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Business Partnerships and Perceived Value

business partnerships

Image credit to Stuart Miles

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!

By Nima Jacob Nojoumi
By Nima Jacob Nojoumi
Die hard entrepreneur, startup adviser, world traveler, blogger, inbound marketing addict and evangelist of the American Dream. Helping people is my passion, business is my vehicle.
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Showing 13 comments

  • Jonny Silver

    Great article Nima. And what an amazing quote from your mother. I agree with you 100% on the morality and vision. I have witnessed your hard work and dedication, and whatever your decision manifests it’ll be golden.

    • Nima Nojoumi

      Thank you, Jonny, I feed off your positivity and encouragement. 

  • Farima

    Well said and great questions to think about. I’m so proud of you: You’re a leader, motivational speaker, writer and saavy business man with a huge heart. 2012 is gonna rock!

    “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.” ~Steve Jobs

    • Nima Nojoumi

      Thanks Farima.com! I’m super excited to witness the launch of your business in 2012. I’m always a flight, phone call, email, text or blog comment away ;)

  • Andy

    Partnerships are definitely tough. No matter if both have the same focus and objectives or whether it’s the so called “opposites attract” scenario, the road will always have bumps that can turn into major obstacles when two don’t see eye to eye and are at an impasse. What do you think about what I would coin the “social media partnerships?” We have become such an interconnected world throught social media platforms that essentially the vast majority can do call partner for both a cause for the greater good or a mutually beneficial partnership which both can directly impact the other in a way that will create personal gain and business development. How would you choose on who to “extend an olive branch” or “help support a startup” knowing that your knowledge could jumpstart them and there genuine reciprocation could far outweigh monetary value? Can those types of partnerships exist? Always look forward to comments from professional minds as yourself!

    • Nima Nojoumi

      Hi Andy, thanks for posting a comment and a question. I’m a little confused can you please clarify what you mean?

      Are you asking if I think partnerships can work with out ever meeting face to face? If that is your question my answer is, yes, absolutely. I have multiple mentors and partners that I’ve built life long friendships with and the best part is I’ve never met them.

      In regards to extending an olive branch, I think it would boil down to a case by case basis. I would have to analyze who the person is, how talented they are, how much momentum they have and whether or not my input can provide enough value to push them through to the next level. I would organize my efforts by percentage of likelihood of success with my support.
      I hope that answers your question. Please let me know if I misunderstood your question. If you ever have any questions that you think I can answer please leave a comment on any post and I’ll do my best to help. If I’m not qualified or if it’s in an area outside of my expertise I probably know someone that can answer it.

  • slashsplat

    Partnership are transient.  Two or more passing in the night, at different speeds.  Synched for a short time or longer, but never forever.  Reciprocity is rare.  We spend huge resources gaining momentum, often to no avail.  When they work, they are golden

    • Nima Nojoumi

      Thanks for posting a comment, it’s always great to learn from your wisdom. I know you’re right, but for some reason in my heart I want to defy the odds. I just love the idea of lifelong business partnerships that work. The trust that one would have in a business partnership like that would be unshakable. At my core I’m the kind of guy that likes to do business with a hand shake. But to be able to operate at that level partnerships would definitely have to pass the test of time. 

      • Christian Hunter


        Good post on a topic that receives surprisingly little coverage.  It’s a curious thing too – given the fact that key partnerships are among, if not “the” most significant determinant in finding success within the productive side of our lives.

        Kudos to your mom and her unique and creative wisdom, she really did get me on that one….though after some thought I think it’s worth noting that the few remaining polytheists of the world would likely take serious exception to that idea, as might many within the Christian faith who hold a Trinitarian view.  But I digress from my main motivation in replying:

        More than anything else, I wanted to toss my hat into the same ring as you did; the one that holds a belief that lifelong partnerships of mutual respect, appreciation, and value are not only possible, but likely if one cares enough to hold them in the highest priority and work hard in observing those elements and attributes within partnerships (their own, and those of others) that contribute or detract from their reinforcement.  

        Never having gone to college I can’t say whether or not courses like “Partnerships 101″ exist, however, given the sad state of most of them I’ve observed, they really ought to!

        Christian Hunter
        Austin, Texas  

  • Domainerdon

    Nima, I am a domainer with about 800 names, some pretty decent including the following list:
    I am trying to build them out and monetize them.  I look for strategic relationships.  you seem like a nice person to partner up with.  Send me an e-mail to info@domainnameexchange.org if you would like to talk further.

    • Nima Nojoumi

      Hi Don, thanks for reaching out. Appreciate you checking out the blog and posting a comment. Let me know if I can ever be of assistance to you or any of your colleagues.

  • reverse cell phone lookup

    Very insightful post.   A friend suggested this site and the recommendation turns out to be a goond one!

  • rogue scripts

    Great article! I think it’s important to weigh the cost:benefit ratio when engaging in a partnership.
    In today’s global economy, and particularly with regard to domaining, it helps to have someone you can rely on.

    Sometimes partnerships can be trying, but once you know somebody has your back, you can literally bet (your business) on it.

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