Treasures in the murky waters of joint ventures

Treasures in the murky waters of joint ventures

Imagine that due to soil erosion what was once the extravagant royal palace of an ancient wealthy King and Queen has become …

… a slimy, messy swamp.

Malaria-ridden mosquitoes now bite anything that moves near what was once the elegant home to the wealthiest monarch this imaginary country has known. We don’t know if TV existed there, but the King and Queen were certainly Hollywood types, with uncounted rooms full of treasures, including more gold jewelry and diamonds than the whole court could wear in a year.

Scientists can’t say much more than global warming and soil erosion turned this place into a smelly swamp.   If the mosquitoes don’t get you, the leeches in the knee deep mud probably will. If you survive that watch out for the alligators that pretend to be submerged logs and the poisonous snakes that hide behind almost every piece of vegetation.

If you’re not discouraged yet, the heat and smell is overpowering.

Let’s just say you lose your appetite fast.

No one would want to go there!

Or would they?

As it turns out, the vast treasures of the ancient palace are buried under the muck, free for the taking.

What I forgot to tell you is that by some odd ‘Bermuda Triangle effect’  motors and engines don’t work in the swamp.  Motors always fail, fuel tanks spring leaks, and bulldozers sink so deep they can’t go forward.

Not to be dismayed, you (our hero) set out in search of the treasure with shovels, metal detectors and low tech equipment, bringing along a team of medics, snake charmers and alligator tamers to help you.

When you set out to do joint ventures in your business, sometimes it can feel like that adventure into the swamp looking for the lost treasures of the royal castle.

You can run into all sorts of snakes, alligators, leeches not to mention those malaria-infested mosquitoes.

You can also find  real treasure, diamonds and gold that can make it all worth the effort.

I’ve had people come to me with all kinds of ideas for joint ventures.  Some were great and other ideas were suspicious sounding or might have even damaged my reputation if I didn’t look below the surface.  Similarly when I’ve asked others to collaborate, I’ve been met with all sorts of responses from a competent and wonderful joint venture to a response that, to put it mildly, was downright unpleasant.

It sometimes feels like being in that smelly swamp. Hoping to stay out of harms way.

When you put the message out to the universe that you’re open to joint ventures, it can be amazing the unexpected and strange things that come your way.

Yet, when you go searching for treasure, you can often find it.

Last week I completed collaboration with someone. Our first effort failed to reach our intended goal.  This second venture brought great benefits to me and he felt the same.

The late night email he sent me  said it all, “I love working with you!”

Now, that’s a win – win! Even if this venture wasn’t hugely profitable, I now have someone eager to work with me in the future.

I could easily have gotten discouraged by some of my other experiences.  I know plenty who have.  But I didn’t give up. (And, believe me, there were some very difficult collaborations along the way.) So this was indeed something to celebrate.

Recently I’ve also gotten checks in the mail and had money sent to my Paypal account from a few joint ventures. Even though it isn’t my primary focus it’s nice to get some extra money.

It helps my business and it feels great when you help someone out and get something helpful back in return, whether it’s money or something else that helps with your business.

This week’s Marketing Café online radio show is the last of the 2012 season, I’m happy that to say that we’ll be able to dig into this important topic this week.

Marketing Cafe: Cash In Big with Smart Strategic Alliances

Date: Thursday, December 13, 2012

Time: 12 noon Eastern Time
(48 hour replay available, but you must sign up before the show goes live).

The featured guest for this show is Nina Kaufman, small business champion, business attorney, author, and speaker.

We’ll talk about why collaboration is essential, pitfalls to avoid and how to find the right people to work with.

We’ll also explore

  • The biggest mistake entrepreneurs make in working with JV partners.
  • The questions you should be asking to find out if a potential partner is right for you.
  • How much (or little) of an investment you should plan to make in a strategic alliance. (This applies to investing both time and money.)
  • Why you should care about collaborating with other people, even when you’re getting plenty of clients.
  • Who owns the intellectual property that a JV creates?

Here’s the link for more information and to get access to the show.
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