Steve Jobs had Steve Wozniak. Warren Buffett had Charlie Munger. Larry Page had Sergey Brin.
Some of the most successful people in the world owe their success to the partnerships they forged.
Thomas Corley, the author of In my Rich Habits Study, interviewed 233 wealthy individuals (177 of whom were self-made millionaires) with at least $160,000 in annual gross income and $3.2 million in net assets.
According to Rich Habits research, finding a good partner is one of the fast tracks towards success and wealth. It is, however, also one of the fast tracks to failure or, worse, bankruptcy. Choosing a bad partner can create havoc with your financial and personal life. Bad partnerships lose money, find themselves in litigation, and can destroy a marriage.
So how do you go about finding the right business partner? Corley, the author of Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals, and Rich Kids: How To Raise Our Kids To Be Happy And Successful In Life, lists below are some questions to ask that will help you identify potentially good business partners:
- Is your potential partner honest?
- Is your potential partner humble?
- Does your potential partner have skills you lack?
- Does your potential partner have control over their emotions?
- Is your potential partner sound financially?
- Does your potential partner have good relationships with his family members? Family includes immediate family as well as parents and siblings.
- Does your potential partner treat their family members well?
- Does your potential partner have a hard work ethic?
- Is your potential partner a rule follower?
- Have you worked with this potential partner before?
- Do you know this potential partner very well?
- Is your potential partner positive, upbeat, and optimistic?
- Does your potential partner have a good reputation?
- Does you potential partner have integrity?
- If your potential partner has a spouse or significant other, do you know them well?
- Is your potential partner a good listener?
- Does your potential partner have a reputation for keeping their word?
- Is your potential partner a good learner?
If the answers to these questions is yes, then you have a perfect partner candidate. If you don’t know the answers to any of these questions, do not partner with a potential partner until you do.
Some other points I’d like to make regarding potential partners: Find three or more individuals who have worked with this potential business partner and ask them the above questions. This includes former partners and vendors. Ask your potential partner’s family members these questions:
- Who does your potential partner surround themselves with?
- Are their friends standup people or not?
- Would you associate with their friends?
- Never partner with someone who surrounds themselves with fools or people who lack integrity.
You will never know everything you need to know about a potential partner, but asking the above questions is good due diligence and will help you to better vet potential partners. Knowing as much as you can know about future business partners significantly reduces your risk.
The more you know, the lower your risk. Not knowing as much as possible about potential business partners significantly increases your risk. The less you know, the greater your risk.