In my 24-years in the business world – the last 12-years of which have been as an entrepreneur, I’ve come to the conclusion that one of the key factors that separate the struggling from the uber successful, is the ability to create, cultivate and develop successful relationships.
As much as we enjoy hearing about the ‘self-made’ man or woman, the reality of things is that collaboration and connection will always play a role in our success. Bottom line, without others, dreams remain dreams.
And the same goes for you.
That means whatever you’re pursuing, whatever you’re wanting, whatever’s keeping you awake at night because you just can’t stop dreaming about it… you’re going to need to enlist the help of others to get it.
However, before you begin making a list of everyone you plan on recruiting to help and what you need from them, I suggest reading the rest of this post first!
Here are five ways the uber successful build lasting, profitable relationships.
1. Have a Long-Term Mindset
This may sound a bit counterintuitive, especially for new entrepreneurs who feel a strong sense of urgency, but having a long-term perspective with your relationships will set you up for future success.
- Don’t change who you are to please someone. True relationships are built upon honesty and integrity (you know, all that good stuff our Mum’s taught us!).
- Accept the fact that relationships go through seasons and evolve. This means accepting that sometimes you’ll be close, and other times you’ll find yourselves not speaking to each other for weeks, or even months. But the best relationships which stand the test of time are those that are able to pick up right where they left off (which means no getting butt-hurt if someone doesn’t get back to you).
- Value your current relationships. It’s easy to take our current relationships for granted and always be about cultivating new ones, but you’ll find that successful people have deep relationships that have been cultivated over years of mutual investment.
Simply put, remind yourself this is LIFE – and the relationships you build will be with you for a long, long time.
2. Put a Premium on Developing Yourself
As you build your network never forget that YOU are also part of someone’s network too.
So with that in mind:
- What value do you bring to your network?
- Have you made a choice to continually grow?
- Are you trying to take more than your give?
Successful people like to be around successful people. That means if you plan on finding yourself inside one of these social circles it’s important to have something of value to contribute.
Just look at any Instagram feed of a celebrity, or successful entrepreneur and you’ll see their comments filled with people who are trying to get something from them (such as an endorsement, a partnership or free consulting / coaching). And do you think this works? Of course not!
Now think about this – that same celebrity, or entrepreneur goes to work everyday and collaborates with other people who have developed their skills – and provide something of value.
And let’s face it, developing skills takes time – it’s not easy, but it’s a surefire way to finding yourself in the company of success.
3. Seek to Give, More Than You Receive
If you’ve spent any time following entrepreneurs online then you’ve probably stumbled across my good friend, Lewis Howes, host of the wildly popular School of Greatness podcast.
What you may not know however, is that Lewis began his rise to entrepreneurial success by choosing to host an enormous amount of networking events. His mindset was that if he could help connect others, and shake as many hands as possible his life would be enriched.
But what’s important to note is that he began from a place of giving. Lewis was not concerned about profiting from these events, or seeing what others could do for him. He simply wanted to be a connector of people.
Let’s not forget, the path of entrepreneurship is built upon the economical concept of providing value to your customers and prospective customers – like I do every time I broadcast on Periscope.
Think of it simply solving a problem. And what’s great is that it also applies to relationships, too.
4. Develop a P2P Mindset
“I speak to everyone in the same way, whether he is the garbage man,
or the president of the university.” – Albert Einstein
People are People.
- They are not ‘followers’.
- They are not stats.
- They are not open-rates.
- They are not subscribers.
- They are not staff (aka ‘butts in seats’).
They are people.
Yes, they can be represented by the terms listed above, but if you approach your relationship building from a more intimate philosophy, or as I call it, the People-2-People (P2P) mindset, you’ll find yourself building more meaningful and lasting relationships.
- Never underestimate the value of a sincere “Thank You”, or “I’m Sorry” to your clients, guests or members.
- Always thank your staff for what they do. The verbal affirmation is just as important as compensation – something I go into in great detail throughout the pages of Virtual Freedom.
- Remembering the special moments of someone’s life with a simple phone call, or card – yes,those things you write on!
In the business of building relationships, it’s truly the little things that make the biggest difference.
So don’t forget to be a P2P entrepreneur.
5, Be Intentional with Your Actions
Nothing great happens by accident. It’s always intentional. Always.
Despite having a jammed packed schedule, I’ve always made it a priority to connect with my network and staff on a personal level. This can be as simple as an email thanking a member of my team for helping to wrap a project ahead of deadline, or as detailed as having a baby shower gift sent to someone in my network.
Either way, it’s intentional – which means planned and executed.
And thanks to today’s online tools it’s much easier to do this type of thing than you probably think.
Here’s a few ways you can be intentional about your relationship building:
- Identify the top three people in your network and brainstorm ways on how you can deliver huge value to them. Keep in mind the most important point here is something THEY value.
- Always acknowledge the life events of your network. This includes marriages, new additions to the family, career advancements and anything else of importance that may show up in your Facebook, or Twitter newsfeed.
- Let’s think more ‘real-world’. Use your lunch, or breakfast time as an opportunity to connect with someone, by having them join your for a meal. It’s a great way to catch up while also taking a break from your workday.
- Attend a seminar, or conference you wouldn’t normally go to. This will place you in a different context and force you to develop your social skills, and as a result, new relationships.
- Set aside time each week to call a few people from your network, for the simple goal of just checking in to see how they’re doing.
So, there you have it. Five ways that you can focus in on to help develop successful relationships that matter.
Quite amazing at how much sheer common sense is included, isn’t it? This is my point, and the reason why I felt compelled to pen this blog post this morning when I woke up.
People have started to pick-up sloppy habits when it comes to developing the right type of friendships. They’ve started to take people way too much for granted – and as a result, get confused when those that they thought were their ‘friend’ let them down in one way or another.
Don’t let that happen to you. Be the person that enjoys your relationships and growing them – not just ‘using them’ for your own advantage.