McBride for Business Blog

Why I’m Not Upset When Partnerships Don’t Happen

January 9, 2017 // R. Shawn McBride // No Comments »

I work hard to make partnerships happen.  So, you’d think I’d be upset when clients come to me to set-up a partnership and their partnership doesn’t work out.  But sometimes I’m not upset.

One reason why I am not upset when partnerships don’t happen is sometimes it’s better to fail early in the process. As a business lawyer ( and later a business strategist ( I work hard to make my clients succeed. But one thing I’ve seen over the years is sometimes partnerships just shouldn’t happen. We’ve talked a lot in our blog about the dynamics of partnerships and how partnerships should work ( Partnerships aren’t easy, and they’re not for everybody. Some people could be great partners with one person but maybe terrible partners with another.

Sometimes, we see partnerships that shouldn’t happen. The worst case scenario is when we find out those partnerships shouldn’t happen later in the process, when one of the partners comes to me and tells me, “I don’t know who my partner is. They’re acting completely different than when we started the partnership.” What would be much better is if we could keep people from getting into ill-advised partnerships before they happen.

But how do you do that? How do you make sure that happens? We need to look at their dynamics early in the process. We need to make sure that the partners are the right fit for each other. We need to do some of those tests we’ve talked about in other blogs.

I want people to succeed, and I want people to build successful partnerships, but in some cases, when the partners don’t understand each other or when they don’t have the right dynamics, sometimes the best answer is just not to have a partnership.

What’s been your experience? Have you had partnerships that you’ve had to walk away from? Have you sometimes found that discretion is the better part of valor? Join us in the comments below. We’d enjoy hearing from you.

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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. Griszka Niewiadomski.


About the Author

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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