New York City's top real estate seller on why partnership is critical to his success.
Why Finding a Partner in Business is a Genius Move
#1. 1 + 1 is in fact not 2. It’s actually 3 or 4 or 5, perhaps even 10 if you find your perfect match. Two heads are better than one. Your strengths and abilities are greatly amplified when you combine talents and skill sets with another dynamo. Even the best can’t do everything, and we all lack certain talents and abilities. If you can recognize that and acknowledge both your weaknesses and your strengths and find someone to complement both, you will be unstoppable. Plus, when you add a partner to the mix, you add a new perspective, a whole new set of personality traits, experiences, and talents that can help you come up with ideas or solutions to problems you might not see yourself.
#2. Not everyone is going to like you (and you’re not going to like everyone), but if you have a partner, you’ve doubled your chances that everyone you meet will enjoy working with at least one of you.
#3. When you want to give up, there’s someone to stop you. There’s someone who has your back. Plus, when you’re a team, you don’t want to let your partner down so you will naturally work harder even if you start to feel disillusioned. John and I work together, travel together, laugh together and truly enjoy each other’s company. When we found Jordan, our team’s flight control, it’s what I like to think is a trifecta. We each take care of our respective points. That’s real success. To become #1 in New York City (or anywhere on anything), you not only have to be good at pitching or pricing or developing – and work incredibly hard. What makes our team the best beyond our amazing numbers, is that in those pivotal moments—those crises in which we’ve been faced with difficult dilemmas and decisions—we know we’re there for each other even outside the workplace.
#4. If you can have FUN while working, you have won the lottery. Work is no longer “work,” but just part of your amazing, yes demanding, but rich life.
In short, success is more fun when shared (and, I believe, more easily attained!). In my opinion, the real reason people get married is that humans need partnership, someone to be our compliment, by our side in good and bad times, and to be the missing piece of our puzzle. Marriage requires a “we’re in this together for a lifetime” mentality, and that, more than any religious reason, is a highly motivational reason to pair up. In psychobabble speak this is called “transformation of motivation.” What this means to me is that I’m much more inspired to do well when I have someone with whom to dream a bigger dream.
That brings me to another point—when I talk about finding the right partner, I don’t just mean a business partner. I mean that person who will help you on your way to achieving your dream, of mastering The Sell. A business partner is certainly important, but your personal life has a tremendous impact on your professional life. If you don’t have someone waiting for you at home at the end of a long day to tell you how much they love you and are proud of you, to support your crazed rise to the top, you will have a much harder time succeeding.
Derek is a painter. I’m a businessman. Our careers are quite different, but our life together motivates both of us to be better people and to work towards our mutual goal of finding life’s happiness. That he is 6’5” and the most handsome man I have ever seen, doesn’t hurt. It’s like we’re running an exciting race together, and I will not let him fall, nor he me, as we gun it to the finish line.
The other day I actually read Derek the chapter from this book about my day to explain to him who I am (and what I’m going through) when he doesn't see me. It helped me communicate the differences in our day without trying to sound like a “my life is harder than yours” battle like the ones I used to have with John about how many hours we worked. Our days are different, but we’re working together toward a unified goal: our happiness. You and your partner, or friend or family members, probably have opposite careers too. Why don’t each of you write down the details of your day—who you see, the things you do, the struggles you face, and triumphs you make—and share them with each other? That exercise might be the best advice I could ever give you. (Yours free with purchase!)
Regardless of your career, I believe two heads are better than one, and I know many couples that support and encourage each other in their pursuits, whether with ideas or enthusiasm. The same must be true in friendships and in work relationships. We want to feel that the people around us are on the same team, running with us in the three-legged race. I certainly don’t want to ever feel that someone is dragging me down, or worse, intentionally working against me.
Reprinted from The Sell by arrangement with Avery, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright 2015, Fredrik Eklund.
About the Author
Ten years ago, Fredrik Eklund moved to New York City from his native Sweden with nothing but a pair of worn-out sneakers and a dream: to make it big in the city that never sleeps. Since then, he’s become the top seller in the most competitive real estate market on the planet, brokering multimillion-dollar deals for celebrities, selling out properties all over the city, and charming audiences around the world as one of the stars of the hit Bravo series Million Dollar Listing New York. For more information visit www.fredrikeklund.com.