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Are Your Friends Killing Your Business?

Episode #72

Having an employee who is your friend will greatly affect your decision-making when the time comes that you discover that person to be someone who is sabotaging your business.

The attachment or the relationship you have with this person puts you in a situation where it will be difficult for you to get rid of him.

You will become more understanding and you will give him more chances compared to someone who is just your regular employee because you want to protect your relationship and you don’t want to be the bad person.

In this episode, we talk about what happens when we continue to tolerate these people in our lives.

Getting rid of someone who is cancer in the business is protecting yourself, your company, your employees and your relationship.

If you have been in this situation, dive right in to the episode to receive some insight on how to handle the situation.

What you will learn in this episode:

  • How having a friend as your employee affects your decision making
  • How to get rid of a key employee who is sabotaging your business
  • How to save both your business and your relationship
  • What happens if you tolerate someone from doing things that you know will sabotage your business just because you are afraid to ruin the friendship


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Episode Transcript

Doug Holt 0:00  

Cancer within the company needs to be pulled out right away, or it will bring everybody else down and cause more and more problems. I’ve experienced this as a young business owner in my 20s. This happened to me, and I didn’t react quickly enough. And it just snowballed. And this key employee started spreading stories that were lies. They were telling me one thing, and we started telling the rest of the staff and other things, and it just all went downhill really quickly. Hello, everyone, and welcome to another episode of The Powerful Man show. I am your host, Doug Holt, with my co-host, Tim, “The Powerful Man” Matthews. Tim, how are you doing, brother?

Tim Matthews 0:36  

Doing great, you?

Doug Holt 0:39  

I’m doing fantastic man, I’m looking forward to this episode and the rest of my day, and just really excited to get at it.

Tim Matthews 0:48  

I love it. I love it.

Doug Holt 0:50  

So Tim, one of the topics we talked about that’s come up before is what happens as a business owner in particular, but this could relate to somebody else. But as a business owner, what happens when you become friends with an employee or a staff member, and that person is bringing down your business?

Tim Matthews 1:12  

Wow, it’s a big topic. It’s a tough line to tread, isn’t it between being the company’s leader and then taking a stand for the company and what it is you’re creating. And bringing out the best in people at the same time without getting too emotionally attached are involved. It’s a tough one.

Doug Holt 1:32  

It is a tough one. And we’re going to try to keep this episode short, guys, and get to the meat of it. Because this is a problem that we see with a lot of the businesses you and I go in as consultants or working with, the men coming through the program are their great guys. They are just great men who want to do great in the world. What ends up happening often is they become excellent friends or bring a friend into the business. They become terrific friends with a key employee. They get a friend who seemingly, in their own words, takes advantage; they screw up in a significant way or take advantage of the relationship. 

And time and time again, this pattern keeps repeating itself. When they feel for the person and the employee, they feel for their friend and don’t think for the employee. They feel for their friend who happens to be an employee. And that stops them from allowing the business to move forward. And what I see happening, Tim uses an analogy, and the industry is like a ship. It’s a ship in the ocean-going on. It’s going to a destination, and some ships go faster than others, and some are bigger than others. But what happens is this crucial employee, this friend, a family member, and this friend was called a friend versus the episode. 

This friend is the anchor that keeps dragging them down. And as time goes on, this person makes more and more mistakes, and they are more and more lackadaisical. They get lazy. And that anchor becomes bigger and bigger and bigger where it just pulls the boss, the business owner, or you the listener pulls you down. It pulls you down, and you’re starting to think about it. What should I do? Frank Jo, whoever it is, isn’t working as hard. But yeah, they’ve got problems at home, or yeah, but they’re a nice person, you start making excuses for them. And then you find yourself getting pulled back into the business, even more, you find yourself patching their work, you find yourself complaining about them. You also find your relationship drifting away. Do you ever see this with the mentum?

Tim Matthews 3:47  

Yes. My response to this is if they were your friend, what would they want for you? It’s effortless to be on one side of the fence and take the approach from the business owner and be like, “I feel this way, and I don’t want to upset him,” and so forth. But if he was your friend, then would he want you to feel the way you’re feeling because you’re sacrificing what you love was such a massive part of your business and then paying prices elsewhere in your relationships or your health or whatever. It’s never just in the industries, and it’s going to have a ripple effect. You know what, he wants that for you? And if he would want that for you, then is it a friend? And if you wouldn’t want that for you, then you’re in the clear.

