Find the Right Partners for Success image

Find the Right Partners for Success

No woman is an island on the road to financial freedom

“Business would be easy if it weren’t for people.” I say this jokingly, but an important part of reaching your goals for financial freedom is finding the right partners to help you. Good partners can help you move forward quickly, increase your financial education and be ready for opportunities when they become available. On the other hand, bad partners can cause significant hardship, setbacks and stress. As Robert says, “You can’t do a good deal with a bad partner,” so….

How do you find good partners?

My number-one partner in everything – investing, business, marriage, play – is Robert. We don’t always agree on everything, but that’s what makes us great partners. A good partnership allows space for each partner to state their mind, give their opinions and question the other partner’s ideas. It’s a give and take situation.

As I talk about in “It’s Rising Time!,” there are several things I look for in business partnerships:

  • Do I enjoy being around this person?

    Good partners want to work together so that everyone prospers. They should have aligned values and be generous. When doing a deal, you work closely with your partners so it’s important to me that I enjoy being around them.

    If I don’t want to go out to dinner with these people, why would I want them as partners?
  • Does this partner need money?

    This goes back to my point about being generous and having aligned values. My 91-year-old mentor, Frank, explained this to me. If your partner just wants to put money in her pocket, then she’s going to focus on that goal. She doesn’t care about the partnership and the goals of the partnership as a whole. And why would you want to have a partner like that?
  • Can I buy this person’s services elsewhere?

    Frank also gave me this advice and rule about choosing partners wisely:

    “Never give equity to a person whose services you can buy in the marketplace.”

    For example, if a friend wants a part of your asset by exchanging services for it (being your property manager, doing your accounting, offering consulting services, etc.), make sure you are not losing out on the deal. If your friend is providing services you can get elsewhere or just needs money (see the bullet point above), look elsewhere for a partner.

    You can always hire an outside service to manage your property, handle your accounting and run your marketing. And this way, you get the services you need while holding on to 100% of your asset.

Who are Your Partners Going to Be?

As the U.S. Small Business Administration states, “Each partner contributes to all aspects of the business, including money, property, labor or skill. In return, each partner shares in the profits and losses of the business. Because partnerships entail more than one person in the decision-making process, it’s important to discuss a wide variety of issues up front and develop a legal partnership agreement.”

Before moving forward with a partnership, it’s important to take the time to think about your goals, the people you are considering and what they bring to the table. After all, good partners can help you reach your goals of financial freedom faster. But if you jump into a partnership without carefully considering the consequences, a good deal can go bad fast!

What advice do you have for other women to find good partners?

For additional resources to help you on your journey to financial freedom, check out our free, financial education community here.

And to teach your children about entrepreneurship and financial education, check out Robert’s new book, “Why ‘A’ Students Work for ‘C’ Students” here.

Original publish date: April 18, 2013

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