Finding the Right Business Partner with Roland Frasier and Ryan Deiss

In today’s episode, co-hosts Roland Frasier and Ryan Deiss, who happen to be longtime friends and business partners, talk about what it means to be a “partner person.” If you’re not a “partner person,” can you become one? And what does that involve? Related: how do you go about finding another “partner person” to partner with?

Before they dive into all that, they take a quick detour into where to get your funding when you’re getting ready to start a business.

How To Fund Your Business

Roland does a decent amount of consulting for high-quality people who are looking at new business opportunities. He talks them through where their funding will come from—bootstrapping vs. raising capital—and how to figure out what it will cost. What are the resources they’ll need to make this new thing go?

You’ve always got to start with your budget. Don’t dive in without knowing that. How much money will you need, and where’s the best place to get it? Will you self-fund? Let the company fund itself? Or go out and get funding from an outside source, like angel investors or venture capitalists? There’s also franchising and licensing. Pick a path, decide how much you need, and state upfront at what point you’ll fold if things aren’t going well. 

When you’re looking to start a new business, the first rule of thumb has always been to find a need and fill it. And figure out ahead of time if people will pay for your end result. Do people want what we’re offering? Dry test it to make sure. Don’t take people’s money and then not deliver. And how do you decide if you need/want a partner? And how do you pick the right one?

How to Be a Good Partner

Ryan attended a recent Mastermind where they talked about people who make good business partners and people who don’t play well with others. Partner people and not-partner people. What does it mean to be a partner person? How can you tell if you’re one or not? If you know you’re not, can you become one?

When Roland was practicing law, he got to see a lot of people forming partnerships, many of which didn’t end well (hence the need for bringing the law into the picture). He always tells people they should do a partnership agreement, because partnership expectations are hard to agree on if you don’t write them down. 

A history of successful partnerships is a good indicator that someone is a partner person. If you’ve been in litigation with people you were in business with, that’s a bad sign. If they’ve sued or been sued by everyone they’ve been in business with, that’s a problem. If they talk crap about former partners, also not a good sign.

Good partner people own their stuff when a partnership goes bad. They don’t blame everything on the other person. Honest communication is really important. You need people who are aware of their own faults and tell you what challenges you might have with them as a partner. Solid self-awareness and ownership and the willingness to change are all important. 

When you go in, you have to believe that together you’ll be better than you were separately. The sum has to be bigger than the parts. You also need to complement each other. Ryan had a partner once who was too much like him; their skill sets were too similar. They couldn’t stay partners. You need to be aware of your strengths and weaknesses. 

The other piece is that you need to see value in other people’s strengths. Non-partner people tend to devalue the strengths that other people have. They think the thing they’re really great at is the only thing. You need to see the other person’s skill set as being equally valuable. You can’t treat your partner like an employee. It’s frustrating when you’re in a partnership and the person is me me me all the time. You want to hear “we” and “us.”

A good partner excels at conflict resolution. Roland likes partnering with people who have long-term relationships. Those require you to get past challenges you’ll inevitably have, get comfortable with people who don’t think exactly like you. Is this person’s tendency to run at the first sign of trouble/difficulty, or do they stick around and work things out?

The Good Partner Checklist

So, let’s look at all of these characteristics in one place. And, remember, this checklist isn’t just for finding a good partner; it’s also for being a good partner. A good partner:

  • Has a history of successful partnerships
  • Owns their own crap
  • Is self-aware and willing to change
  • Has complementary skill sets
  • Values other people’s strengths
  • Is good at conflict resolution

Partnership isn’t for everyone. Some people work best on their own. Roland and Ryan aren’t those people though. Roland loves partners. He doesn’t own 100% of any of his companies. And Ryan says, “I’m not just a partner person; I’m freaking co-dependent.”

Look at all the successful partnerships out there and study how they do it. If you want it bad enough, work hard to find the right partner and, more importantly, be the right partner. 



Roland’s EPIC Challenge.

You may have heard about Roland’s EPIC challenge, which he moved online when the Pandemic hit. It focuses on Ethical Profits In Times of Crisis and dives into no-money out-of-pocket business acquisition strategies. If you’re interested in finding out more about this strategy, click here.

Contact & Follow Roland

Through his Website.

Contact and Follow Ryan Deiss

Through his Website.

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