AskPat 519 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: What's up everybody? Pat Flynn here and welcome to Episode 519 of AskPat. Thank you so much for joining me today. As always, I'm here to help you by answering your online business questions, five days a week.
All right, here's today's question from Ryan.
Ryan: Hey Pat, my name's Ryan Clover-Owens and thank you so much for all the great content you're putting out. Love the podcast. I blog at alternativeslibrary.org. I'm a librarian and I'm really dedicated to connecting people with really great resources and yours is definitely one of them.
Here's my question: I'm helping someone, a guy who runs a tree nursery, set up online courses. He's the kind of guy who, whenever he teaches anything, he's got a crowd of people lining up to learn from him so he really wants to move into the online space. But he's not very tech-savvy and that's where I come in. I've got the experience with writing and marketing and I know how a lot of this stuff works.
What advice do you have for someone like me who wants to partner with an existing business and help them build a course? What kind of business model should I think about for how that would work? Do you have any advice for examples that would pertain to my situation? All right, thanks, I look forward to your answer and keep listening to the podcasts. Bye.
Pat Flynn: Hey, what's up Ryan? Thank you so much for the question today. Trees, that's awesome. I think that's really cool and there's a lot of really cool niches out there. I think it's really awesome and if this guy sounds like the real deal, then man, that's a cool opportunity for you. I think it's really cool.
I get a lot of opportunities to partner with different businesses and companies and there's a lot of different ways that you could do that. A lot of people know that I'm an advisor for Leadpages and I'm also an advisor for ConvertKit and that has a specific business model. I can't get into the specific numbers, but I do own some what's called points, or percentages, of the actual company in these particular cases. In some cases advisory rolls are a little bit different. Again, it could be in any way that you and the person that you're working with want it to be.
That's really where I would start, Ryan. You really want to communicate with this person and make sure that everybody's honest the whole time and you kind of are looking out for each other's best interests. It could be easy or it could be very difficult because a lot of times you either get somebody who doesn't agree, or you get two people who just don't want to say yes to anything because they don't want to upset the other person. You just kind of have this dance which is really interesting and I've experienced that before. It's interesting, but you have to have those conversations.
That's the first thing I just want to mention. I wouldn't just necessarily come up with a contract without talking to this person and then being like, “Here, sign this.” You don't want to do that. You want to have this other person involved and talk it through. Again, it's going to be different for every business that you potentially could work with and every person that you could potentially work with.
Now in terms of a technical person, getting into a business like this, I've seen it in all different ways too, where a person comes on as a partner in a brand new business. They both form a partnership or an LLC together and they each have a specific ownership. They each kind of contribute a certain dollar amount to the company and then therefore have a certain ownership and there's different payment plans. Again, a lot of this involves a lot of conversation.
You're going to also want to get some sort of attorney or legal involved too to make sure everything's square so that there's nothing that happens. The most important thing in regards to that is, what if one of you wants to leave? Thinking about the future is really important here too. Yes, you're thinking about what this is going to look like and take to work with this person and so you have to define and outline what those responsibilities are on both sides, who does what, so there's no mix-ups or anything like that. That's really important, but also looking into the future in terms of, if somebody wanted to exit, how would they buy the other person out? What does that look like? How long does it take? How many days does that person have to continue working until that person actually drops out? There are so many things involved and when I started a partnership with a couple people, these are the conversations you have to have. It's not as easy as just, ‘Oh yeah, you take 25, I take 75, we're good, right?' No, there's a lot more to think about.
What if the technical stuff doesn't go the way it's supposed to? Is there some penalty for that? Or if this person doesn't get an audience like they said they can, is there a sort of back up for that? Is there a guaranteed payment, which I've also done in the past before. Again, there's a lot of things to think about.
What I would do is have conversations with this person and try to talk it out. See what that deal would look like. It could be a 50/50 partnership. It could be an advisory role where you could then hire other people to do the technical stuff and you could just advise on who they should work with in terms of software. Or you can come on as a partner, which would then have you have a lot more responsibility, but also a lot more say.
There's a lot of different ways to go about it and so I can't give you a correct answer, Ryan. But hopefully this just at least gets the gears going to start conversations and to at least help you think things through a little bit more.
In addition to actually communicating with this person, which is the most important thing, you also want to make it clear that you're going to have to have another person involved, like an attorney, to really write these things down, and whether you get into an official partnership in terms of starting a new business and you're both a name on the business, and own a specific percentage.
It doesn't necessarily have to be that. It could be your company, Ryan, whatever that company is, providing a service to this other business. It could be a flat fee. It could be a monthly retainer. It could be a certain percentage of sales. It could be a certain percentage of the company. There's again, like I said, a billion and one ways to skin that cat and again, it will just have to be what you guys are both comfortable with until you come to an agreement.
As you're having these conversations, you want to make sure that you are not selling yourself short, which I think is really easy to do. Not to say you specifically, Ryan, but I know I've just wanted things to move forward so quickly that I have sold myself short and have gotten maybe less percentages in partnerships than I wanted to. I'm not talking specifically about Leadpages or ConvertKit there. That's the truth, because I love the deals that I have with them. I'm very happy to be working with those companies, so this is based on other stuff. Based on my own experience I have a lot of this stuff to share and this is all coming from what I know.
What I would do is try to talk to other people too. Ask this question to people who have partnered with other businesses so you can get more information. The more information, the better and the more likely you'll be able to make a decision that makes sense for you and this other person, too.
As much as this stuff kind of sucks, to try and figure this out, have fun with it too because you're creating something awesome together. You have something that this person needs. They have something that you need. Don't sell yourself short. Try to strike a deal that makes sense for both of you and move forward with success.
Ryan, thank you so much. I wish you the best of luck. I'm going to send you and AskPat t-shirt for having your question featured here on the show. I'd love to hear back from you in the future to see how this goes and what you end up doing. I'd be very curious to hear how that runs.
Again, Ryan, thank you so much for the question. Thank you to everybody else out there who has asked questions on the show and is going to ask a question on the show. If you have a question that you'd like potentially featured, just head on over to AskPat.com. Right on that page, just hit that record button, your mic will pick it up.
I want to thank speakpipe.com also for allowing me to collect these voicemail questions. This just makes it really easy. They create these mp3 files that I can then, from your voice, just plop them right into the audio file. Actually, Mindy does that for me. Mindy, you're awesome, thank you. And yeah, just makes the production of the show very very simple so I can serve you and make sure to answer as many questions as possible. So again, thanks to speakpipe.com.
I also want to thank those of you who have been supporting me in my journey toward my upcoming book launch. You can check out all about that at willitflybook.com. The book is called Will It Fly? How to Test Your Next Business Idea so You Don't Waste Your Time and Money. It's exactly that. How do you know if this idea you're working on is worth continuing or this idea that you have in your head, that you've had for a while, how do you know if that's going to work out or not? I decided to tackle that conundrum in my book, Will It Fly? How do you know if it flies? You could launch stuff. We launch stuff all the time, but how do you know if it's going to fly? Willitflybook.com, check it out. Thanks so much, I appreciate it. That comes out February 1st and man, I am so excited. I hope you get it in your hands if it's something of interest to you.
Thank you so much. I appreciate you. All of the love and support means so much to me and here's a quote to finish off the day, by Ann Rand. She said, “The question isn't, Who is going to let me? It's, Who is going to stop me?” Bam!
Cheers. Take care, love you guys, and I'll see you next week in the next episode of AskPat. Goodbye.