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What to Look for in a Good Business Partner (In Building Services and others)

The necessary 3 traits I look for in business partners are easy to describe but very difficult to emulate. Many posers can instinctively hide in a brief business meeting/interview but not having them are impossible to hide over time. These three attitudes weigh more for startup and closely held companies and for business partners and investors rather than employee relationships.


In business investments and business focus, the willingness always to commit the proportionate investments to capability and risk management. More than proportionate commitments would be towards the creation of a competitive advantage. Proportionality plays to the offense.


In personal spending and personal time, the predisposition to disproportionately underspend your earnings on personal areas. This is much easier when the business is passion; the work and the hobby. Disproportionality in the personal areas is a strongly defensive in creating the dry powder of time and money to offset your eventual mistakes.

Always a Student

Haughtiness is a great description to describe the unsuccessful. Always a Student is opposite that paradigm. Curiosity to investigate what you least want to see is a massive advantage. The grandmaster must always be interested in the new novice sucker punch being developed on the street.  “Always a student “ attitude is both defensive and offensive.

Are these too obvious for you? They are very obvious and most will agree they are excellent traits although they are rarely found practiced all together.

How can you better discern a firm possession of these traits? Incorporate a behavioral interviewing approach casually in your initial business conversations. Spending more time with the individual is another way. The best way is to incorporate these practices until they become ingrained, then you will immediately and naturally know who subscribes to these beliefs.

Bonus trait:

A Willingness to expand one’s extremes: This is an offshoot of Always a Student. Example: Your strengths in rule-breaking (creativity) typically cost you in rule-following areas. Most of the gain you make in life will be with your strengths; yet, when working with others it is your liabilities that jeopardize projects. By spending 20% of your learning time not improving your strengths but managing your opposite strengths then people you work with will allow you to maximize your main strength. This is how to expand your own extreme skills and can help you see it in others.

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