answered no to any of the above questions then do yourself a favor and walk away.
I’d love to hear your opinion. Do you prefer tackling projects on your own or do you prefer a business partner? Is there a specific scenario in which you would prefer a business partner? I look forward to reading your comments below!