Entrepreneur Steve Sims writes in his book Bluefishing
that there’s a simple way to figure out if someone is a good match for you as a business partner, client, friend, trainer, tutor—whatever.
He calls it “The Chug Test.”
Here’s how Sims uses it to evaluate his relationships: “If I’m walking down the sidewalk, and I see someone I know walking on the other side of the street, what do I do? … Do I see them and run across the street, jump in front of them and go, ‘Bernard! How you doing? Let’s go chug a beer!’”
Simply, would Sims want to grab a drink with the person or not?
The Chug Test is powerful even without alcohol. If you see someone on the other side of the street, would you rather run over and say “Hi” or avoid them?
Sims tells the story of how he used The Chug Test in deciding to fire his top-performing salesperson:
“I said to Clare, my wife, who works with me, ‘I’m gonna keep it simple. I tell people about this Chug Test concept, but I’m not living by it if I keep her around in the company.’ Regardless of how much money she made for me and the company, regardless of whether the clients liked her, I honestly didn’t. So I fired her. I literally fired one of my top performers because she didn’t pass the Chug Test …
You could look at it and think, ‘Oh, my God, Sims, you’re an idiot, you just got rid of a big asset, why couldn’t you just suck it up and ignore her and let her do her thing?’ Or you could look at it and realize, ‘You got rid of something that was toxic to you, and anything toxic to you is toxic to the company.’ …
The strange thing that happened was that the rest of my team was really respectful of the decision. I heard them saying things like, ‘I wasn’t sure if Sims was ever going to do that.’ Behind the scenes they had been thinking to themselves, ‘Does he actually do what he says he does?’ …
I was a bit stunned myself when I let her go, but my circle became better, my work relationships got stronger, and my reputation became more authentic: ‘Oh, Sims, he’s not just talk. He walks the walk. He lives it.’”