Doug Holt 4:40  

Well, yeah, and so that’s a perfect way of looking at it. And I didn’t think of it as much like that. But what I did think of it, and I addressed this recently to one of the men you and I know and love is I said, “Look, you’re a smart business person. If you go in if you went into another business as a consultant, I hired you, let’s say I paid you 100,000 to come into the business and consult. one is, are you worth it?” And the answer, of course, is yes. The second question is, if this situation was happening in the business where you had a key employee or key staff member pulling the company down consistently and repeatedly, what would you recommend the business owner do? 

Every time, the answer is we’ll get rid of them. They got cancer. We all know that cancer within the company needs to be cancer in general needs to be pulled out right away, or it’s going to bring everybody else down and cause more and more problems. I’ve experienced this as a young business owner in my 20s, Tim, and this happened to me. And I didn’t react quickly enough. And I had employees embezzle money from me. 

And I didn’t respond adequately rapidly to the whole situation. And then it just snowballed. And this key employee started spreading stories, which were lies. They were telling me one thing, they started telling the rest of the staff and other things, and it all went downhill quickly. It was a tough time for me because not only did I feel betrayed, and people took money from me, but these were my friends. I lost friends in the same way now. Had I handled the situation purely as a business owner and taken my emotion out of it, the decision would have been better for both of us. They would have exited the company and been able to start what their real passion was anyway. And I wouldn’t have gotten burned. And maybe, just maybe, we would have been able to hold on or repair that friendship, which has now been lost forever.

Tim Matthews 6:47  

That’s a shame. So much ego comes into it. Not from egos, probably not the right word; emotional be a better word. So much emotion gets entangled in the decision making that it is so easy to lose sight of what to do because we play the game by the rules of having the best interests of the person at heart, assuming that they’re due too, but he can’t always be that way. 

You can have the best interests and the best intent like you did. And at the same time, not being responsible for other people’s success we can get into a habit of wanting to save people and can’t wait “oh, well, I don’t want him to go through hard times, or I don’t want him to have to find a job or whatever.” But what if that was just his path? Why, if that’s just what he needs to learn right now, but you, or me or anyone, was trying to save him, you’re robbing him of that lesson. And as a result, you’re both paying the price, and your friendship is as well. 

Rather than being able to communicate consciously and openly and say, “Hey, this is what’s coming up for me. And I love you dearly as a friend. But right now, I’m suffering in this professional relationship, and it’s not working for me. And I love you, and I want to see you grow and thrive. And it’s been a while now, and I don’t think that’s going to be here. It can’t be here. I’m here to support you still outside of this. And if he then wanted to take kind of some way whereby you be mean to him, then again, back to my original point, in my opinion, has not been a friend if anything has been very selfish.

Doug Holt 8:33  

Guys, I’m interrupting this episode because I want to know, do you feel bored, burned out, or broken? Discover the system that over 300 businessmen use to let go of the grind, find inner peace, and unlock unlimited personal power. So they can have more time, more intimacy, and better sex while living a life they love without stressing about work or feeling like a fraud. Head over to ThePowerfulMan.com/11 to see what this is all about. Alright, let’s get back to the episode that’s so true. And there’s constantly jockeying for position. We talk about the alpha, but whenever there is an alpha, there has to be a beta.

There has to be somebody under that position. And that can cause some animosity. And I think it’s the difference between being friendly and allowing that friendship to put you in a position as a business owner, where you’ve taken advantage of. And in these cases, if again, if you come in as a consultant, what would you do? When we talk to these guys, they immediately say, well, you got to get rid of the person in all of these cases. But yet some people don’t do it. And I don’t think they do it. Sometimes I think they don’t take action because they’re afraid of what the other person will think of them. They’re worried. They were the bad guys, when as you said, “Really? What if you’re holding this person back from their true destiny? Or what if you’re holding them back? And enabling them? To play small? What does a friend do?”

