If the idea of a partnership is
appealing, don’t let fear hold
you back. Check out these past
Speaker magazine stories at
learn more before you make
by Joe Curcillo, June 2016
“Negotiate This!” by Molly
Cox, June 2016
“Team Training: By Design
or Default” by David Lewis,
“Want Champagne Style?
It’s Possible—Even on a Beer
Budget” by Jeff Magee, CMC,
PDM, PhD, CSP, July/August 2012
Give the partnership the routine maintenance
it needs. Your business and personal needs will
change, and the market will send you new opportunities. Sit down with your partner and revise
your agreement at least yearly.
A 2013 Forbes article noted that the failure rate
for business partnerships is close to 80 percent.
And, sure, the Beatles eventually broke up. But
not before the Lennon and McCartney partnership changed popular culture forever … and made
them a lot of money.
Partnerships can succeed. We see it every day.
The proof is embedded in every Apple device, on
every airplane, and in every scoop of Ben & Jerry’s
What is your idea? What are you waiting for?
Fasten your seatbelt and get ready for takeoff! ■
File a Flight Plan—
Two of the reasons why business partnerships
fail: Partners neglect to make an adequate plan
and they don’t have a written partnership agreement. So, after you’ve identified the need and
have your partner picked out, it’s time for a real
conversation. Follow up on the initial discussion
What will you do for the partnership?
What do you expect your partner to do?
How will you divide responsibility and
authority, expenses and profits?
Think of sandlot baseball. Maybe the bushes
are the right-field foul line and it’s a home run
if the ball rolls into the street. As children, we
knew the rules had to be set before the first pitch.
In the grown-up world of business partnerships,
you want the rules in writing. This should be done
with legal counsel. Even with that expense, it
likely will save you money in the end.
As you and your partner negotiate an agreement—whether you come to the table as savvy
business people, relatives, or best friends—make
certain the expectations are clear, the exit strategy is covered, the compensation plan is fair, and
the terms are flexible enough to deal with changing and evolving priorities.
For speakers, the agreement may be for a
one-time presentation or for a long-term collaboration. If your joint speaking is well-received, how
can the partnership capitalize on that success?
Co-author a book? Co-teach a session at a conference? Co-conduct a webinar? As the partnership
matures, don’t let internal competition sabotage
have found that the
synergy of two or
more leads to a more
with each partner much
happier with their part
in the deal than they
were when they were