2016 Alliances & Partnerships

Sometimes, it isn’t the best thing to be the smartest person in the room.

This is where consulting, business partnerships, and other sorts of teamwork come into play.

Even when you have the right idea for yourself, your consideration of the situation may be limited by what you know about yourself.. The personal limitations you know you have.

Adding one or more other people to the equation does way more than double your abilities now that there are two people involved.

The other person comes to the table with his or her life, personal, and business experience, none of which YOU HAVE! 😀

The other person comes to the table with equipment that they spent their money on that you didn’t.

I’ve seen the future… It’s creating alliances and partnerships in 2016.

Best Laid Plans

I like to make plans on paper and then see if they work in real life.

I’m not a trial & error person that just does things and then “oh well, that didn’t work” then try something else and that didn’t work either… I like to feel like I have a very good percentage chance of success before I make a move.

Also, a lot of things are contingent upon other things. You might build something with a particular audience in mind, but then the projected audience changes, which means you have to build things differently or change plans altogether.

Even while making these plans, it’s important to know that your mind is only going to extend to your own personal boundaries.

For example.. Two people want to create a studio for making records. One is thinking locally and one is thinking globally. The first one builds a brick & mortar physical location and starts looking for clients that can travel there. The other one works over the internet for clients anywhere in the world that have an internet connection.

The person that built the physical studio isn’t restricted from doing internet work there. It just might not be anything that occurred to them. It’s like when people move to Nashville or Los Angeles to get work when they don’t even know anybody in Nashville or Los Angeles and would have been better off staying where they are and traveling to those locations to meet people that would work with them remotely.

The person that built the internet studio *IS* restricted from doing physical work there because they didn’t spend the money that the other person did to ensure sonic quality, such as hire someone that actually knows what they’re doing as far as building music studios, which brings me back to my point.

When I look at a room, I see something totally different from a person who has already converted a similar room into a well-tuned music studio control room.

I know the CONCEPT. I know what needs to be done. I’ve been in professionally-built studio control rooms and vocal booths, but I don’t personally know how to make them. I don’t have the experience of having already successfully done that. If I wanted to build a studio and I add a person who has already done that, it isn’t now *only* two people working on MY plan. I’m going to defer to a lot of what that other person has to say because even though I have the vision, they have the technical ability to turn that vision into actual reality.

Charge More Or Less?

I had started thinking about this kind of stuff several days ago when a conversation came up about value of equipment and the effect it has on workflow, speed, and pricing.

Let’s say that I bought something for $1,200 that makes me able to work 50% faster than I can without it.

One way to think about that is that as soon as I make $1,200 using that item, I’ve paid it off. Technically, I would only be paying it off at the rate of the speed INCREASE, not the rate of overall work, but the point is that at some point, that item will have paid for itself.

What I wasn’t considering is the lasting effect of the item after it isn’t “costing” me money anymore.. It’s actually making me money because if I’m doing work for a flat rate, I can finish it in half the time, which means I can complete two projects in the time it previously took me to complete one, thus doubling my money for that time period.

On the other hand, if I’m charging an hourly rate, suddenly I’m twice as fast as I used to be, which is probably faster than the average Joe was to begin with, so if I do a project in half the time, I need to charge more than “Joe” to make it worth spending my time on.

Or maybe I charge the same as “Joe” and take all his customers because I get things done in one day that take him two days to do and people would rather pay half the money for the same quality of product created in half the time.

Either way I win. The point, however, is that I wasn’t considering the value of the purchased item AT ALL. I was just thinking about how long it was going to take me to break even.

Another way to think about it is the difference between offering someone a business loan and offering to purchase a percentage of their company. I was thinking of equipment purchases more like loans, where once they’re paid off, the moneylender is no longer involved in the business at all. In fact, it’s more like purchasing equity because when you get to the point of making your money back, you still own a percentage of the company and everything after that is “gravy”.

Piloting In Hyperspace

So I had already told people I was building a consulting network for 2016 and several of the smartest and most knowledgeable and trusted people I know are on board and ready to go as soon as I turn the vision into reality.

However, I had been looking forward to RECEIVING consulting on something I’ve been planning for quite some time now, which was supposed to (and did) occur on Wednesday (yesterday).

Plans, Plans, Plans, I had lots of plans. I had permutations and scenarios. I had visions, ideas, and schemes…….. All down the drain after yesterday. 😀 hahaha

Adding someone WHO IS NOT YOU to a situation can suddenly introduce you to a) better ideas than you initially had, and b) better versions of the ideas you already had.

