I'm in the middle of trying to start a business. One of the main focuses at this point is creating several agreements between partners. In these negotiations, the other side almost always wants more than they deserve. Part of this is probably my fault for not setting realistic expectations, but it's also partially due to human nature.
That being said, the lesson I've learned is to not be greedy. By offering these partners more money and/or equity, I could choose to react by recognizing that I will not make as much money. Every dollar I give them is a dollar I do not receive myself.
The better way to view this, though, is that every dollar that I give them is spent on something that benefits me. We're creating this company as a team, and the whole reason I offer them anything is because they are providing a benefit. In a few cases, I can honestly say that without a specific partner I would not have a business. Every dollar I give these partners is not a dollar lost, but actually several dollars gained.
Overall, this is the attitude I try to take when spending any money at all. Spending money on a gym membership is not a waste, but rather an investment and a savings on future doctor bills. Spending money on good food is not expensive, it's a low cost health plan. Spending money on education, of any kind, ultimately can pay dividends way beyond the original investment.
I first found out about Lending Club last summer (in 2012) after Tynan posted an article on his blog about it. There seems to be a healthy skepticism about using it, so I thought I'd offer my two cents after 9 months of activity.
If you haven't checked it out, I encourage you to visit the website a bit. The company is a middleman for lenders and borrowers. A typical customer may want to consolidate their debt, or pay some unexpected bills, and ask for a loan from Lending Club. The company itself will do some due diligence to make sure what the borrower is claiming as income, employment history, etc. is true. The loan itself is then listed on the website, and lenders (us) combine their money to fulfill the loan. This is a very simplistic explanation, but it's enough to get you started.
One thing leads to another. I screwed up my 2007 tax return and got audited (not a big scary one, just a "fix this or pay us" notice), which motivated me to go overboard and learn everything there is about taxes, as they relate to my finances.
As as side note, I really appreciate it when people suggest things to learn about or read, as they relate to my posts. I can't think of the others offhand, but I know there have been a few other big ones.