Blog | Entrepreneurship, Personal Finance

Who Are Your Business Partners?

New Rule of Money #7 - If you want to be successful, carefully choose your business partners

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Millions of people go through life repeating what they learned in school, taking the test of life on their own, not asking for help, and being bullied or told what to do by big and powerful organizations. Unfortunately, that won't make you success in business. What separates those who slave away in the S-quadrant and those who thrive in the B-quadrant are those who choose their business partners wisely.

The CASHFLOW Quadrant and the power of a team

The mindset of do it yourself can be plotted to the CASHFLOW Quadrant.


On the left side are Employees and Self-Employed (Es and Ss).

On the right side are Business and Investing (Bs and Is).

Many people on the left side of the quadrant don’t like teams...or at least they don’t like having people on teams that are smarter than them.

Employees, for instance, often fear those who are smarter or better than them because it means they won’t get the promotion or the raise. They might not get the marquee project. There is often a lot of toxicity on teams that stem from fear employees have about their job security.

Self-employed people are often very bright and capable. They even have an entrepreneurial bent to them. But they don’t like teams. They want to be the smartest person in the room, and they often are, which is why companies hire them as consultants. But because they don’t play well with others, they have to do all the work and often times feel they don’t need business partners. They don’t own a business. They own a job.

On the other hand those on the right side of the CASHFLOW Quadrant know that if they want to be rich and successful, a team of strong business partners is crucial. Employees and self-employed people often say of the people who own their company, “I’m so much smarter than them. Why do they get all the money?” That, however, is by design. In fact, the E and S inability to really embrace surrounding themselves with smart business partners is the reason why they could never succeed as a business owner or investor.

The reason a team is key to success in business and investing can be found in the B-I Triangle.

Find your business partners through the B-I Triangle

My rich dad said, “Business and investing are team sports.” The reason why most people struggle financially today is because they go onto the financial playing field as individuals, not as a team. And when a business fails, it’s often because they have poor leadership and a poor team.

The B-I Triangle illustrates the foundations a business needs to be successful.

B I Triangle

As you can see, there are eight components, or what I can integrities, to a successful business.

  1. Mission

  2. Leadership

  3. Team

  4. Product

  5. Legal

  6. Systems

  7. Communications

  8. Cash flow

Most people focus on a product or a “great idea”, but that is actually backwards. As you can see, the product is the smallest integrity of the B-I Triangle.

In reality the most important integrities for a successful business are mission, team, and leadership. That is what they are on the outside of the triangle. Having these in place makes filling in the triangle much easier.

A great leader and a great mission attracts a great team of business partners. If you have a great leader and a great mission, but do not have a great team, however, you will not be successful. You can’t do everything alone, nor do you have all the knowledge you need to be successful.

This is why I have my Rich Dad Advisors. They are experts in their respective areas that help me be the best I can be in business and investing. They are all smarter than me in their areas, but I like it that way, because the collective smarts of my team make me more successful. I don’t want to be the smartest guy in the room. I want to be surrounded by the smartest people in the room.

When I have a question on paper assets, I call Andy Tanner.

When I need some sophisticated tax advice, I call Tom Wheelwright.

When I have a legal need, Garret Sutton is my guy. And so forth.

The greatest individual performers in the world understand that they are nothing without a team. Take, for example, this quote by Babe Ruth, arguably one of the greatest baseball players in the history of the game: “The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime.”

Choose your business partners wisely

But a problem does occur when it becomes hard to figure out who is or should be on your team and who is playing for other teams.

For instance, when a young couple goes in to meet with a financial planner, odds are that planner is playing for the other team—the mega-financial corporation he or she works for. Every credit card you have is playing for the other team. Your mortgage plays for the other team.

The world is full of people who are employees and self-employed turning to businesses and investors to help them financially. The problem is those people and those tools all play for the businesses and investors—not for you.

Oftentimes these other teams have millions of dollars to throw at influencing individual players who don’t know any better. But the good news is there’s a way to fight back. And that’s by building your own team complete with professional business partners.

Getting the right business partners on your team

If you want to be successful in life, you need to have experts that are on your side that you can turn to for advice.

Key players for your team include an attorney, a CPA to help with accounting and taxes, an objective and well-vetted broker, various experts in your chosen investment and business areas, mentors, and coaches. Additionally, it never hurts to have athletic trainers, life coaches, and a strong network of friends and family who keep you sane.

The key is to choose wisely. Be picky. Don’t settle for people who you’re not sure if they play on your team or for other teams. I’ve learned this the hard way with past business partners, so I’m speaking from experience on this one. If you don’t choose the right people to be on your team, it can cost you a lot, if not in money then in time and emotional and spiritual energy. A bad team member is one of the most life-draining and dangerous things you can have.

At the end of the day, the person who chooses his or her team the wisest is the person who will win.

So, who’s on your team?

Original publish date: July 06, 2016

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