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The Book You MUST Read if You Have a Business Partner

Nathan Brooks
5 min read
The Book You MUST Read if You Have a Business Partner

You roll into an appointment with your business partner all decked out with matching skinny jeans, with beards covering your faces and plaid button-up shirts you just picked out at your favorite second-hand department shop. You are pretty much high-fiving your partner right now because whatever crushing Tuesday means, it just happened.

I mean, really crushing Tuesday. #crushedit

Now what? Don’t get me wrong here, I LOVE those days when the details and point are there, success and learning has happened, and my partner and I are feeling the momentum of the day. Why else would we work 100 hours a week and buy and flip the dirty, disgusting, mold and roach infested, broken basement beasts of real estate? Come on! A good example is today, when I took that giant spider web to the face while walking into a basement full of year-old dirty clothes wondering if there was a mold factory or a dead body from the smell. #holygrossness

There are a lot of awesome and direct changes, both mentally and systematically, you can address within your habits, your business, and definitely with your partner. But what are these changes specifically and how can you implement them while ensuring everyone is on the same page?


Rocket Fuel

I was told about this bookir?t=biggerpocke0a 20&l=am2&o=1&a=1941631150 and wrote a little bit about it in a previous blog post you can read here. The book lays out the operation and responsibilities of the two main roles within an organization, the Integrator and the Visionary. The Visionary role can vary, but the basic idea is that this is the big picture person, the culture and vision creator, and the big deal maker within the organization. The Integrator is responsible for implementing these ideas, both in delivering the ideas to the team, and then in helping manage the team and/or processes and systems to achieve them. This role also includes having a pulse on how that is working. These two roles need to work as a checks and balances system together.

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My partner and I were working on more clearly defining our roles within the organization and our teams, but we were lacking some structure and some language to put around our desires and ideas. Rocket Fuel gave us some processes and language to work within that construct. If you are pondering how to better run your business, wondering where you sit within this hierarchy or what role you should play, this book is a great place to start with that next level of thinking.

Take the Assessment

When I started listening to the audiobook and took the subsequent quiz for the Visionary role, listening to the questions (and my answers) were like hearing about my personality. I was very surprised by how much the things I did well (and didn’t do well) were spoken about clearly and within context. My partner, although having a lot of great Visionary qualities as well, had a high score for the Integrator role. We just happened to have those qualities, and we also had spent a lot of time working on our open communication together.

Just because you score well on “visionary” or score well on “integrator” doesn’t necessarily make you good at your job. It means that you more naturally have those skills, and if you apply them, work on them, and work together with your role on your team, you’re in the right seat.


From there, with a clear definition of who we were within our business, we then had clear language and context to spell out our roles, responsibilities, and focus. This process also provided a mechanism to see and hear what we were each doing within our organization. We were then able to better understand what we needed to be doing with our time and to help hold each other and our team accountable. This process also cleared up who else we needed on the team, helping integrate the operation of our business and get both my partner and I in the seats and roles we needed to be in to help us, as a business, continue growing and refining.

Want to take the assessment for these two roles? Here is the link: http://blastoff.rocketfuelnow.com/quiz/


Create and Define Your Organizational Chart

Once the Integrator and Visionary roles are defined, not only do you have to buy into your own roles together, you create what the author Gino Wickman calls the accountability chart. Within the accountability chart are the necessary seats within your organization as a whole. Every business will have different roles or seats, but they break up into roughly three components: sales, operations, and finance.

Right now, you might only have 2-3 people in your organization, and that’s cool! Think about what kind of help you need to complete your organization. It might be someone in sales to help you out of the day-to-day there. Or if you like doing sales, maybe you could really use someone’s help with administrative tasks. Once you have the admin hired and taking those things off your plate, you might need a project manager or a marketing person.

One of the massive takeaways is: You can have a person on your team sitting in multiple seats (admin and sales or sales and marketing), but you can’t have multiple people in the same seat. This is crucial. If you have more than one person expected or unsure who is handling a task they are being asked to do, no one has the responsibility, and no one can be accountable for it.

If you haven’t read the book or are not familiar with the organizational chart, it is worth reading back through the last sentence again. I personally come back to it all the time. I know for years I’ve been frustrated with various people, partners, and myself not completing what I wanted done. Guess what? You can’t complete what you don’t know!

What a game changer. Find the sample online here: http://www.eosworldwide.com/ty-download-accountability-chart#axzz4Olhhg6Nq

Remember: You can and likely have multiple seats, but not multiple people in a seat.

Get Your Team’s Buy-In

If you are like me, moments/books/ideas like this grab me, get me fired up, and then I am on a one-idea mission until it’s implemented. That’s great for me with my focus and attention. But it might not be great for getting your team on board with it if they don’t understand what the goal is or have a clear picture of what it means to them.

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If it’s just you alone or you’re part of a 2-3 people team, this is a great exercise in understanding what your business is doing and who is doing what within it. You can also help plan out your growth from this exercise, look and see where you have more tasks than people, and add from there. If you have a larger organization, this is a time to view what each person is doing and where there are overlaps or multiple people in the same seat. The more clarity there is on what your people are supposed to be doing and how to do that job, the better job they will do and they happier they will be doing it.

Don’t underestimate the amount of work or effort it takes to put this chart together. And remember, it’s a process for learning both for your team and for you. There is no doubt that many things you as a leader in your business are doing you should probably stop doing. Someone on your team is probably already trying to do it and can do it better than you. It’s not about ego, not about pride. It’s about best person for the seat — and then giving that person the amount of operational space they need with training, clarity of role, and then allowing them the space to make decisions, learn, fail, and try again.

Have you read Rocket Fuel yet? What other ideas are you implementing from great books you’ve found lately?

Let me know your thoughts with a comment!

Note By BiggerPockets: These are opinions written by the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of BiggerPockets.