As a result, I got so much done on Wednesday that I now have to rethink my strategy and consider things I didn’t expect to have to think about until at least a week from now.

I’m glad I had this experience because I was able to view consulting from the consumer side. I’m always helping people benefit from my personal experience. I get paid for knowing more than other people. It wasn’t obvious to me how it feels to have plans suddenly change and timelines suddenly accelerate because someone else processed the same information you did and came up with better solutions.

Consulting is definitely a situation where the sum is greater than the parts.

This is especially true when the consultants are the same people that have the ability to put these new plans into action.

It’s good enough that people can tell you to blah blah blah but just because you know about something doesn’t mean you can DO it. 😀

I can tell you how to edit a video or mix a record but that doesn’t mean you’re suddenly going to have the skill or equipment to do what I told you needs to be done.

Even if you CAN do it, that doesn’t mean you have time to do it or that it wouldn’t be in your best business interest to pay me to do it for you while you spend your time doing whatever YOU do well and making the money you paid me back from other people.

Business Community

The next step up from consulting is ongoing partnerships.

If I receive consulting on an issue and then meet someone who has a similar issue, I’m not going to try to coach them on something I just received coaching about. 😛 I’m going to put them in touch with the person who helped me, which becomes a partnership.

In fact, it becomes something I actively check for.

So let’s say I had a car and I needed it painted. When I get good work from someone and then I run into someone else who could use a paint job for their car, I’m going to “pub” the person that painted mine.

Meanwhile, that person may run into someone that needs a record mixed or a video edited, both of which are outside of their skill set, but they know they can point that person to me.

Increased incentive for that type of exchange can be created by offering finder’s fees and/or percentages. People get paid for work they don’t even have to do, simply by referring business to the person who’s doing it.

That money is worth paying for the worker because they didn’t have to hit the bricks and cultivate that client.

Everybody becomes everybody else’s advertising agency.

You have much more to discuss with people that you meet in networking situations because you’re representing way more skills than you personally have.

Also, as the connector knows both parties, deals can be made that wouldn’t otherwise be offered.

I’ve been telling people for years that we live in the information economy at this point. People need the information that you have and are willing to pay you for it in order to get a leg up on their current lives or business practices.

Moving into 2016, I think the partnership economy is going to be huge.

Crazy Like A Fox

Another thing that got me on this bandwagon was watching shows like “The Profit” and “Restaurant Startup”.

At first glance, they both seem to be shows about “Here are rich guys that gamble with a low percentage of their net worth on companies they think will turn a profit in the future.”

Once you figure out what’s actually going on, it’s really pretty interesting because they’re buying into ownership of companies and then making those companies better than they could have been on their own by bringing their connections, expertise, and capital to bear.

So Marcus Lemonis buys into a company that buys cars from people, which in and of itself might be a good business investment.

However, you don’t know that Marcus owns a percentage of a car dealership. 😀

So now, Marcus can buy cars and sell them to himself…

Next, he buys into a candy store and buys that store several vehicles so they can take their show on the road… Where do you think the vehicles came from?

Next, he buys into a lighting manufacturer and hires that manufacturer to consult on and then create the lighting for the grand opening of the new candy store.

Next, he buys into a jean store, has the place gutted, and creates an entirely new interior (and exterior) design. Who do you figure handles that? 😀

So it’s really a very interesting cycle/system of collaborating businesses. There isn’t much gambling at all.

If I have a team of expert consultants/contractors, it’s a wrap.

I can buy an apartment that nobody else wants because I already have the people who are skilled in renovation, interior design, carpentry, & painting, and we already worked out the percentages of how everyone involved is going to get paid and WIN from this situation.

I can take on a potentially challenging music mix because I know mixers that I can pay to put the finishing touches on the project that I brought 95% to completion. The client wins because they got the work done within their budget. The mixer wins because he or she only worked on the project for an hour and got their desired rate.

I’m used to doing everything myself, which is SOOOO 2015! 😛

I can mix the song. I can edit the video. I can create and maintain the social media campaign. I can manage the band or artist’s online community.

I’ve already created a few, but after yesterday’s experience, I’m very much looking forward to creating more alliances and partnerships in 2016 which are going to create a win-WIN-*WIN* experience for everyone involved. 😀

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