It took me a long time to understand "R.O.I."

If you've never heard the term, it stands for "Return On Investment." Not a stock broker?  No problem!  It applies to many areas of life as well.

In a business such as ours, we're constantly working with, working around and mixing it up with many a creative.  Sometimes great relationships develop, expecially as we all seek to grow.  True networking and teamwork is rare, but it's great when it happens. 

Why is it rare, you may ask?  It's hard to be a sensitive, creative, expressive professional but stay humble.  Sounds like an oxymoron, doesn't it?  Almost - doing your best doesn't mean "I'm the best."  If you mind your own business and keep grinding, you'll land where you're meant to be - no competition necessary.

So you CAN work with others, even if they may be in the Venn Diagram of "competition." However, you have to make sure reciprocity occurs.  Are they helping you grow?  Providing leads?  Bringing you into their deals? Or is the relationship all give (you) and all take (them?)

Take a tally and see if your associate is more a sycophant.  Sometimes your limits are not your own doing.  If you run into such a situation, become a ghost to them.  If they need to make a change to keep you in their lives, they'll need to put some "skin in the game."  That too is possible, but equally as rare as true networking and teamwork. Be prepared to make plans without them and retain your boundaries and continued growth.