Tim Matthews 10:17  

Yeah, very accurate. It’s very true. Kind of like tough love, isn’t it? Do you know? And we touched on this a moment ago, but it’s almost like, where else does that show up in your life as well as the business owner who’s tolerating this? I’ve spoken on previous episodes, how you train people how to treat you, then where else is that lack of decisiveness? Let’s say showing up in other areas of your life. Because it will be, and it’s an excellent opportunity for you to be able to take stock and look at it and reflect, and where else is going to come alive? Where else am I caring more about what others think about me than I am about myself? Where else am I putting others before me or making my life hard?

Doug Holt 11:07  

Yeah, absolutely. These are great questions to ask and take time to reflect on. Are you protecting the business? Are you protecting your family? Are you protecting your other employees, families? About your headspace, that headspace of the stress coming about that employee or that key person in your company. You’re taking that out in your social time, and you’re taking that out everywhere you go; that energy is being manifested time and time again, really, because you’re scared to take action.

Tim Matthews 11:39  

Yeah, I know. We spoke on the other episode about settling when you feel like you’re paying in your marriage, but really, it is everywhere else in your life. Stacy’s like the other conversation, isn’t it? This is like the other side of the fence, too, “Hey, you may be experiencing problems in your marriage.” But this is really where it’s already stemming from. It’s also showing up, and there are so many avenues to take with this. 

The one that was coming to my mind was “How else are you sabotaging your success?” Maybe you’re tolerating, yeah, maybe other love for this person, but also you sabotage it, and it’s something that you do. You keep yourself in a holding pattern for longer than you need to be. Because you know that if you get rid of someone, that means you’re going to step up even more and be seen even more, or I have even more or whatever it is. And that’s all just too uncomfortable for you since it’s easier to play small and use this as an excuse and use the drama around it to the more the truth is as well, the more you tell the story, the more gravity and emotion The story takes on. And before you know it, it’s got a life of its own. It turned into this colossal monster when it never needed to be. The reality is, you guys may not be a good fit.

Doug Holt 12:59  

Well, it’s completely okay. There’s nothing wrong with that. And the more we hold on to those stories. They can be, as you said, they become bigger and bigger and bigger. And we start to delay the inevitable, which puts a gap between you and the other person. Because trust me, guys, the other person knows there’s something wrong. 

They know it, they know it. And by allowing them to continue, you’re almost validating them and saying that they’re right and they’re allowed to do what they’re doing. And that’s causing stagnation in other areas of their life, as well. So, Tim, I think it’s so great; what you said is for the man is to take stock, where they are, and where else this is showing up. 

Because it doesn’t just show up in one place, it shows up in all kinds of businesses. And guys, if this resonates with you, this is time for you to be decisive, for you to take the reins to step up and step to the line in this area of your life and take some massive action. So Tim, if you were to leave these guys with a couple of things, they could do right now. If they find themselves in a situation where like “Crap, I’ve got a family member, a friend, or somebody, and I know they’re not towing their weight, and it’s been a repeating problem.” What advice would you give them?

Tim Matthews 14:18  

Um, take stock first; look at how long has this been going on for you? What price have you paid in other areas of your life? So, in other words, where else does this show up in your life? And get clear with that because this could be an excellent lesson for you because it will show up in other areas of your life, and then ask yourself why is that? Now, why have I tolerated this? If you’re the alumni that listen in, you guys have a significant advantage because you can go through the fundamentals of alpha. 

If you guys haven’t yet experienced that, then maybe listen to the previous episode on unlocking personal power to put yourself in a more empowered state, then take some action on this with clarity. So take stock, and get perspective on this as well. This isn’t personal. If it was a real friend, if you cared and wanted the best for you and vice versa, then have the conversation. Commit to operate in a different way whereby, just like in the fundamentals of alpha, you make a decision based on what feels right because as long as you want to wrestle and resist what you were feeling compelled to do, it’s going to exhaust you. You may not know it, but often you don’t know how heavy something is until you put it down. So I encourage you guys to do this if this is something that’s coming up for you.

Doug Holt 15:44  

I love it—peace, power, and flow. Alright, guys, that’s it for this episode. We’d love it. If you’d leave us a review, that’s how other men like you find shows like this where the conversations are at another level. They can help other men, so we’d appreciate you leaving an honest five-star review for us wherever you might find this and sharing it with a man that you feel could enjoy this conversation. Until next time, that’s it for Tim and me, and we’ll see you again on The Powerful Man show.