I Really Didn’t Mean To Cut Off Your Hand, But I Had No Choice When You Reached For My Chips

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Business is personal. Not in the sense you think. I mean, You Need To Make Business Decisions that are in your Personal Interests, Because Everyone Is Is Making Decisions That is In Their Personal Interest. When it comes to your needs versus your adversaries needs, they will always choose their needs first. The sooner you accept that EVERYONE is looking out for their own self-interest, the sooner you can overcome probably the biggest repellent of wealth, “GUILT.” Recognizing that no matter who you are dealing with, no matter how honest, trustworthy, and sincerely they care about you, when it comes down to your money/needs versus their money/needs, you will come in second place.

As you will see throughout this blog, I am a big fan of Robert Ringer. Robert postulates that there are essentially three types of people you will interact with in business. The first type openly admits they are looking out for their self interest, and will try to take every advantage from you they can. This is possibly the best kind of person to deal with in business because you know exactly what you are up against. There are no surprises. Mark Cuban, when asked by Tony Robbins who he wanted to win the presidential election stated, On a micro level, it doesn’t matter, each person must look out for himself. On a macro level, I think Obama will be better for the economy for the simple reason that he is a known entity. He will bring certainty to the markets. While you may not agree with his policies and directions, ultimately, you are in control of your own life, and having certainty in the White House is one less thing you have to worry about.

The second kind of business man is the person who pretends to be your best friend up until the last moment and than drops the other shoe, and crushes you. This person is relatively easy to see through, but should be avoided when possible. You just can’t take them at face value, and need to be wary of them In fact, most times you don’t know they are there, until it’s too late, which is why you should treat them like businessman number three…

The third type is the person who genuinely cares about you and is looking out for your best interest. This person is your friend, and really truly wants you to succeed. The problem is… He is human, which means, when it comes to your needs versus his needs, he will always find a way to justify putting you second. The problem is, you now have a personal relationship with extremely conflicted emotions interfering with your number one responsibility, looking out for numero uno.This is by far the most complicated business relationship that should be avoided as much as possible, especially because its usually grounded in your fantasy of getting something for nothing. Getting a free lunch. Problem is, there ain’t no such thing.

The best solution is to demand contracts with every single person you deal with. If they are person number one, they will probably want a contract as well, and will probably try to get the best of the deal, but its very easy to protect your interests, when you know its black and white that its you against him.

If he is business man number two, the one who pretends to be your friend, he will weasel out of a contract using excuses like their reputation, or being chilled out, and lots of talk about not worrying about anything. This is the most tell-tale sign that you are dealing with person number two. If it’s person number three, since they genuinely care about you, they would be glad to sign any contract. When they come back to you with a financial distress story and try to renegotiate, it’s your job to stand your ground and flaunt your contract. It will be hard to do, but the sooner you acknowledge the reality that while they care about you, it is super easy to justify their own needs over yours. Ultimately, the only person who will weasel out of a contract, is someone who plans on weaseling you out of your earned share in the future.

I know personally, I have been in many business situations where I didn’t get what I was promised and was even ripped off by employers and clients, all because I was too intimidated to ask for a contract. They had all the staying power, all the money, and I felt insecure about my position and needed the money, so I talked myself out of asking for a contract. I wasn’t doing myself or anyone any favors.

This advice is for me as much as it is for everyone else. DEMAND A CONTRACT, especially when you trust and have a personal relationship with your client or boss. When backed into a corner, it may be your only defense, and more importantly, it is the only true way to draw out a weasel, and avoid painful experiences getting screwed in the future.


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About David Melamed

David Melamed is the Founder of Tenfold Traffic, a search and content marketing agency with over $50,000,000 of paid search experience and battle tested results in content development, premium content promotion and distribution, Link Profile Analysis, Multinational/Multilingual PPC and SEO, and Direct Response Copywriting.


  1. Jade McAulay says

    Business is money. Business is being able to support your family. Business is being able to live the lifestyle you want to live, and you’re right, it’s a very personal thing. If you remember this no matter what type of situation you’re in, then you’ll be able to protect yourself against others, just like they’re doing in regards to you. Thank you for the advice of demanding a contract because we all have those moments where we either feel too comfortable with the person that we’re working with, or we don’t feel like it’s in our place, but it needs to be done, and if the person truly understands business, they’ll understand your need to have a safety net.

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