When two trumps one: the power of partnerships

Education & Training with Writing Roads

I’ve suddenly found myself elbow-to-elbow deep in a series of partnerships. I’m co-authoring an ebook with Ron Miller, tech writer extraordinaire, about authentical and personal branding; I’m writing a post with Ari Herzog, political and social media moven (I’m hoping that’s the male form of ‘maven’) that might have some bad words in it; I’m crafting a post with Michelle Minch and Lisa Heindel, two fabulous women that reign supreme in the world of home staging/interior design and real estate, respectively; and, I’m developing a series of webinars called Cookie Coaching with J.S. Perkins, a life coach, and Carol McManus, a chef/baker/entrepreneur.

I couldn’t begin to decide which one of these partnerships I’m most excited about. Some I went after, some just happened, some - I’m sure - were caused by divine intervention, some came after me. But, I can tell you that partnerships carry a load of benefits - no matter what your industry:

  • Exposure. When each of these projects is unveiled, I’ll announce them to my networks…and my partner(s) will be announcing the projects and me to their networks.
  • Learning. These are smart people that know so much that I don’t know - about their industries, the way they operate in the world and the world itself.
  • Enjoyment. Seriously, I’ve gone out of my way to pick interesting, hilarious and/or colorful people to work with.
  • Diversity. You all know that I love, love, love my job. But, how great is it to do something just a little bit different every once in awhile. Partnering involves brainstorming sessions that involve more than just my brain and new ways of getting the job done because we all have to compromise a bit on our habitual MO’s.
  • Professional Growth. Because I’m learning, stretching and collaborating, I’m broadening the scope of what I know and what I’m capable of doing. Not to mention the venues that I’m doing the work in…
  • Relationships. Some of these people I knew previously, but these relationships are deepening as we work closely on our projects - and share the thrill of creation, publishing and, soon, external response.
  • More opportunity. I’ve yet to take even one single step in my business - that felt good, positive and productive - that didn’t lead to a new and exciting opportunity.

If you’re thinking about embarking on a partnership, here are some things to consider:

  1. Combine industries, topics and personalities that are unexpected: like aardvarks and pesto.
  2. Offer differing perspectives to reach a wider group of people.
  3. Introduce unique ideas that only your specific partnership could create.
  4. Seek out people that you want to work with and that have an audience you would like to reach.
  5. Don’t show up empty handed. If you’re approaching someone else, come with your ideas ready.
  6. Be flexible. The basis of any partnership is collaboration. As you discuss your plans for the project, you’re going to have to give a little. (Even if it was your original idea, see #5 above).
  7. Communicate honestly. If something isn’t working for you, say so and do it respectfully. Come at it with the intention of solving a problem together…I bet you’ll end up learning a lot. And, I can’t think of a darn thing that was made better by silence and the harboring of ill will.

Do you use partnerships in your business? How? Why? Can’t wait to hear…

Julie Roads is a marketing copywriter, blogger, social media consultant & speaker who thrives on helping you find your authentic voice & personal brand, and keep it, while you grow your business.

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Cross posted on the Writing Roads Blog


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Michael A. Caruso
Surterre Properties - Laguna Niguel, CA

Partnerships in real estate are extremely challenging and difficult to maintain.  I've yet to see one enduring real estate business partnership regardless of gender or age.

Jan 12, 2009 02:04 AM #1
Li Read
Sea to Sky Premier Properties (Salt Spring) - Salt Spring Island, BC
Caring expertise...knowledge for you!

Good advice!    Especially # 5 & # 7.   It may be that realtors will explore partnerships, in this economic discovery time, to remain viably in the biz.  

Jan 12, 2009 03:22 AM #2
Julie Cleland
Prudential California Realty - South San Francisco, CA

I was involved in a partnership early in my real estate career with a seasoned agent looking to retire and hand over her business book and farm.  It's important to ask why you are going into the partnership and what is it about the partnership that is going to bring in additional business.  You have to more than double business in order to make it worth while.  Also, do all parties have the same motivation to work.  In my case, I was just starting out and living off our commissions.  My partner was in a better financial situation so was not as reliant on making a sale.  Other things I hadn't even considered included the hours we each like to work, different ideas on marketing and when there is a disagreement who will make the final call.  If I had the opportunity to do it over again I would think twice.

Jan 12, 2009 03:26 AM #3
Gary L. Waters, Broker Owner, Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC
Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC - Rockledge, FL
... a small office, delivering big service!

I have tried a partnership once. Unfortunately my "chosen" partner failed to contribute so it was a "sole" experience with extra baggage! God advice!

Jan 12, 2009 04:54 AM #4
Mark MacKenzie
Phoenix, AZ

I have always believed that achieving success while working in a vacuum is nearly impossible.

It is these types of joint ventures and partnerships that support that belief. :)

Jan 12, 2009 05:07 AM #5
Julie Roads
Writing Roads - West Tisbury, MA
Writer, Blogger, Social Media Consultant

Wow - I seem to have touched a nerve here...we've got some great and strong opinions.

I've also had a business partnership go awry - and I want to point out that if you look at my post again, I'm not actually suggesting business partnerships - in terms of co-owning a company - but just taking on some co-projects to add some juice to your solo affair.

Thanks for reading!!!

Jan 12, 2009 07:09 AM #6
Marlene Pellegrini
Norwich, CT

Being open to different prospective is a wonderful thing Julie!  Collaboration can really work well.  Thanks.

Jan 12, 2009 07:39 AM #7
Annie Pinsker-Brown
Stage to Sell - LA Home Staging - Los Angeles, CA
Stage to Sell, Los Angeles Home Stager

Great post! You will love working with Michelle M. She's an absolute pro.

Jan 15, 2009 04:39 AM #8
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