Are There Toxic People in Your Line Up?

Guest Editorial

In my Skip-Tracing classes I teach that it is human nature for each of us to have a core group of people, both professionally and personally, that we surround ourselves with.  It is the skip-tracer’s job to locate those people in order to gain the subject’s new location.

Now take a look at your own core group.  As we go on our various paths of life, the people within this group change as we lose contact with some friends and make new ones.  Despite the rotating roster, we always have a few that remain within the group for a lifetime.

When one of these core people becomes a negative force, their toxicity can contaminate you.  I am certain each of you have a friend, a client or a co-worker who can suck the happy out of a room just by entering it.

They are the Debbie Downers, always ready with bottomless pits of bad news and judgmental perspectives.  They can magically/tragically turn any positive into a negative. There’s also the sly manipulators, who figure out how to push your buttons to bring out your anger.  Then you have the narcissists who are so completely focused on themselves that they function as a black hole, swallowing up any positive energy that you may harbor.

Those who aren’t building you up are bringing you down.  A much-publicized example is the melt-down actress/actor who spends the big bucks on extended stays in rehab to become clean and sober, only to return to the same negative group that enabled the behavior in the first place.  Predictably they almost always return to their usual bad habits.

There are many types of negativity and many ways to model the behavior.   These undesirables with their destructive energy will affect you both personally and professionally, as you expend more time and effort dealing with them, deflecting them, and trying to avoid contact with them altogether.

I remember my father telling me when I was a kid that, “You are known by whom you hang with, young man.” As an adult, that simple advice guided me in building a core group of beneficial relationships among people who foster positive growth and share common goals.

If you have someone toxic in your group, may I suggest that you take a play from baseball and change your line-up?  Taking that player out of your game will measurably improve both your personal and business relationships, and ultimately boost your winnings.

I can’t take credit for the post or the title this week. While attending the 2012 American Recovery Association conference in Nashville, Tennessee, I had the honor of meeting and listening to Chris Hogan of the Dave Ramsey Group.  Mr. Hogan’s topic was leadership, and during his keynote address he made the simple statement about ‘Changing Your Line-up’, really hit home for me and I had to share this enlightening concept as it is something we skip-tracers must do in order to grow our rolodex and our business but as humans we also need to practice this concept to build fruitful lives!

Do yourself a favor and check our Chris Hogan’s blog at , or follow him on Twitter at @chrishogan360.  You won’t be disappointed.

Until Next Time… Follow me on the path to better skip-tracing!

Be Blessed, Be Safe and Happy Hunting

Alex Price

Master Hunter


Alex Price is a nationally-recognized expert on the Art of Skip Tracing and author of Skip Tracers National Certification Program with over 25+ years of experience in skip-tracing, collections and public speaking.  Alex began his career with Barnett Bank as a field representative collecting past-due accounts. He then moved to World Omni Finance, where over the next ten years he worked in all aspects of collections and handling the nationwide charge-off skip portfolio.


Contact Info: , Office: (972) 735-2353, Fax: (972) 735-2354                                                              

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