Strategic Partnerships 1

There is more than one way to skin a cat when it comes to building your business. I block off a section of time each quarter to think about and work on strategic partnerships.

Strategic partnerships come in all shapes and sizes. In essence it’s an agreement between two or more companies to work together in some way that results in increased revenue for all with limited monetary expenditure.

When I was starting my current business free run 3.0 v3 femmes and didn’t have a lot of capital, I approached companies that specialized in the services I needed and offered a service trade: They provided their expertise for free in exchange for my company providing our expertise for free.

When I say free I mean that neither company had to outlay the usually expected fee. Neither of us received cash for our transaction, and each company covered their own cost of getting the work done.

One of the partnerships we established was with a web development and marketing company. We matched apples to apples between our service and theirs. They wanted to become a vendor to the Federal Government and we had the expertise to get them set up. We wanted a fully optimized website and one year of technical support. Each side had to bear only the cost of in-house labor. For my company it amounted to about 15 percent of what we would have had to pay if we had purchased the website service on the commercial market. Both sides made additional sales that would never have been realized, all without a big layout of money.

I read an interesting article some time ago about two fathers who worked and cared for their children from home. They created a type of strategic partnership by trading off days: One of the fathers would watch both kids while the other focused on working. The children’s days were enhanced (they developed a stronger friendship and had nike lebron 11 undivided guardianship) and the fathers had more unfractured time to focus on work.

Strategic partnerships are not easy to put together. They require a very well-thought out and scripted agreement. But if approached properly, they can yield big results with limited investment.

Look Ma, Two Hands

Several years ago, on a summer evening, I sat writing. My girlfriend at the time approached from behind and put her hands over my eyes, Guess-Who style. Her intent was playful but purposeful: The message was that I should stop working and spend time with her.

My playful response was to continue typing with my eyes obstructed, word after word, sentence after sentence, all mistake-free. How? Because I can type. I can type “correctly,” as in eight fingers on the home keys, adidas neo both thumbs over the space bar, eyes never on the keyboard, and so on. Why? Because I’m a writer, and that’s the efficient way to go about my business, of course.

My blind typing trick impressed her pants off — literally, I think (though that did me no good because I had a deadline, so kept writing all night).

I do have a point, even if it takes me 150 words to get around to relaying it: Despite the multi-tasking afforded by my one-handed-bottle-feeding trick (see “One Hand Left”), some tasks are still best performed with two hands. I can write an email while feeding the baby; I cannot write a chapter.

This led me to a recent epiphany that, when viewed in hindsight, should have been obvious. A key to better organizing my work-at-home-dad workday is that when I need to multitask, I should focus on tasks that actually are, by nature, better compatible with multitasking. Moreover (and this is the important part), I should save those tasks when I actually need to multitask.

An example is photo editing. (Yep, I’m also a photographer.) Culling a batch of images from a shoot can require considerable time, but in the digital world it’s really just a one-handed job. That’s a task I can work on while feeding the baby.

Another example is reading — emails, articles, et al. That, too, is a task I can complete while feeding the baby.

To edit photos or read while my daughter is sleeping or quietly entertaining herself with a bib is, in efficiency vernacular, a waste of time. During two-hands-available time, I should tackle tasks that require two hands: writing, researching, packing camera bags, cleaning lenses. During one-hand-available time, I should be photo editing, updating software, nike cortez conducting phone interviews, catching up on social marketing.

(During no-hands-available time — such as when changing diapers — I can think, which is a huge step in the writing process. Seriously. A majority of my writing time is spent just pondering possibilities. But during no-hands-available time, usually I just exchange laughs and smiles with my daughter— that’s a far more important way to multitask.)

This compartmentalizing of tasks has been kind of a “duh” moment for me. But at least the moment came, and now I have more time to type things like “duh” — which, when done with sound technique, requires two hands.

Sieze the Birthday

Days like this are what make working from home so special. My daughter Lydia turned 4 today.

I am right in the middle of a busy work week with a backlog of around 200 hours. Despite that, it’s a special day, and I’ll make sure it’s a memorable one. We are riding the wave of whatever Lydia wants to do. I still remember my 4th birthday and she will too.

Half way through the day, Lydia is happy as ever. Air Jordan Femme She has consumed part of the cake we gave her this morning for breakfast. (Note to self: Don’t do that again.) The remainder is scattered all about her favorite spots in the house; I have to rely on our dog Bentley to tackle that task, and he is more than willing. The sun is shining, but all Lydia wants to do is play with the balloons and drag the princess blankets we gave her all over the house.

It’s more than Lydia’s day. It’s a special day for Courtney and me, too. I can guarantee it’s killing Courtney to be working today. I am not going to remind her by sending her videos or showing up at work for a lunch. I think she would rather skip lunch and get out early so she has no pressures of the work day to distract her from the time she does get to spend with her daughter.

Last night I pulled out some videos I took of the two of them when Lydia was less than 6 months old and we all watched them together. It was an emotional moment for us. It’s very air jordan 1 difficult for a mother to see her child so young all the while knowing that she missed so many special moments. When she gets home I’ll show her the videos from today and then hang out with the family.

All the while my company work is still getting done, but I had to shift my work time to late last night (9 to 11:00) and early this morning (5 to 6:30) and late tonight (9 to 11:00 again). That’s a total of 6.5 hours of work for the day, and I’ll get to enjoy every moment along the way.