Daphne Meyers Forging Partnerships

A NEW PHASE BEGINS…MARRIED LIFE


August 04, 2006

Sadly, this is my last entry as a MiGuru and it has been great fun!  I hope that my/our journey provides some food for thought and even gets a few of you in the dating market!  Like all things, if it is of any value, it is a lot of work!  It does pay off many times over.

Feel free to post here, I frequent the MiForum or contact me at dmeyers@redbarngroup.com.  I would love to hear your insights!

Maven Diary

Dear Diary – Again, much to report.  We have had a struggle for a few months.  We have all been really busy with our “other” businesses and lots of personal situations to distract us from the Mavens Mission.  Each of us has had our doubts about making this work – can we give it the time it needs, the attention.  We’ve all asked the question of ourselves and of each other.  After much soul searching, one of us had to bow out.  She just didn’t want to keep saying she was committed to this, but couldn’t give it any of her time or energy.  We were all very sad, she remains our dear friend, but we also respect her honest and truthfulness.  She cheers us on from the sidelines, and we are grateful for her support. 

A very wise leadership expert I know (and good friend) assures me that this is good and NORMAL.  All really good teams have to go through this very stormy period that usually follows that honeymoon period.  If you weather the storm, you are stronger because of it!  I think this is definitely true – even if I didn’t feel that way at the time.

Here are the key things that we have done to make this relationship work in the long run:

1)       We all view our Maven thing as a part of overall business plan – like a good marriage, it can’t be a hobby, or something you work on when you have time.  It has to be always part of your daily responsibilities. 

2)       We forgive the minor stuff – we all know we will trip up, make mistakes and irritate one another.  However, as long as we operate from a position of respect, we can make it through. 

3)       Be accountable and forthcoming – if you are going to be late…call!  Just as a partner in love likes to know what is going on with you, we like to know what our business partners are doing.  If they are having a tough time, a struggle or a triumph, we share these with each other.  It keeps us all on an even playing field.

4)       Keep the fantasies alive – we still spend a lot of time talking about the Maven dream.  We talk about what needs to get done, but then also that far off vision of what might come of our activities.  I think this keeps us fresh and motivated.

Where we are at now?  We are going forth into the world together.  We have declared ourselves and what to talk about what we are doing.  We have even done a one-day event that we constructed the content!  It was so fun, rewarding and affirming that we were on the right path! 

What comes next…who knows?  Can any relationship tell the future of what will happen?  You can lay a good foundation, have a plan to take you into the future, but nothing is assured.  All we know is that we have made a commitment to make it work!  Can’t wait to celebrate our anniversaries!

Stay tuned Diary! 

XXOO

Daphne

ENGAGED IN VEGAS


August 03, 2006

Do you have partnering stories to share?  It would be great to hear both your positive and negative experiences…what you have learned or wish you would have already known.

Maven Diary

Dear Diary – Vegas was terrific!  I got engaged! I should say, we got engaged – the Mavens that is.  We were able to come together and accomplish what we set out to do.  It was unfortunate that one of us was unable to come due to a personal emergency, but we had her on the phone when we could! 

The reason I say I’m now engaged is that Vegas really moved the Mavens from a concept and an exciting idea – to something real.  Here is what we accomplished:

1)       Understanding each other:  we took a lot of time and discussed what we wanted to accomplish through the Mavens and how it ties to driving our businesses forward

2)       Fantasizing about our future together – we had discussions on what we might be the “dream” of Mavens

3)       what our married name will be – we settled on calling ourselves The Mavens Network, LLP, we also decided where we would file for our name, and getting a trademark started

4)       how to deal with family – we spent a lot of time discussing who was going into business with who; our companies together, individuals vs. other partners

5)       pre-nuptial agreement draft: we went through our partnership document and this was so helpful in getting a lot of issues resolved.  We flush out how we will track money, what kind of contribution we all make, how we will make major/minor decisions, who will keep the books and many other details like that.  It seems SO right to have these discussions BEFORE things happen vs. in the heat of the moment.  I seriously hope none of us get hit by a bus or we need to kick someone off the island, but if we do – we have a plan!

This is really exciting.  Now my work – as with any relationship, I have to invest the time and energy to keep it moving and exciting!

XXOO

Daphne

Here are some supplemental materials and reading materials on the subject of getting engage!

This is a link to a Forbes article, but it is found on Vantage Partners website.  This site is a great resource for research and white papers on partnerships!

I THINK THIS MIGHT BE SERIOUS…


August 03, 2006

Do you have partnering stories to share?  It would be great to hear both your positive and negative experiences…what you have learned or wish you would have already known.

____________________________________

Maven Diary

Dear Diary – It has been awhile since I chatted with you.  It has been so crazy and all such a good crazy.  My business is really taking off with good clients!  However, there has been another huge development.  It turns out that I didn’t have a hallway stand in San Diego, and I think this is becoming more than a passing crush.

Let me give you a brief rundown of what has transpired –

One of the individuals I met in San Diego really grabbed a hold of the concepts we discussed in the hallway and is cajoling the rest of us to do something!  She has spoken with each of us individually and coordinated a few group calls.  It really does feel like a new love affair.  We are all passionate about all we can do, how we should do it, and all those other “big ideas”. 

Here are a couple things that I would consider evidence that we have evolved from a casual dating phase to serious dating.

1)       We have a weekly call that we all participate in – we talk through issues, what needs to get done, work out what we want to do

2)       We have decided “what type” of partnership we wanted.  We think the way for us is to have it be a more formal partnership, but leave time for our own businesses.  We think this will give us the best of both worlds. 

