Partner or Perish

You multiplied by 2 or three can accomplish so much more. I believe Tiger Woods is the greatest golfer to ever live. Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player, ever. Gandhi, is one the greatest leaders of all time. President Barack Obama is the first African American president. Bill Gates is one of the smartest business minds on the planet. Not a single one of these people reached their pinnacle of success by themselves. They all had a coach, a mentor, a partner or a mastermind. All you know is all YOU know. If you partner with someone you have access to their brain in the form of ideas and another point of view. You have access to their experiences, gifts, and skill set. We know that experience is one of the best teachers. Your business partner(s) can prevent you from wasting time and energy. Collectively you can do a great deal more.

Working as a financial advisor, I owned a small practice. I was responsible for marketing, sales, operations, and financials. During that time in the industry, a trend was happening for financial advisors that were serious and wanted to take their practice to higher levels of success. The trend was hiring sales assistants. Again, a simple concept. As a financial advisor I had always done everything in the practice all by myself. Quite frankly, I saw no value in having an assistant in my practice. Besides my firm had back office support for many of the task that I needed done. More than anything, I would have to pay for the assistant to the tune of $35,000 to $45,000, plus bonuses. This sealed the deal for me not to ever get an assistant. Financial advisors with really large practices often had more than one assistant. I really perceived this as over kill and certainly a waste of money. It was a ridiculous idea to have a sales assistant until one day I found myself stagnant and working harder than ever before. What happened? I’m glad you asked. What happened was the non revenue generating activities required more attention than the revenue generating activities. Revenue generating activities to a financial advisor include client meetings, conducting workshops and seminars, and speaking engagements. These activities lead to getting clients and accounts. Sending out a mailer, filing paperwork, managing my schedule, and returning service calls are not revenue generating activities.

You have to play offense and score as much a possible in business to win. The revenue generating activities is the offense. I believe Defense wins championships, and therefore is just as important. Those non revenue generating activities was the defense. The defense kept the business that I earned with my offense and allowed me to play more offense and pursue more business. In order for me to stay in the game and get ahead I needed help with the defense. When I hired an assistant, my revenue increased by 40% and when that happened that salary that I was so reluctant to pay to my assistant was irrelevant. In that situation, albeit a partnership, I was still the boss.

When I started my software company I knew out the gate that help would be needed and the help would have to be in the form of other leaders. This type of team or partnership has totally different dynamic compared to my days running a financial advisor practice. This time I would be in business with two more of me. Ask yourself a question, “could you work with you?” For most, this is a tough question, if you’re completely honest. What me and my business partners did know, was that we couldn’t do what we set out to do, individually. We are each different. We have different personalities, different temperaments, and different likes. Our skill sets are complimentary to each others. We did have one similarity, and that was to build a company that we were proud of and impact generations to come. Myself, Ty, and Trinity knew going into this venture that we would have to do the following things in order to succeed as business partners:

1. Check our ego at the door. Its about the vision not you.
2. Commit to the cause. Focus and commitment to the vision was the only way.
3. Always be honest with each other. Transparency never leaves anyone guessing.
4. Stay in our respective lane. Maximize YOUR gifts and talents.
5. Be accountable to one another. Always be your brothers keeper.

If these things are done consistently your partnership will succeed. We have been partners for almost ten years. I now have two more brothers. You will have challenges, and disagreements. We have stood on tables yelling and screaming at each other in the morning and kept the lunch plans we had scheduled for that day. We do this because the vision is greater than any one of us.

No one has done anything great without a team of people that had like vision and desire. Partnerships will work. You just have to work them.

Leave A Comment