Choose Your Partners Carefully

Choose Your Partners Carefully

I normally shy away from partnerships.

Mainly because it involves sharing not only the successes of your partner, but also the inevitable failures – failures to execute, produce, live up to expectations – beyond your span of control.

I have had successful partnerships – but a lot more unsuccessful ones.

Sometimes the risks outweigh the benefits – and sometimes you have no choice but to create a partnership (scarcity of resources, timeliness to market, access to information).

And sometimes – sometimes it just works to everyone’s benefit.

So, I’ve learned never to say never.

But I always go into a partnership hoping for the best but expecting the worst.

Or at least, expecting to be disappointed.

Anyone else?


3 thoughts on “Choose Your Partners Carefully

  1. When you say ‘partnerships’, are you referring to full-on partners like at a law firm or something? In that case, yeah, gotta enter knowing the deal. But if you mean partners that aren’t official, then there’s less concern. These partners are more like your go-to people to outsource to.


  2. Yeah, Rob, but when you outsource you are still depending upon those resources to be reliable.

    It’s just as important to be diligent with any business relationship, formal or informal, if YOUR name is attached to it. At least I am.

    If your subs blow up in your face, you don’t go back to the customer and say “it wasn’t me – it was the subcontractor” – at least, not if you want to get repeat business from them.

    Go To means they are reliable and trusted, and proven. They didn’t become “go to” by not performing.

    Usually, with a new relationship, unless a gun is held to my head, I try to limit my exposure to the extent I can until that new relationship performs as (or better) than expected… and even then, I tend to take a long time to extend that “go to” trust.

    Maybe it’s a character flaw… or maybe it’s those projects in the past where you wind up eating 60K or so because of a sub dropping the ball.

    All good relationships (or trust) take time. Great relationships are built upon consistent execution and performance – friendships, marriages, business deals, anything.

    If I’m coming across as someone who never subs that’s not what I’m trying to say. I can’t perform / exist without people who have skills complementary to my own outside of my span of control.

    However, if I am careless in my selection of these partners, it can have impacts that are severe.


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