Relationships are everything.

Any success I have personally and professionally is because of relationships. I frequently reflect on how I met my friends, clients, my wonderful Web Marketing Therapy teammates, how I have built my business and watched my passionate professional clients build theirs. People who have rich lives both personally and professionally have one common success trait: they understand the value of valuable relationships.

You don’t have to be an extrovert to be good at or value the power of relationships, you just need to know how to “get” relationships (as in making them and growing them). HOW this is done will vary for each and every one of you.  As I wrote in my book about marketing, there is a fun success equation that I call C.O.U.P.L.E.ing that is applicable for both personal and professional success. Let this be a good source of motivation to work and live smart (not hard) so you do what you like and like what you do!

The Power of C.O.U.P.L.E.ing for Personal and Professional Success:

Commitment: Let’s face it, relationships take work. Not painstaking work (ideal relationships should be pleasurable vs. painful) but dedication to stay the course. We need to show that we’ll go the distance – trust is not granted overnight.  Let’s say you close a new client or get new web purchases (or any new type of relationship, date, whatever). Once that first connection happens, YOU AREN’T DONE! Commitment to following up, staying in touch and keeping the love alive is a must. Commitment is about connections without demanding a payoff (anyone who is a parent personally understands this). Slow and steady wins the relationship race. Personal or professional, relationship making is a journey, NOT a destination. And it takes two to tango. You can’t force a relationship if the energy is not coming from the other direction.
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Outreach: Relationships don’t happen passively. We have to reach out to get the wheels in motion. Relationships are not just from one source either – it can come from a variety of venues, alliances, communications or networks. Outreach also means looking for partners that you may collaborate with to amplify your message. Think about fundraising. Do donors wake up one day and say, “I am dying to give my money to some nonprofit today! Let me go find one!”  (uh, unlikely)  Instead, it takes reminders (communications) that educate where donations go, events happening, etc.  Passive outreach = passive results. No need to be a used car salesperson (that is old school outreach), just get in the habit of outreaching. Call, text or Facebook a friend. Tell your loved ones that you love them or were just thinking about them. Check in with a client “just because”. Do a meaningful blog post or email (you get the idea…just do SOMETHING!)
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Understanding: Understanding is everything in relationships. Understanding doesn’t mean you have to agree with a spouse, coworker or a client, but if you can just put yourself in their shoes to UNDERSTAND where they are coming from, your service will improve as well as your communication (which equals better relationship results!). Try understanding the relationship from the other partner’s points of view. What do they want? What problems can you help them solve? Why do you think they feel the way they feel?  Often, they simply want to be heard and UNDERSTOOD. Understanding what they want and getting good at listening will lead to a symbiotic relationship (and expedite problem solving). My favorite tip:  When you just don’t get where the other party is coming from try: “Help me understand_____” as the conversational lead in. This has no judgement involved and helps get right to the heart of understanding.
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Passion: Believe in yourself as a person, professional, as an owner or participant in an organization and how you/it can help people. Get excited about the possibilities and use your authentic voice to share your value and values and help people. Passion is contagious and engaging. Passion is purpose. This drives the energy of our heart and can move mountains to enhance personal and professional relationships.  Nail your WHY (click those previous words to watch a mind changing video!)
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Love: We can’t have long-lasting relationships without love, can we? Love doesn’t have to be sloppy drippy puppy romantic love, but some love’s gotta be there. I see professionals who want to boost their business but they don’t love their jobs or they don’t attract ideal clients (so they don’t love the people they work with). When I see this I diagnose disaster. Put some heart in the art (and science like email, social media, etc) of your relationship work to make it work wonders. In my industry (marketing, which I LOVE) many professionals think marketing means buying ads and sending lots of emails to build traffic and sales. WRONG.Marketing means loving your customers instead (then mindfully using tools like ads, etc to connect and make relationships with them). If you care about the other person/company/work/etc, it will show. If you don’t, this will also show. If you lack love in any areas of life, try to understand why and clean house so your energy goes to what (and whom) you love. I can honestly say that I love writing, teaching, running Web Marketing Therapy and working with my team mates. I LOVE our clients – their unique abilities, their entrepreneurialism, their services, products, professionalism and integrity. I also attract ideal clients to my company because we are clear on WHY we are in business (our WHY is to support inspiring professionals by taking the overwhelm out of marketing so they can invest in health marketing solutions) so sales are closed with people who are an ideal match.  **This same “ideal client” concept translates to relationships. If we aren’t clear on what we want in friends or romantic partners, we can’t attract that!**
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Effort: Healthy relationships require making management effort. Little things like making regular updates, being present, sharing your appreciation for clients & coworkers are little gestures that pay off big-time. A one time gym visit will not get you in shape, but little efforts repeatedly will – same goes relationships personal and professional! Nothing in life is free, but with effort towards relationships that matter…well, wheeeeee!

Ready for win-win success in relationships?  Get ready to power C.O.U.P.L.E.!

Success is not about what we know, it’s WHO we know.

Take inventory on your ideal clients (the ones who are a pleasure to work with…identify why and put more energy into those relationships). Relationships that you want to have but do not have?  Look critically at why and make steps to change that. Evaluate your personal relationships too (friends, family, community).  Do you have relationships that fuel you?

Virtual Marketing Hugs!

4 Comments

  • Laurie – This is brilliant, so beautiful and so true. Best to you on your life as a married gal. I certainly speak from experience when I say that a loving safe relationship really is the absolute icing on the cake.
    But You already know this.
    I wish you all the happiness.
    Bobbi

  • Absolutely floored! Beautiful Lorrie!! And a HUGE congrats to the two of you!! Hooray for LOVE!!!! Nathaniel

  • LOVE, LOVE, LOVE IT LORRIE! A BIG CONGRATULATIONS is stretching across the universe to you both. You two are a wonderful and magical coupling!!! —–Business…. building partnerships, relationships all really do relate!

    (So funny… as I just posted about my pregnancy experience being related to the insights of giving birth to a business –ha)

    All my best,
    Pamela

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