Make sure you pick the right business partner

It’s a cruel world out there folks and I guarantee you that a person whom you thought was trustworthy will fuck you over in a heartbeat in certain situations; especially when there’s a lot of money involved.

I got fucked over in the past because I have a tendency to be too loyal and trustworthy.  My thought process is that I’d never do that to someone; unfortunately I made the mistake of thinking everyone else had the same mindset.

Building a healthy business relationship with the right person is the key to whether or not you will make it.  You need to surround yourself with people that are supportive, have been through what you are going through, and that can offer guidance (in some instances mentor) you down a road of success.  Self-made millionaires are very rarely 100% self-made.  Generally they’ve met someone along the way or partnered up with someone who helped them achieve their goals.

The job I had prior to starting my own company was manager of a sales force.  I took over an office that was bleeding and about to go under.  At the time I took it over, the business owners were 140k in the red.  I had numerous conversations with one of the owners prior to me being promoted to management about my work ethic and how hard I was willing to work for him.  His response was that if the company took off, he would not forget the individuals who helped it get to that point.  To me, he sounded sincere.

Within 2 months of officially taking over management, I increased production 400%.  I was working 6 days a week 60-70hrs and busting my ass to get this thing going.  I had an override based on my sales reps production, so it was obviously in my best interests to get them producing as much as possible.  The more money they made the owners, the more money I made.  I continued to hire and train sales employees and I took the office from 4 employees to 19 employees within 7 months.  Towards the end of my of my tenure there, the sales force that I built for my employer, was generating over a million dollars a month in sales.

At that time I was extremely excited and took the 3 owners out to lunch.  I felt as though I deserved a raise but did not ask for it.  Instead I asked them what their feelings were on everything and they seemed extremely pleased.

The next couple of months we hit a plateau.  Sales did not go down but they did not increase, and we did not hire any new employees.  We were also having issues with marketing and generating adequate leads for the sales force.  I was not in charge of marketing so that was not my responsibility, however I could tell that the owners were starting to get annoyed at the fact that the sales numbers were not going up.  Only making a million dollars a month on piss poor fucking leads wasn’t good enough for them.

In April of 2009 they called a meeting with me.  I thought it was going to be a discussion of a pay raise and maybe a brain storming session on how we could take the company to the next level.  Unfortunately that’s not what happened at all.

That motherfucker, after telling me to my face on numerous occasions that “you don’t forget to take care of the people that helped you get to where you are,” gave me a pay cut and a demotion.  I was no longer sales manager, but a “team lead.”  They eliminated my override almost completely(which is how I made the majority of my money) and cut my salary, all while informing me that I’d more or less have the same job responsibilities as the sales manager.  They brought in someone else who they felt was more qualified to take over the management position, after I busted my ass building their company in the first place.

I turned in my resignation papers the following day.

So what’s the moral of this story?  People will fuck you over in a heartbeat.  They will stab you in the back the first chance they get, and people change when there’s money involved.  Make sure you know who you are dealing with when it comes to business, whether it’s a partner or boss, because it’s a fucked up world out there and people only care about one thing; themselves.

Make it a point that when you conduct business you don’t fall into that trap.  When you say you are going to do something, fucking do it.  And always stand by your word.  People may not like it but they will respect you anyways and you will find that you will attract business partners who have a similar mindset; which is who you want to be doing business with in the first place.

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