There are many forms of art. Creative art, fine art, performing art, applied art, etc. Art is beauty. And since beauty is in the eye of the beholder, it leaves much room for interpretation.
And there are many forms of partnerships. Business partner, domestic partner, tennis partner, partner in crime, etc. At the core, a partner is united or associated with others.
When you combine these two: art + partner = many different things to many different people.
What it means to me, quite simply, is my entire livelihood.
What I mean is that I’ve been lucky enough to build a career out of my personal interpretation of the art of partnering. And it all started when I decided it was time to move out of my parents’ house.
Forming That First Partnership
I wanted my freedom, my own place, but I knew I couldn’t afford it on my own. I had to get creative. I had to think about other people in my life that may want the same thing. I found a friend with the same itch and it wasn’t long before we had the car packed with basically everything we could fit and we begin our cross country adventure that screamed new beginnings all over it.
And so I had my first official partner in crime, and it didn’t take long for my roommate and I to learn to lean on each other – building up each other’s strengths, supporting each other’s weaknesses and essentially approaching life with the confidence that someone had our back. Filled with the typical ups and downs that befall most late teens/early twenty-somethings, that first adventure into partnering was a great success.
I know I couldn’t have taken those big steps alone, but I also knew how important selecting that friend would be. I was taking a risk and I had to ensure that I was doing it with someone I could trust.
Nurturing the Partner Relationship
I’ve used that same type of approach in my business relationships which has grown some very fruitful partnerships. Just like my personal relationships, partnerships must be built on trust. And so trust became the tool for my art. The art of balancing control and risk – ensuring both parties are transparent with each other and understand that there’s no matter that can’t be resolved.
If you start out a partnership with the end result in mind, it makes it easier to create and review milestones. A key to mastering the art is the effort you put into it. Just like playing a sport, you don’t get better by watching it on TV, you have to participate.
It’s exciting when a chance meeting turns into a long lasting partnership. I practice my art by putting myself out there as much as possible. I like to attend industry events, community events, conferences, etc. in an attempt to meet as many people as I can to see how and where I can help them achieve their goals. In my experience, most deals come from a mutually beneficial opportunity that we discover over conversation.
In that way, I guess I’m something of a matchmaker. Not in the traditional dating sense, of course, (though I have been known to try that too – much to all my friends’ chagrin), but I’m talking about business to business.
It’s such a rewarding experience when I can make an introduction. I love when I can identify a gap and help fill it with a person or organization I know or have done business with in the past. I take a lot of pride in putting my reputation on the line with my recommendations and help further develop the trust when businesses see I have their interests in mind.
My experience working at Microsoft and in the Microsoft partner ecosystem has allowed me the opportunity to build long term partnerships and skills that transcend organizations and roles. I’ve been able to practice a lot of synergy; where the whole becomes much greater than the sum of its parts.
Speaking of Partners You Can Trust…
Luckily, Fpweb.net shares my passion for partnering.
We’re constantly exploring ways to extend our customer’s investment in SharePoint and a big way is through our partner program. We’ve partnered with software companies, services organizations and consultants who have proven products, results and best practices to share.
Recently, we expanded our offerings to include Sitecore and Office 365, and we’re continuing to build partnerships with those experts. It’s my personal mission to ensure every member of the Fpweb.NETWORK understands that when we combine our energy, resources, talents and efforts, we’ll achieve synergy. It’s a work of art.