I get approached at a minimum, by 3 people a week proposing some form of “collaboration”. Most commonly, other advisers, entrepreneurs, co-investors and bankers trying to access my investor or client communities and their capital, people or innovation. In most cases, they are decent people with a genuine request, who have been a success in their corporate careers. In their latest entrepreneurial incarnation, they have “capped” out their personal networks and/or they are unable to accomplish their goals without external assistance. Their “well” is running dry and they want me to share my water. They are largely offering symbolic (greater presence or a share of faux-success fees), not meaningful value (a powerful brand or actual cash).
I am a huge believer in collaboration as a powerful form of leverage. However, first, it needs to pass my litmus test:
- Combined, there is a scarcity and dramatically enhanced value that will significantly impact the speed and quality of my client acquisition prospects.
- There is an attractive short-term business opportunity of mutual interest (potential client, visible need with a strong fit and ease of implementation).
- I can and definitely want to help after considering prudent risk and potential reward.
I’d suggest I am not alone if you think about the quantum of conceptual collaborative discussions that you are presented with. Do you possess these simple questions, to reach a fast conclusion or do you allow multiple meetings and information exchanges to follow before reaching a conclusion?
Above all, is the other party bringing something meaningful? Yes or No.
Nothing more is required.
© James Berkeley 2017. All Rights Reserved.