Good small business reads #34: Taking on a partner, ditching toxic people, building bridges and minimizing risks

Having turned into a total sloth during the holiday season, I failed to publish an issue of Good Small Business Reads in December. So I’m getting the January issue out to you early just in case the month gets away from me. (Can you relate? I’ve had so many people say to me lately, “Where did the year go?” Don’t ask me; I have no clue.)

Three people-related articles caught my attention recently. The first is “15 Phrases that Build Bridges Between People,” by Jeff Schmitt, writing for As a writer, I obviously believe language matters. If you’re seeking to motivate and encourage people, Schmitt’s phrases will be of help. We all find ourselves in awkward situations in business sooner or later, so knowing words that will bridge gaps can be very useful. I think you’ll also find these phrases helpful outside of work.

We all have had to deal with toxic people at one point of another. In this excerpt from his new book, No B.S. Time Management for Entrepreneurs, business coach and consultant Dan Kennedy talks about how toxic people affect your productivity and why you would be better off distancing yourself from them. This includes employees, vendors, and clients. I’ve written before about firing clients. Yes, it’s a tough decision, but a toxic client can drain your energy and have a seriously negative effect on your productivity, as Kennedy also stresses.

Next up from the poplar website, is an article about things to consider when taking on a partner. Finding a partner may be on many small business owners’ to-do lists for 2014. Just make sure you don’t rush into anything; this article has great advice on how to avoid missteps when making this very important decision.

Finally, I recommend “7 Ways to Minimize Small Business Risks.” As the economy continues to pick up, many small business owners are considering new ideas for the first time since the Great Recession. This article suggests how to evaluate the risk involved in trying something new and then how to plan to minimize that risk.

Here’s looking forward to a great 2014 for you all!

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