Success is a good thing.
Building your business and being financially successful are important, but there’s more to a successful life than just making money. Don’t get me wrong, I am not against money. I like money, and I like making money. Money is an important thing - it helps you live a good life, it gives you freedom to travel, freedom to enjoy life, freedom to help others with it and freedom to spend time with your family. All I am saying is that money is not the most important thing in life; do not make money your God or your number 1 priority.
Building relationships and helping people is an important part of your success journey. When you look at success from this perspective, your approach to life and business will change.
Today I am going to share with you 7 relationship tips that you can use to build a successful business as well as a significant life. I have used these principles for the past 38 years in my business and it has worked for me. These principles not only helped me achieve financial success, but also helped me build a significant life where I continue to help others. (If you like to learn more about my life story, read this blog post)
7 Relationship Tips for a Successful Business and a Significant Life
1. Develop your listening skills. Be genuinely interested in people.
When we go to business meetings, we see that most people want to talk about themselves, their achievements and all the good things about their business. But the process of building good relationships starts when you stop focussing on yourself and focus on others. A better approach would be to ask questions concerning the other person and to sincerely listen to what they have to say. You could ask questions about their life, their work, their business, their family and listen keenly with genuine interest. When you do that, you open the door to a strong relationship that will last for a long time, eventually bringing you more business.
2. Stop selling and start helping your customers
When you look at a customer in your business, don’t just think about how much money you can make off of them. Don’t think about your sales target; think about how you can help them and meet their needs. Fill your mind with thoughts of helping and serving your customers. Customer service is paramount. Give more than the customer wants, the sale will automatically happen and profits will come.
3. Convert your adversaries into allies by creating a win-win situation
Many businesses are worried about their competition. They are anxious and stressed and want to get ahead by beating others. But when you have an abundance mindset and when you truly understand that the ‘pie’ is big enough for everybody to share, then you will look at your competition differently. This mindset will help you come up with creative ideas for a win-win situation that could convert your adversaries into allies. Here is an example from my own life. Ten builders, me included, got together and decide that instead fighting each other, we would create an alliance to help each other out. We joined forces - we marketed our business together, we shared vendors and suppliers, we struck good deals with them and together we made huge profits.
4. Focus outward rather than inward
Instead of always thinking about yourself and your business, go out and help someone else grow. For example: You could help another upcoming entrepreneur by connecting him with someone else or a group of people. It may not cost you much or take a lot of your time, but it might help that entrepreneur. These small things can help you build powerful relationships in the long run. Somebody I knew returned to US after being out of the country for 10 years and he told me about that he was struggling with his business, because he had lost his old connections. I spent one hour for him and flooded him with business connections and got him on 8 podcasts. This simple act helped him grow his business.
5. Give equal importance to success and significance
Most people spend their entire life looking for success and focussing on collecting ‘stuff’ - cars, houses, titles, bank balance, gadgets and furniture. In this process, they lose sight of significance. In my father’s funeral, I was deeply impacted by what I witnessed as a result of his significant life. People stood in long queues to offer condolences to my siblings and me, and each one told us what our father had done for them. We spent six hours listening to person after person recollecting how my dad had encouraged them, helped them and impacted their lives. My dad was not a great businessman and he did not build a thriving business. And that’s not what people came for. They came because of the relationships he had invested in.
6. Help someone without being asked
If someone asks you for help and you help them, that is good. But if you help someone without being asked, that is something significant. And if you are able to do that in a business setting, where people are only used to a WIIFM (what's-in-it-for-me) culture, then you can truly stand out and start building great business relationships.
Two actionable points for building business relationships
- Pick 3 people from your business community that you believe in. Sit in front of your computer or use your mobile phone to record a video endorsement of their product or service. Send it to them via email.
- Open your LinkedIn profile, pick 3 more people in your business community and write a sincere endorsement for them.
Be genuine when you do these things. Write or say only what you really mean, because people can easily see through fakes. These simple steps will help you start your journey towards building strong relationships in business.
7. Build a lifestyle of giving and sharing
An attitude of giving, being generous and being grateful for what you have - these are some of the things you should intentionally build as a culture into your lifestyle, not just in your business but also in your personal life.
In my family, we have a culture of celebrating a ‘Gratitude Day’, which is usually a Saturday, when I take my grandkids out for breakfast. At the restaurant, we randomly pick out other tables and tell the waiter that we will pay for their meal anonymously. Then we go to a nursing home or a hospital in the neighbourhood and spend time with the patients and people who are hurting, helping them in small ways, chatting with them, just being around and blessing them. This teaches my grandkids what it means to do something for others and helping people who cannot help you back. This will practically show them how to build a lifestyle of giving and being generous.
I encourage you to think about these points and build your own lifestyle of being a blessing to others. Work towards building a business and life that is not only successful but also significant.
Leave your comments and let me know your thoughts, comments and questions. Thanks.
Live on Purpose,