3)       We decided to give ourselves a name to identify that this is something different than our own businesses, as well as, a formal group not a lose alliance.  It gives us something to call ours.  We have decided on The Mavens Network.  Maven – a person who has special knowledge or experience and seeks to pass her knowledge on to others

4)       We are giving each other pet names – Marketing Maven, Task Master Maven, Money Maven.  We also tease each other – Mystified Maven, Grumpy Maven and then the like

5)       We are planning a trip together!  We are going to get together in Las Vegas to have a retreat to discuss our strategy and bond! 

Next entry will give updates on Vegas.  It is truly exciting to have all this going on!

XXOO

Daphne

IS THIS THE ONE? Or did I just have a one hallway stand?


August 01, 2006
By Daphne J. Meyers

Maven Diary

Dear Diary – Is it possible? Could this be it?  It happened so fast!

I’m really enjoying my time here in San Diego and have run into a lot of people I know.  I have listened to many sessions and individuals, and I am taking comfort in that if I’m crazy to be in this business, I’m not alone!  I also got to talk to a number of business owners who I respect so much.  They give me lots to aspire to!

The most exciting thing happened today!  I ran into two friends that I had met at prior events.  We started our conversation with the regular, “what are you up to these days?”  As we talked, we realized we were all in similar spots in our business.  Just getting something started, but feeling overwhelmed with all the opportunities that faced us and our lack of ability to respond to them.  We also began talking about some of ailments we were seeing in our industry.  Someone made the comment, “wouldn’t it be cool is some smart people got together to do something about these issues?”  Pretty soon we were all nodding…what if we took a handful of individuals, all in the infant stages of their own businesses, but experts in what they do, and “pooled” that knowledge and used it for good.  They could offer practical, usable information for the industry, but also to business people. 

I haven’t been so giddy since I went on a first date – my husband of 12 years is glad that was MANY years ago!  It all felt right – the people involved, the ideas, the concept, the passion -- and I was humbled by the intellect they brought to just this individual conversation. 

Here are my fears – like any first date – will they call? will anything else happen? did they really like me, or were they just being nice? was I good enough for another date?  was this just a one hallway stand?  Oh – I hope not, but how do you tell? 

Oooooooooh – I hope the phone rings…

XXOO – Daphne

I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR YOUR DATING STORIES – GOOD OR BAD!

Been there? Done that? Had the walk of shame as see this person at another event and there was been no contact?  I answer – yes, yes, yes.

As I chronicle my story this week, I think about a lot of coulda beens.  I am feeling very lucky that I know this story has a very happy ending that we will get to.  Stay tuned to this channel for more saga!

In the spirit of learning…I am also including a few great articles on finding the right partner.  As you see, my analogy is not original to me.  Romantic relationships are very often compared to partnerships.

How do I find a business partner?

From: Inc.com | April 2001 By: Paul and Sarah Edwards

Should You Partner Up When It Comes to Business?

7 questions to ask yourself when considering a partnership
From: Inc.com, June 20, 2005  By Paige Arnof-Fenn

Also, here is a link to the article I quoted yesterday.  Forbes

Lonely Business Owner Looking for Partnership


July 31, 2006

By Daphne J. Meyers

This week, I am going to discuss partnerships and how they can help any business succeed.  I will explore (through my own journey) the different types of partnerships you might encounter and decide what might work best for you.  I will focus on my experiences as a relatively new business owner, but many of my experiences are not exclusive to small, new businesses.  I hope you will stick with me this week as the story unfolds!

The other slant that will come through this week is women as business owners.  This is not a slight to men in anyway.  It is the only slant I know – female, small business owner.  I do know that I’m not alone in this venture - according to Forbes, (6/27/06) “women’s companies now employ more people than America’s largest 500 companies combined…and women now own 46% of the private businesses in the U.S.”  I believe this is a major market shift in how businesses will be managed in the future.  As with any major shift in “players” it causes major shifts in how business gets done.  I think more strategic partnerships are going to be just one outcropping of this trend.

All about me - I started my business, Red Barn Group, in January 2005.  I was a recent refuge of corporate America (Microsoft – the big M as one of my partners calls it), and still consider myself a recovering corporate planner.  You really never recover – just always in the process.  Not long after I started my own business, I made contact with some acquaintances that were in a similar position in their own business.  Both lucky timing and strategic planning have resulted in the formation of a partnership called The Mavens Network.  It is that Mavens’ story from its starts as a hallway conversation to serving actual clients that tells the story best.  Forging partnerships is a process and a journey – I’m going to share the highlights of this one with you in the spirit of Bridget Jones looking for love!

A Maven’s Diary

Dear Diary –

January 2005 - I am feeling really alone today.  I’ve only escaped the corporate world by a few months to do this “thing” called running my own business.  I find myself overwhelmed with things to do that aren’t fun, like bookkeeping, invoicing and booking my travel and no time to chase down those fun leads.  I also keep wondering when someone will figure out I have no idea on how to run a business.  I am pretty sure the government agency that issued my business license is going to show up any minute and take it away.  I’m sure they will figure out that what I’m doing is only a poorly veiled attempt to write off my addiction to office supplies.
Next week, I will be in San Diego for a conference.  I can only hope that being among my own “kind” will assure me that I’m not just playing office!

Here is my list of things that I want to accomplish this year:

-          clean off my desk
-          renew some contact with people I haven’t seen in awhile
-          be able to describe my business in less than 15 minutes (goal: is 2 at most)
-          find assurance that NOT going back to the “grind” is the right thing for me
-          meet someone in San Diego that tells me that I’m not crazy!

Now, I’m off to find green colored paper-clips to round out my collection

XX00 – Daphne

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