You Are Judged By Who You Partner With

I always tend to go back to a famous Jim Rohn quote. You know the one.

You are the average of the 5 people you hang around with the most

In the online world, we often associate that with surrounding ourselves with the people we want to be around.

The successful ones. The businessman (or woman). The creator or doer.

Who are you partnering with?

Those are great people to be around. They’re going to help propel your success.

What We Forget

While we’re trying to slide into the IN crowd, we forget something. We can easily let our sense of right or wrong slip away.

Or maybe it was never there to begin with.

Years ago, I remember attending a webinar for someone I highly admired. I was stoked to see him succeed.

Then I began to watch the webinar. And I was surprised by the co-presenter.

He seemed to be the exact opposite of the person I was there to see.

He was rude. He was brash. He was vulgar.

My opinion was changed by this presentation. I began to see him in a different light.

Right or wrong, I judged him by the person he brought on as a partner.

We can forget this as we’re chasing fame.

We forget that people watch us and judge us based on our business associates. Even if it’s only a one-time deal.

Know Who You’re Doing Business With

After this experience, I began to reevaluate who I was trying to partner with.

I knew I had to be more careful in my dealings with others. It’s how others would see me.

We have to know who we’re doing business with. We also have to know how partnering with another business person may make us look.

When looking for partnerships now, I want to find other leaders who:

Have a similar moral standard

Watch their language

Are willing to own up to mistakes (and allow me to own up to mine)

These aren’t the only values I want in a business partner but they are a base.

This allows me to find people who are trustworthy and honest. I’m also able to feel safe introducing them to my audience.

If you’re looking to grow your audience, do it with integrity. Work with those who have integrity and fit with your brand.

Don’t chase the next BIG thing. Chase the next RIGHT thing.

Question: Do you pay attention to who you’re working with? Why or why not? Let’s discuss this in the comment section below.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • You´re right and it´s good to be reminded of this issue once in a while, Joe! I´ll never partner with someone I haven´t met in person (main rule). I am well experienced in reading body- and mimik language, even poker-face habits, so that gives me quite another impression apart from the message/words! Thx. 4 posting!

    • I never thought about having an issue with partnering with someone I’d never met in person before. I can see that being a good rule of thumb. Were you burnt at some point by partnering with someone you’d never met?

      • Can I gently disagree? I started following your blog based on advice from a man I have never met. I ‘met’ him through another man I’ve never met. I now work for the gentleman who recommended your blog and he is hands down the best ever leader to work for.

        I have a very broad circle of friends. I will never meet most of them in person, but through constant communication online, reading their books, blogs, and how they respond to questions and comments, I know them better than my in person neighbors and church family.

        • I’m open to disagreement! Thanks for chiming in and sharing your thoughts.

          I was approaching my side of the response from that of business. While I trust a lot of people I’ve met online, there is a deeper level of trust that comes from meeting someone face to face, I think.

          The overall thing we need to do is be vigilant in who we’re dealing with. Whether that’s through multiple interactions online or a face to face meeting. Know who you’re dealing with.

          What are your thoughts?

          • If I was actually buying a business with someone I would want to meet face to face. In that case you will be legally bonding with that person. I was approaching the question from the stand point that I have a business relationship with someone I’ve never met. As you and Rita point out, legally partnering is different.

      • Joseph, no – I wasn´t burnt. But whenever a third party tried to offer me a potential partner whom I haven´t met yet and with whom I had no long-term interaction with, that person didn´t become my Partner. Mainly because we “spoke” different languages. Once I was emailing w/ someone who asked me directly and I asked for a phone call (to get to know him). It worked out passively, ´cuz it was a cooperation w/ a club where I was the President for 1 year. Therefore to be sure it´s matching, I need to meet the person or be in touch w/ for a while. Like “we” are on this platform. BUT, it depends on what you´re up to! It might work well when starting with a “blind date” as well.

  • Association can help or hurt. I have stopped associating with online groups for various reasons, one of themy because I didn’t want anyone to think their world view was mine. Being friends is,different from being friendly. Character is different from characteristics. The principles we believe in are different from the preferences we practice. It’s important to be who we want to be and not let someone else’s reputation become ours.

    • Yes, yes it can Jane. I think we only tend think about the positive effects association can have. We forget that we can also be seen in a negative light by those we hang with.

      You’ve already seen this with the group you mentioned leaving. Great job on seeing that the group didn’t align with your beliefs and that you needed out. How do you think that has helped you?

      • The way it helped me most was knowing I would not have anyone wonder about my beliefs. I also am not spending time I can’t get back in a group that doesn’t add anything of value to me. Brenda the way, it’s not just one group. It was several over the past 3 years.

        • Those are some important things Jane. Time is something we can’t get back and if we’re spending it with people we don’t enjoy, is it really worth it?

  • Great post Joseph. I think it’s good to be reminded of this. I’m open to learn from various people and I know I can find opportunities from various connections. But, keeping an awareness of how my connections are presented to the public is very important. I don’t want to sacrifice my own reputation for any opportunity or connection.

  • Riyaz

    Great Post.

  • Viki

    Great article. See the courses where you can get better experience in leadership the same way I did: