I often say that the first class in business school should be how to pick a good partner and should focus on the best partnerships of all time.
Then, they should really focus on great partnerships that have been the driving force behind the great companies of the world. Great partnerships most often occur when people with complementary skill sets come together with a shared vision to accomplish a mission. For example, if you aren’t a natural at marketing and growing your business but are great at the substance of what you do, think of someone who can market and sell anything. Then let them focus on the business side, while you do substance.
Of course, it isn’t enough to have complimentary skill sets alone, you must have shared values and be able to trust each other implicitly. Without trust, there can be no true partnership, but with trust, you can always know that the person you are battling to grow your business with always has your best interest and the best interest of the company at heart. Always remember, business is just like all other areas of life, if you surround yourself with good people, good things tend to happen.
I have seen this play out time and time again in the years since I started Congressional Capital. From day 1 to the present, I have continually observed one thing that is both very obvious and also very true. Good people who work hard and execute, make good real estate deals better. Bad people, or even people who just aren’t willing to work hard (often the same people who blame others for their failures), make good real estate deals worse. It’s the same result every single time. It doesn’t matter that I do real estate, this principal appears to apply in all business ventures, as I have seen it play out time and time again in my investments in companies that have nothing to do with real estate.
So, when I am asked to invest in operating businesses, I always make sure that I can spend substantive time with the people running the company and really get to know them before coming to a decision on whether to invest in that company. I firmly believe that it doesn’t matter what the product is, but that if the people running the company aren’t good people who work hard and are driven to succeed for the right reasons, then the business will never succeed.
So, work hard in every aspect of your life to surround yourself with good people and good things will happen.