Over the past few months we’ve discussed the questions you need to ask before pursuing your big idea and the components of an intriguing product proposal. Once you’ve gotten your idea on paper and begin presenting it to potential partners, it’s important to know who you are looking for.
Whether you are searching for a publisher for your next book, an investor for your small business or a creative counterpart to balance out your gifting, a strong partner MUST HAVE the following:
1. They MUST HAVE room for your idea to be a priority.
I have witnessed countless ideas gone flat because a dreamer put their dream in the hands of a seemingly dreamy partner only to see their idea sink in the midst of a sea of “priorities.” Do not allow a partner to grab hold of your idea and then hold it back due to workload. Discuss up front what their plate looks like and how your project will fit into their everyday work life.
2. They MUST HAVE the resources to support their end of the partnership.
Finances, staff, time, creative ideas. . .your partner should bring something very valuable to the table. Define your roles up front and discuss what they will bring into the partnership and how you will regularly reassess that each of you are holding up your end.
3. They MUST HAVE trust and respect for you and all that you bring to the table.
Every successful partnership involves mutual trust and respect. If your partner simply thinks they are going to help or save poor old you who could never do this on their own. . .they are not a good partner. Be careful to discern their level of respect on the front end. Ensure they will trust you to hold up your end of the partnership and allow you the freedom you need to thrive in your endeavor.
4. They MUST HAVE a like mind.
You will never progress in your relationship with a partner who does not share your vision and excitement for your product or idea. Differing personalities and work-styles can be navigated but a like mind is essential to partnership success. Ask specific questions and keep a keen ear to determine whether or not your potential partner’s thoughts and ideas are in line with your own.
What qualities or MUST HAVE’S do you think are essential in a business partnership?
Before getting her dream job as a stay-at-home mom, Jessica Wolstenholm worked in the music and publishing industries for over 15 years serving major labels and publishers in marketing and brand management. Although her transition from the corporate world to the playground has been quite an adjustment, she’s learning to love the juggle of home life and various entrepreneurial projects that allow her to keep creative juices flowing. With an extensive background in product development in which she helped artists, authors and speakers take their dreams from concept to reality, Jessica could not help but apply her experience to her own ideas. Co-author of The Pregnancy Companion and The Baby Companion books, Jessica also writes to encourage moms at graceformoms.com. She lives just outside Nashville, TN with her husband and two children.