business partnerships suck

That’s my daughter Isabella drinking her 5 a day 🙂

You may remember I licensed my Kidz 5 A day (that’s Gillians site in Ireland she’s kicking ass!) product into 11 countries:

UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Norway, The Netherlands, Italy, Singapore, Australia, China and Denmark.

I was excited as hell to do this deal as we have a great all organic product, that helps kids get all the vitamins and minerals they need.

It was a simple process to license the business as I’d developed the product, created the marketing systems, built the business systems and I didn’t charge for the license.

I planned to make my money by adding £3 to the price my licensees purchased the product from me, I purchase at £7 per unit and sold to them at £10 they then sold at £30 – £40

This was a brilliant way to do it as I was able to purchase in volume (25,000 units at a time) and so was able to negotiate a better price for my licensees than if they purchased the product on their own (they would pay £12 per unit for 500 – 1000 units so they saved £2 by buying through me).

I then gave them the product on sale or return and gave them 90 days credit for the product so they could get their businesses going and pay me for the product from their profits. I could afford to do that so it was OK for me and it meant they could sell in their territory.

So it’s a great win win.

I gave them a simple way to sell the product with no marketing costs and to build a great database of customers, in short all they had to do was follow the simple instructions to business success.

I got to play wholesaler and leverage the systems I’d built.

As always I put this to my database of subscribers (I like to promote from within) and had tons of people want in (it’s a sweet deal!)

Anyway 8 months later, here’s my results

1 person I’ve had to sue to get my product back.

1 person has constantly dicked me about so I’ve told him he can’t sell my product anymore.

1 person wants me to sign a lengthy contract giving them an exclusive distribution license for their territory (I wont until they prove themselves)

2 people are still to do anything meaningful

2 people have done a bit but I have low expectations for them to do much more.

4 people have sold a lot of product, demonstrated they’re action takers and I’m working with them on new projects that will make us all a lot of money.

So should I give up because 2 people I went into business with turned out to be useless, 1 is a legal pain in the ass and 2 have done very little?


This is normal and is based on the gauss normal distribution which I studied doing statistics at Uni.

You’ve no doubt heard of the Pareto principle under it’s pop psychology guise of the 80/20 principle. Essentially Pareto stole the normal distribution theory and repackaged it as his own, this happens a lot.

So when you’re doing business you have to expect this, if you have 10 business associates expect 2 to be useless, 4 to do next to nothing, 4 to do a bit and 2 to be great.

This is normal.

If you expect it then you’re ready to take the opportunities presented with the people who are good.

and think of this.

People will ALWAYS look after themselves first.

Sorry, we’re selfish… deal with it.

So if your business partners have a more lucrative offer on the table do not expect them to prioritise your offer, that’s just dumb. Instead realise they have their own agenda (as we all do) and cut the business tie and move on.

Remember: Fail and Fail FAST


Find the best people as fast as you can and create new opportunities with them, as soon as you see that someone is not performing get out and get out fast (watch what the do NOT what they say they do), try to be nice at first and give them a way out that will help them save face, if you can’t do that then do whatever it takes.

Finding brilliant action takers quickly and dumping excuse makers as fast as you can is the secret to business partnership success.

In business you cannot do it on your own, find people who take action and then work with them to create new opportunities. Once you find someone great create opportunities for them to work with you so you’re both successful.


P.S Like the sound of this deal? Want in on the next one I put together? Then e-mail me neil [at) or leave a comment below(it’s private until I publish them so no one will see but me), I’m always looking for action takers!