The Power and Reach of Joint Ventures

It’s amazing how many people I see doing crossword puzzles. In coffee shops, on planes, in airports, in trains. Rika likes doing jigsaw puzzles. Many people enjoy chess. They’re all solving problems and making connections. When I first read Zig Ziglar’s statement, “You can get anything you want out of life, if you’re prepared to help enough other people to get what they want”, I realized that the more value I could create and the more people I could reach, the faster I would reach my own goals. So the puzzles that I enjoy are “value” puzzles: How to connect the dots and link the right people and resources in such a way that I create massive, unprecedented value. It’s called Joint Ventures.

This is how I’ve done business and done well for nineteen years. We don’t have to create competencies; we can borrow them. We don’t have to own or buy resources – we just need access to them. Ericsson and Sony work together. Disney, Amex, Pfizer and IBM all excel at Joint Ventures. Wal-Mart formed a Joint Venture with Mexico’s Cifra, which significantly shortened its learning curve about the Mexican market. It is said that 20% of the revenues of large companies are the result of Joint Ventures and that 50% of those Joint Ventures are with their competition, yet only 1% of small and medium businesses understand and use this powerful business tool to create fast and large profits at virtually no cost or risk. It’s all about leveraging exiting resources and hidden assets. And it requires a certain mindset. And it doesn’t take years of academic study; it takes one day to get started.

The most important component of a successful Joint Venture is finding the right people to work with. One has to be careful to select ethical, professional people one whom one can rely. Secondly, you have to learn the mindset and understand how to select and approach potential Joint Venture partners and then to set up the deals in a win/win, no cost or risk manner. Once you get it, it’s like riding a bicycle or becoming a physician – you can work anywhere in the world, without any resources. Everything you need is already available through someone else. Brokering Joint Venture deals is a wonderful and very rewarding game. It’s better than jigsaw puzzles because it creates value wealth, and great relationships. Real money, real fast, in the real world, with no downside – that’s why I love Joint Ventures. Remember “Six degrees of separation”? It’s true. And “What goes around comes around”? It works. I set up one Joint Venture yesterday that instantly exposed me to four thousand people. On my own, that would have taken a lot of time and money. Together, we can do amazing things.

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