Growing up as an only child in a military family, I spent a lot of time alone. As we moved from one place to another, there was always a period when I didn’t know anyone. So I learned to enjoy my own company.
As a work-at-home entrepreneur I also spend a lot of time alone. So it takes a lot for me to decide to take on a partner. Recognize that my definition of “partner” is not one in a legal sense. Rather, it’s someone with whom I work for a while – then we part ways. While we are together we create some products and share revenue in those items. But we each maintain our own business.
My first partner was in the educational technology training business that I started in 1997. Dana Irby and I had worked together in a prior company. So we knew we worked together well. Our skills didn’t overlap.
Dana and I worked together off and on until I left educational technology in 2001.
Shortly after that I met Jason Potash and we started talking about the need for a calendar of events in the Internet marketing space. We each had our own ideas, but we merged them into SeminarAnnouncer – the first centralized calendar. Event promoters submitted their events on the site and we would promote them.
Unfortunately we had software problems more than once, lost the entire list of subscribers and just never got back on track. We each went different directions.
Alex Mandossian and I partnered on the Womens Power Summit in 2005. We had known each other for four years and he wanted to do something in the womens’ marketing space, so he approached me to see if I was interested. Naturally I was!
In the first year we offered WPS, Alex took the lead on organizing interviews, speakers, writing autoresponders and generally running things. Then in the second year I did nearly all of it. So it was a great learning experience.
After the second year, we decided to go separate directions and he gave me the conference. Thank you Alex! But I never ran it again, as I felt we no longer needed women-only events.
I worked alone for many years until Connie Ragen Green and I had lunch at Chicago O’Hare in 2008. I said “we should do something together” as we parted – and she took me seriously! Within weeks we offered our first course together.
We went on to teach that course a couple more times, then in January, 2010 we have our first live Online Revenue Workshop in Las Vegas. We recorded that workshop and built a group of Online Revenue Builders from it. In fact, we did such a good job on the instructional content in that seminar, dedicated to helping people get started online, that we still sell the recordings and the member site that goes with them.
We changed the format of the Workshop in July, 2010 to a hands-on workshop with a small group and ran it that way for the next few times.
Connie and I worked together on multiple projects for over two years, making it fun and profitable for both of us. We met at a lot of events. Introduced each other to our marketing friends and clients and promoted each others’ products. We had a great time working together!
We chronicled how to put together a successful relationship in Joint Ventures Made Simple – I strongly recommend you get it if you are considering working with someone else. It will save you a lot of time and headaches!
Powerful partners are just one of the secrets to creating a long-term business that is both powerful and fun. The secret is having the flexibility to continue to do your own thing, while still working and playing nicely with others.