I’ve received some thoughtful comments on my recent Biznik article about how to manage business partnership issues.
The most common theme is that a business partnership is much like a marriage—or any other close relationship, including familial. And it is, with all the highs, lows, ins and outs. Business is personal in every way.
There are giant rifts in many families that are similar to business partnership rifts. And a family business? Double trouble if you do not create a strong human foundation.
No matter the situation, the basis of hurting is hurt. Hurt people hurt others. Angry people are angry at others. Toxic people are toxic to others. People like these are everywhere and play roles in our lives—parents, friends, siblings, children, co-workers. Ultimately, they are the most damaging to themselves, but you will quickly become collateral damage unless you stop it from coming near you.
Here are a few tips for managing these relationships:
- Be accountable for everything that happens in your life. This is your power center.
- Do not take on guilt for another person’s shortcomings. Their problems are not yours, no matter who the person is.
- Make sound and informed decisions about who is allowed in your life.
- Base your decisions not on trying to change others (you can’t) but rather by deciding if their behavior is nourishing or toxic for you.
- Become crystal clear that you are not for everyone and everyone is not for you. And that is ok.
- Erect impenetrable boundaries around toxic people who are out to damage you for any reason. Blood does not exempt people from these boundaries. Anyone who has a toxic agenda is simply not allowed in your world.
- Understand that boundaries serve both parties. If you don’t hit the ball back, there is no game. Don’t get sucked into someone else’s game.
- Remember that sibling relationships are brewed in childhood. So the brother who never liked you will never like you. The jealous one will always be jealous. The angry one will always be angry. The bigmouth will remain just that. And so on.
We all end up who we are for so many reasons, both nurture and environment. We can all master our own negative emotions if we are willing to be accountable and do the work. The secret is awakening, which also serves the planet. The more aware we are, the better our relationships are and the better our society is.
Never forget that energy—good and bad—is transferred from you to everyone around you. Energy is more powerful than words. Be aware that bad energy is like bad gas—it envelopes and chokes everyone around you.
And none of us has the right to do that.