“If you want and need complete control, go solo… But if you’re looking for scale, and massive impact, I believe that partnership is the absolute best way to accomplish scale”  – Chris Plough

The idea of partnering with someone else to scale the business is a non-starter for a lot of entrepreneurs, myself included. But others absolutely swear by it. In this episode my friends Chris Plough (founding partner of MavenWire) and UJ Ramdas (co-founder of Intelligent Change) try to convince me of the many benefits partnerships can have if you’re looking to scale.

What you need to know about yourself and the person you’re thinking of partnering with, how to develop shared core values and a common vision to drive your business forward, and the Pros and Cons of partnering to scale in this episode of Community Made.

Show Notes:

12:19 –

Q: Knowing what you know now, what would you do differently when it comes to vetting a potential partnership?

A: (UJ Ramdas)

  • Is the business your sole source of income?
  • Must have a willingness to grow emotionally, take feedback, and trust
  • “The core thing is you want to be partners with people you actually give a shit about”
  • Resolve the tension in the partnership before it even starts.

22:26 –

Q: At the end you and Sam had a difference in vision, but did you have an alignment of vision initially and then one person’s ideas changed?

A: (Chris Plough)

  • They talked about building a successful business but never talked about exit strategy until it happened.
  • Over time it became apparent that their needs were very different.
  • Conversations should’ve been had much earlier about core values, fears, etc.

26:15 –

Q: How do you refine your vision? Do you have regular conversations and check-ins?

A: (UJ Ramdas)

  • Cameron Herold’s book Double Double and the importance of Vivid Vision exercises were critical.
  • Imagine everything about your company and write it out together.
  • The importance of taking at least a half-day once per year and having hard discussions.
  • Have hard conversations in advance.
  • Visions change over time – sometimes unexpected things come up and revisions have to be made.
  • Everyone on the team needs to have at least 5 questions about the vision – your team needs to have something to say about the vision.

33:28 –

Q: Are you open to changing your vision?

A: (UJ Ramdas)

  • When you create a vision it has to be a few people, it has to be at a certain stage of the business where it makes sense, and you need something to create a vision of.
  • Focus on helping people, focus on making money, and the rest will come.
  • It has to be at the RIGHT time in your business – vision is about bringing people together. You have to have people in order to really have a vision.
  • Focus on helping people and getting your business off the ground first, and then vision will come a little later.

46:10 –

Q: What is the shift I need to make?

A: (UJ Ramdas)

  • Slowly work your way in and test a partnership.
  • Test small things with people you want to work with.
  • Trust issues – those need to be resolved.
  • There are a bunch of different types of partnerships. They can be really loose or really deep.

52:55 –

Q: Are there tools that you guys use to to get clear on your strengths and weaknesses and assessing a potential business partner?

A: (UJ Ramdas)

  • Understand whether you’re conflict forward or conflict avoidant and figure out what you need in a partnership to be successful.
  • Look for someone who’s “conflict forward.”
  • Journaling is a staple to increase self-awareness.

55:30 –

Q: What has helped you reach that level of self-awareness and how do you assess other people’s strengths and weaknesses?

A: (Chris Plough)

  • Journaling in a way where you really begin to understand your drivers and fears.
  • Getting down to the level of core values and core fears will allow you to know who you are and what you need.

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