December 23, 2017

The Balancing Act: The right partnerships can get you ahead

Print More

Editor’s note: Since September 2015, Worcester Sun has chronicled the busy life of Sun contributor Giselle Rivera-Flores in the serial “A Mother’s Journey,” as she explores ways to help her daughter and other Worcester families find affordable educational support. We used to describe her as an aspiring business owner; now, she’s a full-fledged entrepreneur and acknowledged leader in the startup community. As Giselle has evolved, so has her story. Welcome to the first installment of “The Balancing Act.”

Giselle Rivera-Flores

The adage “Two heads are better than one” may explain the reason many entrepreneurs and small-business owners team up to form partnerships. In fact, new research by Carnegie Mellon University professor Anita Williams Woolley and her colleagues suggests that the intelligence of a group can exceed that of its individual members.

Well, if the right conditions are met.

Read Giselle’s previous chapter, Don’t starve the artists , or scroll down to explore more of her story.

A partnership doesn’t always equate to more brainpower or productivity. Some partnerships, while equally healthy on the surface – personalities are a match and there are some shared worldviews – are not always healthy on a business level. Friends often find themselves starting partnerships with other friends only to realize, after months of demanding work on one end and no work on the other, that the partnership was a bad idea, and in turn, is ruining a perfectly good friendship.

As a habitual entrepreneur who has launched several companies — both successful ventures and total failures — I’ve had my share of partnerships. Although I haven’t experienced a partnership like investors Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger, I have had some great, and some epicly awful, experiences. But through it all, I’ve learned that there are three main traits needed to make the “two heads are better than one” adage accurate.

Not surprisingly, the first trait in any business connection is that it must be based on trust. Too often, entrepreneurs and small-business owners are sold appealing business ideas by less-than-trustworthy individuals. Because they’re blinded by the illusion of endless money, they sign partnership agreements and force a connection despite the lack of trust.

Denise Morrison, president and CEO of Campbell Soup Co., stated that “trust implies that both parties participate in the relationship with both ‘gives’ and ‘gets,’ and the attitude of giving a full commitment to the partnership will usually result in getting the same commitment in return.” Morrison, to me, gives the clearest definition of trust and its implications on a business partnership.

If trust determines the commitment of each party, then the goals and results quantify the trust. And there’s a problem when it doesn’t add up: A 100 percent commitment from one party multiplied by zero commitment from the other party equals zero success in the partnership.

With trust as the foundation of a partnership, it’s only right to follow up with mutual respect as the second trait. In famous partnerships like that of tech pioneers Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard, there is an evident level of mutual respect. There is also a recognition of the strengths and weaknesses each possesses for the greater good of the business.

Assistant professor Lee H. Igel of New York University’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies stated that each partner needs to “acknowledge that no matter who did what or how much, nothing could have been accomplished without the work and contribution of the other.” If one partner is doing all the work, then we must look back to the network of trust. But if each partner does a significantly different amount of work but stays within their own strengths, then there should be a mutual level of respect.

All partnerships are different. Some, like that of Keith Richards and Mick Jagger, are unique to their industry. Richards, an expert musician, relies on Jagger’s skills as a vocalist and businessman to make the magic happen. Bill Gates’ innovative software development, coupled with Steve Ballmer’s ability to drive ideas from concept to implementation, made them an ideal pairing at Microsoft.

After trust and respect, dedication to the end goal is the third trait. When evaluating a potential business partnership, I have learned to look at my weaknesses and ask myself if the potential partner possesses the right qualities and skills to counter those weaknesses.

While two of me may not be a bad deal, I am actually trying to achieve something greater than my own capabilities. Partners’ skills should complement each other, but they should also sync perfectly in their missions and dedication to reaching a targeted goal.

For me, over the years, this has been the leading cause of partnership breakups. At first, the relationship is great. The trust seems solid, the mutual respect for one another’s abilities is evident, then it all falls apart in the dedication to the mission aspect. This year alone, I’ve experienced a partnership breakup that had immense potential, but simply fell apart because of differences in the amount of dedication to the cause.

While I thought the business concept would take months to gain traction, the other partner felt that four months was long enough to determine the business concept’s chances of success. In the end, it was a great decision to part ways but unfortunately, it turned out to be a waste of my time and dedication to the business. Lesson learned.

As the opportunities for partnerships approach, be sure to evaluate them with a checklist that will propel your business to the next level. Above all else, keep your own head in the game. Two heads may be better, but you only have control of one.

More recent entries from Giselle:

119 thoughts on “The Balancing Act: The right partnerships can get you ahead

  1. An attention-grabbing dialogue is value comment. I think that it is best to write extra on this matter, it may not be a taboo topic however usually persons are not sufficient to talk on such topics. To the next. Cheers

  2. Hello there, just became aware of your blog through Google, and found that it’s really informative. I am gonna watch out for brussels. I’ll appreciate if you continue this in future. Lots of people will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

  3. Amazing blog! Do you have any suggestions for aspiring writers? I’m planning to start my own website soon but I’m a little lost on everything. Would you advise starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many choices out there that I’m completely overwhelmed .. Any tips? Bless you!

