How to avoid the toxic business associate

Oooooooooh…life’s drama can be a distraction of epic proportions to those of us who want to get ahead in life.  Most of us have come across a person full of drama in either the workplace, a dating relationship, or a family member.  This type of drama can be manifested in many ways, but the end result is often the same in that we can waste hours trying to figure things out or understand why something happened a certain way.

In my experience, those people who cause drama can do it for a number of reasons and sometimes it is due to a behavior cause that can be associated to being bipolar, narcissistic, selfish, borderline personality disorder, or many other forms of personality disorders.  This website, and this article aren’t really concerned with the different types, but more so how to deal with those types of individuals when you come into contact with them.  However, if you want to learn more about how these types of personality disorders and how they can affect your professional life, click here.

Instead of the diagnoses, we can focus on how to steer clear of these individuals and do it in a professional and “non-sticky” way.  What the heck is “non-sticky” you may ask?  Well it is kinda like getting stuck into a cobweb of sorts.  Many of these personality challenged individuals will try to get us to get wrapped up in their cobweb, and stuck to the issue that they are confronting us with.  Let me give you an example.

Let’s say that you are working on a project with a person who is both toxic and may have a personality disorder such as narcissism.  As a quick refresher, a narcissist is a person who is self absorbed among many other bad traits.   Well this self absorbed person may try to put you in your place and make you feel that they’ve done all the important work, and you are just a tag along to all the great accomplishments that they’ve added.  They will of course want to take all of the credit and along the way, make you feel like a detractor from the project.  They may also go ahead and let other associates or coworkers know that they had to carry you through the project and that you were lucky to get matched up with them so that they could save you from a certain firing for lack of competency.  We’ll don’t dismiss this story, because I dealt with a coworker who was very similar to what I’ve described.

Well how should we handle it:

  1. Strike first –  Don’t wait to make your case.  If you find that you are having challenges with an individual don’t try to tough it out for an extended period of time.  Make sure that you let your boss know early on that the working relationship with the toxic person has some slight challenges.  You have to be strategic early on, because you don’t want to come off as a complainer but you want to very subtly let your boss know that something is amiss with this relationship.  BUT, is is essential that your first comment to your boss is very subtle, and it is more of a pointer that you can refer back to as a placemarker for notifying them early on that this is potential bad seed you have been matched up with.
  2. Document and keep your work papers separate when possible.  You may be hung out to dry, and used a scape goat by these types of individuals.  Now, in my experience, they can be very trick in their self absorbed and selfish ways.  So, assuming that your work is good and professional and better than the work your partner may be completing, it’s expected that they may try to take credit for this work.  So, I suggest that you clear document what you are working on separately, and that you keep this information backed up on your personal computer.
  3. Know where you stand in the chain of command.  If you are peers with the toxic person, then you want to very politely stand your ground as they will surely try to demean and take control of you and the project.  You will need to once again be strategic and understanding that this person may only have selfish aspirations and they will want all of the credit for their self.
  4. Let your boss know that you find this relationship challenging in advance.  Along the same point as early.  Don’t want until the relationship is totally soured and ruined before you inform your bosses or business associates.  This is because you may just be the second person who is reporting a major problem.  Even though your work product may be perfect, and it may be the only thing that is done correctly between you and toxic person, it may not be portrayed that you are adding any value.
  5. Damage control – If the wheels come off the bus, and you find that you need to completely defend yourself in the aftermath of a toxic business relationship rely on the steps above.  You’ll be able to go back to your boss and say “remember when I told you”, or “here are my work papers”.  These reference points that you set early on should help to give you the support that you need to make it through this situation.

Drama in Business and Personal Relationships

Drama, drama, drama.  In high school knew this couple who would fight everywhere they went.  It was a perfect storm of two people who were both drama filled and who were comfortable throwing down wherever and whenever they felt like it.  They spent so much time arguing and fighting and instigating each other, it was just tiring to watch.  I think they got a kick out of it, and it is just who they are and how they are internally wired.  Let me say this…to be in a business relationship with either of these people would be a nightmare.

