Smart Partners (Paperback)

Building Successful Relationships in Business and Life

By Jim Burba, Bob Hayes

SelectBooks, 9781590793756, 192pp.

Publication Date: September 6, 2016

List Price: 16.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


Most people want partners in their personal lives, and many businesses start with some form of partnership structure. Yet so many personal and professional partnerships disintegrate, sometimes quickly. That’s one reason why our own partnership seems so amazing, even miraculous, to people who know us. “How do you do it?” they constantly ask. “How have you spent so many years living and working together 24/7 without killing each other?”

A general business/how-we-did-it-book, Smart Partners outlines the methods and thinking we’ve used to achieve financial success while also keeping our personal partnership alive and interesting. Drawing on our unique experiences both personally and professionally, we present principles for building, sustaining, and growing not merely serviceable relationships in business and life, but true partnerships.

Partnerships are a big deal—not just specific partnerships, but the very idea of partnership. That’s why, from the very inception of a relationship, partners should proceed slowly, cautiously, thoughtfully, going “all in,” and doing whatever they can to keep the relationship vibrant and healthy. They should honor their relationship at every turn, and with all their strength.

No matter what business you’re in you can transcend your sense of “me” to create a very powerful “we.” It’s a matter of concentrating on partnership, committing to it, and embracing the right practices—such as choosing your partner well, negotiating proper roles, planning for your mutual success, and adjusting so as to overcome challenges as they arise. Fundamentally, it’s about looking beyond yourself so as to share business and life with another person. None of this is easy, of course, but it’s so worth it. Read our stories, learn our partnership principles, and apply them to your life. We think you’ll discover what we have long known: We is better than me. And the truth is, anyone can be a smart partner.

About the Author

Jim Burba and Bob Hayes have been successful life partners for more than 25 years and business partners for more than 15 years. Co-founders of Burba Hotel Network (BHN), the couple develops and produces the world’s most prominent conferences for the hotel investment community. BHN was founded on the principle of sharing success, and its events have generated more than US $14 million for scholarships, education and social services organizations.

In 2013, the duo formed Burba Hayes LLC, an entertainment production company. Their first film “Space Station 76,” debuted in 2014 at the SXSW Film Festival in Austin, Texas and was the closing gala film at Outfest 2014 in Los Angeles. In the works are a Broadway musical, more films, and a reality TV show.

Jim Burba is a member of the International Society of Hospitality Consultants (ISHC), and the Industry Real Estate Advisory Council (IREFAC). In 2007, then California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed Burba to a second term on the California Travel & Tourism Commission. He received an MBA in business and marketing from UCLA, and his BA in from the School of Hospitality Business at Michigan State University.

Bob Hayes is a political science graduate of California State University Fullerton, he is a past instructor for UCLA Extension in real estate investment, an award winning real estate sales professional, an entrepreneur, and an avid history buff.

Together, Burba and Hayes have contributed their expertise in articles for HOTELS’ Investment Outlook, Travel Weekly,,, and Successful Meetings.. They are contributors and editorial board members for California Meetings and Events magazine.

For three years running, Burba and Hayes have been named by Out Magazine as one of the “20 Power Couples to Know,” with such luminaries and their life partners as clothing designer Tom Ford, singer Sir Elton John, and talk show host Ellen De Generes.