My best friend Wendy and I have known each other forever.*
As teens, one of our favorite things to do together was to hop in the car and go for rides. Our road trips rarely had a particular destination in mind, but we always had fun along the way, whether that was enjoying a Slurpee® from 7-11 or listening to Top 40 hits on cassette tape.
In the sacred space of my old Volvo station wagon or her VW Rabbit, we’d talk for hours about what was going on in our worlds. Remember, this was B.C. (before cell phones) time, so it was delightfully distraction-free quality time, uninterrupted by email notifications or text messages.
It’s on those rides that I learned an important life lesson:
It’s not where you’re going; it’s who you’re traveling with on your journey.
Of course, this doesn’t just apply to our personal lives; our professional relationships follow the same principle. Or at least, they should.
Long before a deal is made between two parties, a relationship is established.
If that relationship is rooted in trust, respect, and service, it will endure (as will future sales).
If that relationship is treated as a mere transaction, it will never see the light of day and likely fizzle out before a sale is ever made.
When you choose relationships over transactions, you're doing your part to create a kinder, more positive world where connections with others are highly valued—and always come first.
Because if given the choice, would you rather take on a client or service provider who considers you a means to an end or a true partner?
At its core, business is about relationships, so it makes sense to do everything you can to build and maintain those partnerships.
One way you’re sabotaging those efforts?
When you drop the ball, work-wise. A one-time occurrence can be excused; habitually missing the mark cannot.
Over time and uncorrected, mishaps like these send a message that you’re disorganized, don’t care, and don’t know how to manage your time. Worse, they erode the most valuable currency of the business world: trust.
In my latest Forbes article, I share how to prevent that by mastering the art of proactive communication.
Here’s to creating and maintaining strong relationships, my friends.
P.S. Didja know I share fresh new content Monday-Friday across the interwebs? Get first dibs by following me on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram, and on Forbes to get notified of my latest articles. (I’m also on Clubhouse if you dig that audio-only kind of thing.)
P.P.S. When I’m not writing this newsletter or reminiscing about long drives with my bestie, I’m a social media ghostwriter. (Yep, that’s a thing). I help founders, entrepreneurs, and CXOs craft their stories to communicate and connect better by magnifying their reach and impact. (Think personal branding and thought leadership.) Learn more here.
P.P.P.S. You, my coruscant friend, have great taste in newsletters—thanks for subscribing! Be sure to check out the archives to catch up on previous issues, and feel free to share this one with your friends. Or better yet, invite them to join our Illuminate Me tribe!
*Well, technically not FOREVER, but since we were 12 when Wendy was a goalie, and I was a center fullback on our soccer team. ⚽️ (Maybe more than 40 years just *seems* like forever?) Anyway, Wendy went on to play travel, club, and collegiate soccer and even represented the U.S. playing with other phenomenal athletes like Brandi Chastain. I, on the other hand, decided against trying out for the travel team to pursue another impressive sport: club rollerskating. 🛼 (Yes, seriously. In my defense, it seemed like a good idea at the time.) Fortunately, Wendy and I played lots of other sports together even into adulthood, most notably on a kick-ass coed volleyball team.