There are countless people who have lost their businesses due to bad associations. Indeed we must be very careful when selecting business partners yet the power of association is considerable to individual success. This is relevant to relationships in all areas of our lives and we do have a choice in this area. We need to understand that we can actually choose who we further our relationships with. It's ok to choose not to associate with people who do not contribute to our goals in life. It's especially ok to move away slowly but surely if we find ourselves in a close association with the many "energy drainers and hard done by's "floating around, eager for easy prey on which to load their generally self induced woes. It is how we move away that is important. What we say and do to people is not as important as how we make them feel. It is the latter that they will remember. I have learned this lesson the hard way.
In business, collaboration equals strength and it is successful cooperation which drives businesses and individuals forward. A wonderful example of this is the collaboration that Allcopy Publishers has with our authors. Brilliant textbooks floating around aimlessly are as useless as a brilliant sales team with a bad product. Our combined association is our individual success.
One of the best business books I have ever read is "Good to Great" by Jim Collins who previously co authored "Built to last". In this book Collins takes a close look at what distinguishes "great" companies from merely "good" companies, over a significant period of time in the USA. There were many common factors, most of which we apply in our businesses today and I would encourage everyone who would like to succeed in business to read it. The most relevant for the purpose of this topic, however, is the practice of getting the right people on the "bus", even before the final decision is made as to where the bus is going.
Every staff member of your organization is an association, with the potential of being a strong one or a draining one. My message is to choose carefully who you collaborate with and who you seat on your bus, because having to stop the bus and assist them off at any time during your journey is going to cost you, and everyone else on that bus.
Do you have the right people on your bus?