The goal of this article is to help you find ways to get these drama filled people away from you in a quick and simple way.  You’ll find that if you get closely aligned with these people you will be dragged down and slowed down.  Another example, of a drama filled person, is a person I played a sport with growing up.  This guy literally created a fight with the other team in every game we played.  And decades later, I heard this guy went to jail for a short time.  When I heard of his troubles as an adult…as a drama filed adult.  I said to myself…”yep, it makes sense he’d get into this kind of trouble.”  So take my advice and follow the tips below to steer clear of drama filled people.

Top 5 ways to avoid drama filled individuals:

Don’t reach out to them – A lot of us make the mistake of thinking that they cannot be as bad or as toxic as we may think they are.  This is a bad mistake and one that can cost you a lot of wasted time an energy.  Accept that a toxic and drama filled person is just that…a person that you should avoid.

Never assume they will change – In general a drama filled person is most likely not this way only during your interactions with them.  And most likely they aren’t just starting to be this way.  Instead you should assume that they have been this way for a very long time, and what you are experiencing will likely continue for quite a long time to come.

You aren’t their therapist – Some people operate under the fallacy that this is a one off situation, or that they can manage the drama and it won’t be that bad.  This is often far from the truth.  If you find that you have to stop and talk in your own mind about the situation and how unbelievable it was, or this person was, this is a red flag.  You’ll want to make sure that you steer clear of this individual at all costs.

Politely recuse yourself – If you find yourself attached in a business relationship with a drama filled person, do whatever you can to get out of it.  At all costs, you’ll want to get out of it because it will drag you down emotionally and financially.  It will be a distraction from you moving forwarding and growing.  In most situations, you’ll want to get out of the association in a very polite and kind way.  You certainly don’t want to create any enemies, especially with a person who is very comfortable creating drama.  If they are comfortable disrupting and creating drama in their own lives, they certainly won’t have any problem with adding drama to your life.

You don’t have to be extra nice – The nicer that you are to this person, they may think that you are on their side and they may actively seek you out.  You don’t want to give off the vibe that you are their new friend and confidant.  Trust me…you don’t want them to think that you are part of their team…right? So, do the right and easy thing and steer clear of the drama.

Well these are a few brief suggestions for helping you to navigate avoiding drama filled people in your professional life, and even personally.  You will want to do this especially as it can effect you negatively and drain you in so many ways.  The goal here is not to learn about all of the different types of personalities that can be difficult, it is more a matter of how can we navigate and stay clear of people who may slow us down and bring us down.  Steer clear to be a more successful and wealthy person.

Compound Interest – Key to Successful Investing

Investing is by no means an easy task and it is one that involves many stressful ups and an downs.  For the average non professional investor, these ups and downs can be overwhelming, while the professional sees them as just daily market volatility.  So, no matter what you do as an investor, you will see your investments raise in price and go lower in price.  There just isn’t any way to avoid market volatility as an investor.  But, what we can do as investors is to work on a very important cornerstone of investing, and that is compounding.

Compounding is most often described as “compound interest” (Wikipedia and compound interest), other people simply describe it as compounding.

What is compound interest?

Simply put, compound interest is a process where an investor can earn interest at an increasing rate as the cash returned from the investment is reinvested back into the investment portfolio.  Let’s look at an example:

Initial Capital = $100
Interest Rate = 5%
Interest after 1 year = $5
Total Capital after 1 year is $105

Here is the compounding part so watch closely !!!  As you see below the interest for the second year is off a newly higher base of $105 dollars.

Capital at beginning of year 2 = 105
Interest Rate = 5% (unchanged)
Interest for year 2 = $5.25
Total capital after year 2 = 110.25

So, the extra boost from compounding is $.25.   Yes, yes, I know compounding isn’t a get rich quick gimmick…nor is it a bitcoin strategy.  Instead compounding is a slow and methodical way to boost your investments over time.  The example I used is very simple and using small numbers.  But when extrapolated over 10-20 years the true power of compounding can be shown.   You can jump over to Investor.gov to see their compounding calculator.

I just did a quick compounding of
Initial investment of $100,000, @5%interest, and $100 month contribution, for 20 years.  and the total grows to $305,009.  There are a number of variables at work here, so you can jump over there to run your own example.  But the important concept here to take away is to fully understand that you want the base of your investments to grow over time, and to grow and an increasing rate.  If you were to not add the $100 contribution each month, and you removed the 5% interest each period to spend it, then you’d still just have $100k at the end of 20 years.