  4. Hiya very nice web site!! Man .. Beautiful .. Wonderful .. I will bookmark your blog and take the feeds additionallyKI am happy to search out so many useful info right here within the publish, we want work out extra strategies on this regard, thank you for sharing. . . . . .

  5. I cling on to listening to the news bulletin speak about getting free online grant applications so I have been looking around for the top site to get one. Could you tell me please, where could i acquire some?

  6. A powerful share, I just given this onto a colleague who was doing a little bit analysis on this. And he the truth is purchased me breakfast as a result of I found it for him.. smile. So let me reword that: Thnx for the treat! However yeah Thnkx for spending the time to debate this, I really feel strongly about it and love studying extra on this topic. If attainable, as you develop into expertise, would you thoughts updating your weblog with more details? It is extremely useful for me. Huge thumb up for this blog put up!

  7. This blog is definitely rather handy since I’m at the moment creating an internet floral website – although I am only starting out therefore it’s really fairly small, nothing like this site. Can link to a few of the posts here as they are quite. Thanks much. Zoey Olsen

  8. Unquestionably believe that which you said. Your favorite reason seemed to be on the web the easiest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I definitely get irked while people consider worries that they just don’t know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top and defined out the whole thing without having side-effects , people could take a signal. Will likely be back to get more. Thanks

  9. certainly like your website but you have to check the spelling on quite a few of your posts. A number of them are rife with spelling problems and I find it very troublesome to tell the truth nevertheless I will definitely come back again.

  10. A lot of what you say happens to be supprisingly precise and that makes me wonder why I had not looked at this with this light previously. This particular piece really did turn the light on for me as far as this issue goes. However there is one position I am not necessarily too cozy with so whilst I make an effort to reconcile that with the actual core idea of your position, permit me observe just what the rest of your visitors have to say.Well done.

  11. Heya i am for the first time here. I found this board and I find It truly useful & it helped me out a lot. I hope to give something back and help others like you helped me.

  12. Do you have a spam issue on this website; I also am a blogger, and I was curious about your situation; we have created some nice practices and we are looking to swap solutions with other folks, please shoot me an e-mail if interested.

  13. Thank you for some other excellent post. Where else may anyone get that type of info in such a perfect way of writing? I’ve a presentation next week, and I am on the look for such information.

  14. Hello there! This post could not be written any better! Reading this post reminds me of my good old room mate! He always kept chatting about this. I will forward this write-up to him. Fairly certain he will have a good read. Thanks for sharing!

  15. My coder is trying to persuade me to move to .net from PHP. I have always disliked the idea because of the expenses. But he’s tryiong none the less. I’ve been using WordPress on a variety of websites for about a year and am worried about switching to another platform. I have heard fantastic things about blogengine.net. Is there a way I can transfer all my wordpress content into it? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  16. I have been exploring for a bit for any high quality articles or weblog posts on this sort of space . Exploring in Yahoo I finally stumbled upon this website. Studying this information So i?¦m satisfied to show that I have a very excellent uncanny feeling I found out just what I needed. I most definitely will make certain to do not forget this web site and provides it a look regularly.

  17. My brother recommended I might like this blog. He was totally right. This post actually made my day. You cann’t imagine simply how much time I had spent for this info! Thanks!

  18. I¦ve been exploring for a bit for any high quality articles or blog posts on this kind of area . Exploring in Yahoo I ultimately stumbled upon this site. Studying this information So i am glad to express that I have an incredibly just right uncanny feeling I found out exactly what I needed. I most for sure will make certain to do not omit this web site and provides it a look on a continuing basis.

  19. Nice post. I learn something more challenging on different blogs everyday. It will always be stimulating to read content from other writers and practice a little something from their store. I’d prefer to use some with the content on my blog whether you don’t mind. Natually I’ll give you a link on your web blog. Thanks for sharing.

  20. Thank you for some other excellent article. The place else may just anybody get that kind of info in such a perfect means of writing? I’ve a presentation next week, and I’m at the look for such information.

  21. Thank you for the auspicious writeup. It in fact used to be a entertainment account it. Look advanced to far delivered agreeable from you! By the way, how can we keep in touch?

  22. Hi there are using WordPress for your blog platform? I’m new to the blog world but I’m trying to get started and set up my own. Do you require any html coding expertise to make your own blog? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  23. An impressive share, I just given this onto a colleague who was doing a little analysis on this. And he in fact bought me breakfast because I found it for him.. smile. So let me reword that: Thnx for the treat! But yeah Thnkx for spending the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love reading more on this topic. If possible, as you become expertise, would you mind updating your blog with more details? It is highly helpful for me. Big thumb up for this blog post!

