Entrepreneurs: Make a Habit to Invest in Relationships

social_networking_groupHow do you know if you are truly making the most of the people around you, the people you come in touch with on a regular basis and all other people you meet through social networking sites, etc?

Today I had a chance to read Martin Zwilling’s blog post “Can You Find My Contact Info in a Second?” In this particular post, Martin explains why it is so difficult to find up to date information on the people you’ve met and why the rolodex with 100 business cards doesn’t work anymore.  I totally agree with him. It is very difficult to find someone’s current contact information these days. Many people are moving around from job to job and hence their contact information is changing on a regular basis. His posting made me wonder throughout the day and it made me think about my own relationships. So I wanted to share my perspective on why it is so important for you to maintain your relationships on a regular basis to not only succeed in business but also in life.

How many true friends do you have? Are you in touch with them on a daily basis? I believe many entrepreneurs don’t take this particular subject seriously before they go about starting their own new business. If you maintain your relationships, it will be one of the best tools you can tap into when you launch your new startup. In most cases, this will not cost you a penny. These are the people you can count on to provide you with some feedback for your new website, new service or a product. They are the people that can spread the words about your products and services. They are your free marketers when you are ready to launch your next startup.

However, maintaining the relationship comes with responsibility. It is not an easy task. It requires daily commitment from you to make a phone call or to send an email just to say hi. I think many of us take relationships for granted and we don’t give the attention it requires. We believe it will be there when we need it the most but forget to understand that just like us, everyone is busy as well and that old relationship does not wait around for you.

In order to maintain the relationship you need to invest in people. You need to first learn to value who they are, respect their work, respect their view and finally understand them. Understanding one another is not an easy task as well but at least if you want to build relationships to help you with your business analyze the following areas and help them along.

  1. find out what their goal in life is
  2. find out what they like doing the most
  3. do they have any interests or hobbies
  4. find out what they need help with
  5. find out what they are working on

Many successful people find a way to keep in touch with hundreds people all the time. They don’t know much about the individuals but they have a way to keep a tiny bit of crucial information that they know will spark an interest or a conversation with their contacts. This sort of delicacy will help you go a long way in terms of building relationships. You will need to find a way to keep this information along with your contacts. Martin’s post suggests a few tools for you to try out.

In order to find this delicacy, first you need to understand the truth about people. You need to understand that at the end of the day, they are all human beings as well. They have feelings too and they want to feel important and special. You need to learn to give them what they want or lack. For example, if they want to associate with success then you should help them achieve that. If they are insecure then you give them confidence. If they don’t feel special, make them feel special by truthfully complementing about their work etc. If they are starting up a business, be the first one to lend a hand.

This is how you build a network of true online friends. This is how you build relationships in your life. If you do it right and help them along, they will be there when you need to count on them. In your niche market, you will meet a lot of people on a regular basis. Help them along and keep in touch. You will need them one day.

I hope my thoughts help your relationships. Please leave comments for others to read on how you manage your relationships and how it has helped you with your startups.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Steve Morley August 8, 2009 at 11:41 am

Relationship is very important for all.

Jim Flowers November 2, 2009 at 3:44 pm

Right on target!

At the VT KnowledgeWorks business acceleration center we emphasize network-based executive support for all our member companies. And lately I’ve been poking around in the “networking” blogosphere, too. On one venture recently, I did a double take after reading this powerful line by Karl Fisch – “Who you know IS what you know.” And I just had to blog it. http://tinyurl.com/yzltm9k
.-= Jim Flowers´s last blog ..Who you know is what you know. =-.

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