The point here is to put your money to work, and then allow it go grow upon itself to boost the value of your portfolio.  As you can see above, this won’t happen over night, but instead in a consistent and steady way.

What is affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing has been around since the dawn of time…or at least the dawn of the internet.  It’s championed and implemented by the largest online retailers in the world…Amazon and Walmart…to help boost their sales, and to grow their businesses.  The affiliate advertising program of Amazon is a means of generating what I call commissioned based advertising.  Or said another way, Amazon will not pay any advertising fees unless their is a converted sale.  Sounds pretty good?  Well it certainly does to Amazon.

What is an affiliate marketing program exactly?

The way that an affiliate program works is by having a relationship between you and a retailer.  So, you will need to be creating content, such as in the form of a webpage.  This webpage will hopefully attract visitors by having robust, complete, and compelling content on it.  Once a website visitor reads your content, they may decide to click on the nice link that you have contained inside your content.  When they click onto this link, they will be forwarded to a retailer such as Amazon.  Once they land at Amazon, a tracking code will get recorded and that potential customer will hopefully shop and buy something at Amazon.  If they do make a purchase, then you will share in a portion of the income generated from that sale.

It isn’t too difficult to start to become an affiliate as you can probably see in the paragraph above.   BUT, what is difficult is to create compelling content that will inspire your readers, viewers, listeners, to take action based on your recommendations.  So, you’ll have to focus on making your content something sticky and compelling.

Top 5 reasons why Amazon likes their affiliate marketing program:

  1. It helps Amazon to grow their business and boost their sales revenue.
  2. Amazon doesn’t have to pay for any advertising costs in advance, instead they are agreeing to share a portion of the profit generated by the sale with the affiliate marketer.
  3. Trusted influencers help to promote both Amazon and the products they sell.
  4. Potential for promoting certain categories over others to increase margins and lower per sale advertising costs.
  5. Extra boost to traffic and customer exposure.  This means that not all of your referrals will purchase that day, and may return later to buy after the affiliate link expires.

Why become an affiliate?

The reasons to become an affiliate are often simple and easy to understand.  Most people go after becoming an affiliate to earn more money, earn a side income, or for the passion of the niche or category that they are interested in.  A lot of hobby enthusiasts are effectively professionals or experts in their hobby’s, and isn’t this perfect.  If you have a topic or interest that you love, why not get involved into affiliate marketing or promoting services and products in the area that you love to be involved in?

Top 5 reasons to become an affiliate

    1. Earn money as a side income or part time worker.
    2. You can take advantage or information that you already know and you can make extra money by utilizing this knowledge.
    3. You can create an opportunity to learn more about a hobby or interest that you have an interest in, become an expert in a topic you already have an interest in.
    4. You have an opportunity to build an asset that can yield returns for years.  It can truly be a business that generates a good amount of recurring income for you.
    5. A very low cost way to create a business, and you can get started today.

What skills do you need to have a successful affiliate program?

  1. Technology – You will need a basic understanding of internet technology such as a basic understanding of links, website architecture, and basic design concepts.  These all aren’t necessary, but they may help you go farther and you can develop them over time.
  2. Your topic area – You will need to work towards become an expert in your area of interest.  The best affiliates will have a passion for their niche, product area, or category that they are marketing for.
  3. Ability to think like a marketer – When you get involved in affiliate marketing or publishing, you are essentially a cog in the chain of retail sales.  What does this mean?  It means that you will be assisting in the sales process for any customer who lands on your website, or content, and follows on to your affiliate partner to make a purchase.  Often, when the potential customer is on your website, they will be uncertain about whether they should make a purchase or not, or they may simply be conducting research.
  4. Ability to stay persistent – Most successful business owners will tell you that they achieved their successful due to having a will and determination to never give up.  This mindset is essential in creating a strong affiliate marketing effort.  The reason for this, is that you will most likely not see results for a little bit of time, but this is expected.  You will need to setup a business, create your content, list or publish your content, market your content, and get that content listed and promoted within the search engines.  WOW, does that sound like a lot?  We’ll I would argue that it isn’t a lot, but it will take some time, so be prepared to be persistent.