Guest post by Jeff Rust, Co-Founder, Corporate Alliance
I recently attended a baseball game with 561 of my local Corporate Alliance friends, clients and their families. As we sat under beautiful skies watching America’s favorite past-time, I thought about the value of relationships in my life. There are people that make me laugh, those that make me think, those with whom I enjoy a casual conversation about life and kids, and those I tap into for business ideas and mentoring. All in all, I get a substantial return on my investment, or ROI, from every relationship in my life, whether it is socially, intellectually or financially.
Knowing that most people view their trusted relationships as one of their most valuable assets, I asked myself, “What can I do better?” The following are three things that I resolved to work on and invite you to join me:
Practice daily “lifelines”
Every day resolve to reach out to one to three existing relationships in some way (e.g., thank you card, phone call, email, text, etc.). Creating “lifelines” reassures our relationships that we still genuinely care about them. By building and exercising regular lifelines, we increase the relationship security (friends coming to your aid when you need it most) that was modeled in the movie It’s a Wonderful Life.
Be strategic but remember the “Just Because” principle
In business, strategic relationships bring about success faster, smoother and with an increased level of profitability. As co-founder of a business networking company, I am on the constant lookout for strategic partners. However, in the pursuit of strategic partners, we must be careful that we don’t overlook the serendipitous opportunities that come to individuals that have proper intention. We always need to be in the moment with each person/conversation and be cognizant of building relationships “just because”—seeing the value of people as people, not as a means to an end. Sometimes the greatest opportunities are found in the least likely sources.
Think ABUNDANCE and “Learn, Serve, Grow”
Everyone loves to be with people who are positive, happy, energetic and abundant in their mindset and actions. Serve, or share, your resources, knowledge or network. As we learn about the needs and wants of our relationships and act on them, the law of reciprocity kicks in and the relationship grows. As we give with an abundant mentality, we often receive more than we gave.
Relationships are powerful, but like all great assets and opportunities, they must be invested in and cared for to provide a solid return. Invest socially, intellectually or financially in someone you know and enjoy the ROI.
Jeff Rust is co-founder of Corporate Alliance, a membership-based organization that helps local business leaders build meaningful relationships to increase business opportunities and expedite business growth.