  24. Thank you, I’ve just been searching for info about this topic for ages and yours is the greatest I have discovered so far. But, what about the bottom line? Are you sure about the source?

  25. You actually make it appear so easy along with your presentation however I find this topic to be really one thing which I feel I’d never understand. It kind of feels too complex and extremely broad for me. I am looking ahead on your next submit, I will attempt to get the hang of it!

  26. Once I originally commented I clicked the -Notify me when new feedback are added- checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get 4 emails with the identical comment. Is there any approach you possibly can remove me from that service? Thanks!

  27. Hi there very cool blog!! Man .. Excellent .. Wonderful .. I’ll bookmark your site and take the feeds also…I’m happy to find so many helpful info right here within the submit, we’d like work out more techniques in this regard, thank you for sharing.

  28. I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great. I don’t know who you are but certainly you’re going to a famous blogger if you aren’t already 😉 Cheers!

  29. Fantastic goods from you, man. I have understand your stuff previous to and you’re just extremely wonderful. I really like what you’ve acquired here, really like what you are saying and the way in which you say it. You make it entertaining and you still take care of to keep it sensible. I cant wait to read much more from you. This is actually a wonderful website.

  30. Hello, I think your blog might be having browser compatibility issues. When I look at your website in Opera, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that, amazing blog!

  31. Nice read, I just passed this onto a colleague who was doing some research on that. And he actually bought me lunch because I found it for him smile Thus let me rephrase that: Thank you for lunch!

  32. I have been exploring for a bit for any high quality articles or weblog posts in this kind of area . Exploring in Yahoo I ultimately stumbled upon this web site. Reading this info So i am glad to show that I have an incredibly just right uncanny feeling I found out exactly what I needed. I so much unquestionably will make certain to do not overlook this website and provides it a look regularly.

  33. It is appropriate time to make some plans for the long run and it is time to be happy. I have read this post and if I may I want to recommend you few interesting things or advice. Maybe you could write subsequent articles regarding this article. I want to read more things approximately it!

  34. My husband and i have been absolutely ecstatic Ervin could do his preliminary research because of the precious recommendations he received through the blog. It’s not at all simplistic just to continually be making a gift of procedures which the others could have been selling. And now we remember we’ve got you to thank for that. All of the explanations you’ve made, the easy site menu, the relationships you will give support to engender – it’s got mostly incredible, and it’s really facilitating our son and the family recognize that the issue is cool, and that’s incredibly vital. Thanks for the whole thing!

  35. Good V I should certainly pronounce, impressed with your web site. I had no trouble navigating through all the tabs and related info ended up being truly simple to do to access. I recently found what I hoped for before you know it in the least. Reasonably unusual. Is likely to appreciate it for those who add forums or anything, site theme . a tones way for your customer to communicate. Excellent task..

  36. Hello There. I found your blog using msn. This is a really smartly written article. I will make sure to bookmark it and return to learn more of your helpful info. Thank you for the post. I’ll certainly comeback.

  37. Good site! I truly love how it is easy on my eyes and the data are well written. I’m wondering how I could be notified whenever a new post has been made. I’ve subscribed to your feed which must do the trick! Have a great day!

  38. I haven’t checked in here for some time because I thought it was getting boring, but the last several posts are great quality so I guess I’ll add you back to my daily bloglist. You deserve it my friend 🙂

  39. Great ?V I should certainly pronounce, impressed with your web site. I had no trouble navigating through all tabs and related information ended up being truly easy to do to access. I recently found what I hoped for before you know it in the least. Quite unusual. Is likely to appreciate it for those who add forums or anything, web site theme . a tones way for your customer to communicate. Excellent task..

  40. We’re a bunch of volunteers and starting a brand new scheme in our community. Your web site offered us with helpful information to work on. You have performed an impressive activity and our entire community will likely be grateful to you.

  41. Excellent post. I used to be checking continuously this weblog and I am inspired! Extremely useful information specially the final phase 🙂 I take care of such info much. I used to be seeking this certain information for a long time. Thank you and best of luck.

  42. I am now not positive the place you’re getting your info, but good topic. I must spend a while learning much more or understanding more. Thanks for magnificent information I used to be on the lookout for this info for my mission.

  43. Nice post. I used to be checking constantly this weblog and I’m inspired! Extremely useful info specially the final part 🙂 I deal with such information much. I was looking for this particular information for a very lengthy time. Thanks and best of luck.

  44. Good blog! I truly love how it is easy on my eyes and the data are well written. I am wondering how I might be notified when a new post has been made. I have subscribed to your feed which must do the trick! Have a great day!

  45. You could definitely see your enthusiasm in the work you write. The world hopes for more passionate writers like you who aren’t afraid to say how they believe. Always follow your heart.

  46. hello!,I like your writing so much! share we communicate more about your post on AOL? I need a specialist on this area to solve my problem. May be that’s you! Looking forward to see you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *