McBride for Business Blog

Partnership: Blending the Subjective and the Objective and Get the Right Mix

May 1, 2017 // R. Shawn McBride // No Comments »

Partnerships are tricky. It’s something we constantly talk about, and there’s a lot of things you can do to make sure you’re finding the right partners as we’ve discussed in earlier blogs ( ( ( I think it’s important to take the perspective of what you’re putting together when you’re building a partnership.

You need to blend a lot of different elements to make a good partnership. You need to blend the objective contributions of the partners, but there’s also a subjective side to building a successful partnership. For the best outcome, you want to make sure you capitalize on both.

Objectively, you want partners that makes business sense. People who brings financial resources to the company and that provides synergistic opportunities for business development. That allows the business to be bigger, that makes financial sense and that’s going to contribute more economic value to the partnership than they’re going demand in pay. That has metrics and measures that make sense in your business. Those are often the easier thing to assess.

If you sit down and determine what you really want for your business and figure out what your measures are, you can easily figure out when somebody’s in or out.

But there’s also a subjective side to the partnership, something intangible. How does a team play together? Do you inspire each other? Does the business feel better with the new partner involved? This is a much harder one to access. Therefore, we tell people to be careful about bringing in partners. Don’t rush to bring in a partner. Make sure that you’re doing it for the right reasons at the right time and in the right way.

You want to make sure that there’s an alignment of value and interest as we’ve discussed in earlier blogs ( For this reason, we recommend you take your time bringing in new partners. Learn about them, truly understand them, make sure that you do want to work together and do the same things in life. If you keep saying “yes” to these intangible questions then it’s the time to work out the details of the partnership agreement. Work through the things that are important to your partnership (, and fully discuss how things will surely going to work for you and your business to make sure that you are indeed partners that make sense.

What’s been your experience with finding new partners? Has it gone easily for you? Have you found traps along the way? Join us in the comments below and let us know your experience.

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This posting is intended to be a tool to familiarize readers with some of the issues discussed herein.  This is not meant to be a comprehensive discussion and additional details should be discussed with your attorneys, accountants, consultants, bankers and other business planners who can provide advice for your circumstances. Each case is unique.  Past results do not guarantee future outcomes. This article should not be treated as legal advice to any person or entity. Debbie Schiel.


About the Author

R. Shawn McBride is the Chief Innovation Officer at McBride For Business, LLC. His signature keynote, The 3 Laws of Empowerment (, gives audiences an entertaining look at how they can prepare, plan and protect themselves. You can reach R. Shawn McBride at or (214) 418-0258.


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