Nearbound Daily #525: What is my strategy?

Nearbound Daily #525: What is my strategy?

Ella Richmond 4 min

Hard choices = easy life

Jerzy Gregorek is a 4x World Weightlifting Champion and Polish immigrant most known for the phrase,

Hard choices, easy life. Easy choices, hard life.

Jerzy went from being expelled at 15 for alcoholism to becoming a first-class Olympic weightlifter in Poland. Then he went from leaving his homeland to founding UCLA’s weightlifting team.


Gregorek was featured on Tim Ferris’ podcast where he shared his incredible story and explained the context behind the phrase.

Nothing truly meaningful or lasting has ever been created in a short period of time. If you learn the story behind any great success, you realize how many years went by and how many hard choices were made to achieve it.

If you’re a partner pro trying to make decisions about the future of your partner program, take Gregorek’s advice to heart.

In every difficult moment ask yourself, “What is a hard choice and what is an easy choice?” and you will know instantly what is right.

He played a long game of hard choices and changed the trajectory of his life.


You have the opportunity to do the same today—to make hard choices that change the trajectory of your company.


For example, maybe you need to make a decision you know others will disagree with.

Did you say strategy?

The most misunderstood word in startups is strategy.


In Nearbound and the Rise of the Who Economy, Jared Fuller explains,

Strategy is choice. Period. And not all choices are created equal.

As a partner pro, your trying to determine the series of choices that will get you to your promised land.


And though partner pros make hard choices better than most, choosing a strategy is still tough.




For three reasons:

  1. Partnerships has evolved from the transactional channel, to the trifurcated channel.

  2. Buyer preferences have evolved, but playbooks haven’t.

  3. You’re balancing long-term and short-term goals.

To make better strategic decisions as a partner professional, you should be looking through four critical focuses: your customer, your company’s rhythm of business, your IPP, and strategic alliances.

Your customer

I’ve heard partner pros ask, "What does ICP have to do with me?"


That’s the mentality of a partner pro who lives on an island.


Your customer has everything to do with partnerships. Every person, team, and partner unites under one mission: to serve the customer.


It’s well known that partner managers have an overwhelming amount of partnering options. Your customer is your greatest filter.


Every partnership decision becomes clearer when you first ask, does this help my customer?


Today’s action: Set up a call with a customer.

Customer centricity

Thanks Franz-Josef for the visual!

Your company’s rhythm of business

Next comes your company’s rhythm of business.


This is the cadence at which different things happen across the calendar year in a company. You have a rhythm for partnerships and so do all other departments.


This includes your calendar, meetings, expectations, and goals.


As a partner pro, you need to understand everyone’s goals and existing initiatives so you can layer partners into them.


From the C-suite to individual departments, rhythm of business will help you prioritize partners and activities.


Action: Schedule a call to learn about your different departments’ calendars and initiatives.


Ideal partner profile

Three steps in, we get to IPP.


IPP isn’t something you have to “construct,” it’s something you uncover.


Most partner pros approach building an IPP the same way that a company approaches ICP. Your ideal customer profile is figured out by evaluating existing customers, but your ideal partner profile is not figured out by evaluating existing partners.


Your IPP comes from your customer.


Your customers will tell you who they’re working with and your GTM teams will tell you which activities are most impactful.


Action: Re-evaluate your IPP. Did it come from your customer or an ivory tower?


Strategic alliances

Last is strategic alliances.


Strategic alliances are tough because,

To win a strategic alliance with the sumo in your space, YOU have to have the vision.
— Jared on the Cheat Code podcast

Strategic alliances are only for the best partner pros, those who want to completely change the trajectories of their companies.


Action (if you’re excited by the challenge): decide which partner you’d like to form a strategic alliance with.


And if you’re wild enough to partner up, read Jared’s strategic alliances playbook.



Strategy is choice, and not all choices are created equal.


Your partner strategy should be determined through the consideration of four focuses (in this order):

  1. Your customer

  2. Your company’s rhythm of business

  3. Your IPP

  4. Strategic alliances

Register to attend the LIVE launch of Nearbound and the Who Economy to get all of our secrets on nearbound GTM.

Easy choices hurt

Sometimes the easiest future is disguised as a hard choice and the hardest future is disguised as an easy choice.

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Ella Richmond 4 min

Nearbound Daily #525: What is my strategy?

Strategy = choice. And while partner pros make hard choices better than most, it doesn't make building a strategy any easier.

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