Ep257: Justin Christianson – Listen to Your Intuition and Take It Slow to Enter a Partnership

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Guest profile

Justin Christianson is a self-proclaimed number junky and a digital marketing veteran. Father, husband, and #1 Bestselling author of Conversion Fanatic: How to double your customers, sales, and profits with A/B testing.

He is also the co-founder and President of Conversion Fanatics, a full-service conversion rate optimization company, helping companies like Burt’s Bees, Dr. Axe, and many others improve their results.


“When it comes to conversion optimization funnels, start small. Test the biggest leverage points, and don’t overcomplicate it.”

Justin Christianson


Worst investment ever

Helping a client out

At the end of last year, Justin got a call from an e-commerce business owner who was freaking out because his business was falling apart. Justin and his partner had a meeting with him, and they soon realized that they could help him out.

I want a piece of the pie

The business was something that Justin could relate to, and so he got quite excited about it. He wanted a piece of it, and he proposed to the owner to help him grow his business, and in return, Justin would buy a 30% stake in the company. They shook on it. Justin and his partner invested a bit of money into this business.

What mess did I get myself into?

As Justin was doing a background check on the company, he found out that the books were a mess and even had receivable loans. Though this was a red flag, he dismissed it. He figured his accountant would sort it out.

What attracted Justin to this partnership was the fact that there was a huge fanbase, and he knew the business had the potential to make huge profits.

It’s a deal

The trio signed the deal, created a new LLC, and pulled over the assets making the partnership official. They set up new bank accounts and tried to do everything the right way.

Justin went all in and started humming along and focused on sales. He spent a bunch of money on advertising and dialing things in. He increased the average order value by about 40% in a short amount of time.

Deal goes sour

After some time, the partner went back to his old ways and started spending company money on personal stuff. At first, $2,000 went missing from the business account, then $2,500, and then $4,000.

To make matters worse, all of a sudden, two more receivables loans popped up. So now the company was triple-dipping before they even got to make any profits. Every sale they made had to be channeled to repay the loans.

Soon enough, Justin realized that this partnership would not be beneficial to him. His partner’s spending and the loans would cripple the business. Justin tried to have a conversation with him about his spending, but he just scoffed at him.

Calling it quits

One day while at his son’s football game, Justin got a notification on his phone that he had a change in his access to the bank account. He tried logging in but had no access to anything, the bank account, the PayPal account, the website, nothing. He has been locked out of everything.

Justin sent a group text to the business partner, and he made up some big story about how he didn’t want to burden him with his debt, and because he started the company, he wanted to take care of it alone.

Justin decided not to fight him or even take him to court as it would not be worth it, and he might just end up losing more money than he had already invested. He decided to write the investment off as a bad debt.

Lessons learned

Do not get emotions involved when entering a partnership

When you see something exciting that you can relate to, and you want in, be careful not to let your feelings guide your decisions.

Do your due diligence

Do your due diligence before entering into a partnership, look out for red flags such as commingling of funds, lack of books, lack of true expenses, and P&L balance sheet.

Do not rush

Do not be in a rush to enter into a business partnership. The timing will come when the right time comes.

Andrew’s takeaways

Think the red flags through

When you see a red flag, stop and step back. Think things through and see how to deal with the red flags first. Also, you do not have to stop the deal, but you must slow down your emotions.

Understand the difference between emotion and intuition

Intuition is an instantaneous feeling that will go away quickly, and then your emotions and your mind will override it. In many cases, it will be the right thing. Make sure you’re open and aware to the intuition message that is coming to you, and so you can receive it.

Know who can bind your company to any agreement

Before buying into a company or getting into a partnership, know who has the power to sign the checks and the power to bind the company. Understand how far that power goes before you commit to any agreement.

Avoid confrontations

You do not have to have a confrontation over everything that happens in life. Sometimes avoiding confrontations is the best way to deal with conflicts.

Actionable advice

Just be patient. Take it all in and trust your intuition.

No. 1 goal for the next 12 months

Justin’s number one goal for the next 12 months is to double his current business.

Parting words


“Just go out there and try to be a little bit better than you were yesterday and learn from your mistakes.”

Justin Christianson


Connect with Justin Christianson

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Further reading mentioned

About the show & host, Andrew Stotz

Welcome to My Worst Investment Ever podcast hosted by Your Worst Podcast Host, Andrew Stotz, where you will hear stories of loss to keep you winning. In our community, we know that to win in investing you must take the risk, but to win big, you’ve got to reduce it.

Your Worst Podcast Host, Andrew Stotz, Ph.D., CFA, is also the CEO of A. Stotz Investment Research and A. Stotz Academy, which helps people create, grow, measure, and protect their wealth.

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