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:
- Combine industries, topics and personalities that are unexpected: like aardvarks and pesto.
- Offer differing perspectives to reach a wider group of people.
- Introduce unique ideas that only your specific partnership could create.
- Seek out people that you want to work with and that have an audience you would like to reach.
- Don’t show up empty handed. If you’re approaching someone else, come with your ideas ready.
- 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).
- 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…