When choosing mentors, business partners or equity partners one has to choose carefully. Initially while you’re going through the ”honeymoon period”, all is well. These relationships are truly tested when things don’t go according to plan. It’s human nature to start doubting when things go wrong. It’s very seldom that you find total business commitment. More often than not these relationships are conditional.

So what should one look for when entering into business relationship? The following points are great guidelines and are generally easy to do.


  • See how the person treats their friends and family. What is the relationship with their kids and life partners like?
  • Get references. Talk to people that have interacted with them on a business and personal level;
  • Observe how they perform under pressure. How do they conduct themselves when the heat is on?
  • See how they treat people from whom they have nothing to gain. The waitress that’s trying hard but keeps making mistakes, or the person that just cut them off in rush hour traffic!

Why is all of the above important you ask? The answer to this is very simple. The way they treat the above people is a reflection on how you will be treated. Business, like all other aspects of life, is not all about the money. When it comes to business relationships, if your intuition says no but you still want to do the deal because you need the money; walk away. It does not matter how desperate you are. In the long run, you will lose.

And remember, if somebody states that “it’s just business” they will probably not care about you or your business and are quite likely just in it for the profits. Business is about so much more than just money. Business consists of people and their well being is important for the success of any business. Therefore it can’t be “just business”.

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