We All Meet People for a Reason, a Season, or a Lifetimestring(56) "We All Meet People for a Reason, a Season, or a Lifetime"

Relationships for a Reason

Our human connections are tapestries woven with the threads of emotions, experiences, and memories. Throughout our lives we come across individuals who leave a lasting impact on our journey. Some relationships endure for a lifetime while others are transient and serve a purpose during a phase of our life. The concept that we meet people for reasons – be it to learn something, experience personal growth, or even to challenge our perspectives, offers deep insights into the ever- changing nature of human connections.

There are moments in life when certain individuals enter our lives seemingly by chance or fate. These encounters often occur at crossroads acting as catalysts for transformation and progress. It could be a mentor who guides us through obstacles, a friend who provides comfort during challenging times or even an encounter with a stranger that reshapes our entire perspective on life.

For example, think about that colleague who supportively pushes you beyond your comfort zone by challenging your ideas and encouraging innovation. Although this relationship may not last forever, the knowledge and skills honed during this interaction hold value. Similarly, friendships formed during periods of your life such as college roommates or travel companions might be fleeting in duration but can leave lasting impressions.

These connections teach us lessons about ourselves, shape our beliefs, and prepare us for future endeavors.

Relationships for a Season

Like the changing seasons, the dynamics of our relationships also change. Some connections are formed based on shared experiences, common interests or being in proximity to each other. These connections can be incredibly meaningful, although they are often temporary in nature. We refer to them as ” relationships” because they are intense and intimate but have a built-in impermanence.

Think about the friendships we form during phases of life like childhood playmates, buddies from summer camp or colleagues at one of our first jobs. While these bonds can be deep and profound, circumstances often dictate how long they last. As life moves forward and priorities shift, geographical distances increase, leading to drifts in these relationships. Nevertheless, the memories we create together during these seasons stay with us forever and shape who we are.

Connections that Last a Lifetime

Amidst the nature of relationships there are a select few that withstand the test of time. These connections can grow deeper with each passing year. They are rooted in respect, trust, and unconditional caring. Whether they are lifelong friendships or romantic partnerships, the relationships become pillars in our lives.

Lifetime connections give us a sense of belongingness while providing stability and emotional nourishment throughout our journey. They bear witness to our victories and hardships, providing unwavering support and understanding. These relationships necessitate effort, communication, and compromise. The rewards they bring— bonds, shared memories, and mutual growth—are truly unmatched.

Embracing the Transient Nature of Relationships with Gratitude

Understanding that we encounter people in our lives for a reason, a season or a lifetime allows us to navigate relationships with clarity, purposefulness, and grace. Embracing the aspect of connections enables us to value them for what they are—opportunities for personal development, learning experiences and enrichment. By realizing the worth of relationships, we can cherish the moments we share rather than bemoaning their inevitable conclusion.

On the one hand, nurturing connections requires investment of time and energy as well as patience and vulnerability. By prioritizing these relationships in our lives while setting boundaries and maintaining communication channels, we cultivate bonds that withstand the trials of time; this enriches our lives immeasurably.

Embracing the pattern of relationships fosters resilience, adaptability, and gratitude. Recognizing that each person comes into our lives with a purpose—to teach us something challenging or inspiring, or even to love us—empowers us to approach relationships with an open heart and an open mind. By letting go of expectations while embracing change and expressing appreciation for each connection we make along the way, the result is a series of relationships that truly enhance our lives.

The concept that we might come across individuals for a short period or a long period throughout our lives provides insights into the intricate fabric of human relationships. Whether these connections are fleeting or long lasting, each one serves a purpose in shaping our experiences, perspectives and who we are as individuals. By embracing the nature of some relationships, nurturing those that last a lifetime, and approaching every interaction with intentionality and gratitude, we foster genuine connections that greatly enhance our lives.

Therefore, as we navigate the complexities of connecting with people throughout our lives, let us treasure each encounter, acknowledging the value and significance of every relationship regardless of its duration.

Working Togetherstring(16) "Working Together"

The idea of working together to achieve better results is a concept that has been around for centuries. Whether it is in the context of a family, community, or workplace, the notion that a group of people can accomplish more than an individual working alone has proven to be true time and time again. I have certainly seen that in BNI® where groups of business people work together to achieve far greater results than they would achieve by working separately.

Two key ideas underpin this concept. The first is the notion that the sum of the whole is greater than the individual parts. The second is something my friend Sam Horn likes to say, which is: “Sometimes 1 + 1 = 11.” 

The Sum of the Whole is Greater Than Individual Parts

The idea that the sum of the whole is greater than the individual parts suggests that when people work together, their collective efforts are greater than the sum of their individual contributions. In other words, a group of people can accomplish more together than they could individually. This concept is often seen in team sports, where a group of athletes working together can achieve a greater level of success than any one of them could on their own. The same can be true in the workplace, where a team of employees can collaborate to create innovative solutions for complex problems.

Sometimes 1 + 1 = 11

The second idea that underpins the concept of working together is the notion that 1 + 1 = 11. This idea suggests that when two people work together, their combined efforts are far greater than what they could achieve on their own. This concept is often used to describe the synergy that can be created when people collaborate. When two people work together, they can bounce ideas off each other, challenge each other’s assumptions, and build on each other’s strengths. The result is a level of creativity and innovation that is impossible to achieve when working alone.

Benefits of Working Together

There are many benefits to working together to achieve better results. One of the most significant benefits is the ability to leverage the strengths of each team member. When people work together, they can pool their knowledge, skills, and experience to create a more effective solution. This approach allows each team member to focus on their strengths and contribute to the team in the most meaningful way possible.

Another benefit of working together is the ability to learn from each other. When people collaborate, they have the opportunity to share ideas and perspectives, which can lead to new insights and approaches. This also helps to build trust and understanding between team members, which is essential for effective collaboration.

Working together also has the potential to increase efficiency and productivity. When people work together, they can divide tasks and responsibilities in a way that allows them to accomplish more in less time. This approach also helps to reduce the workload for each team member, which can lead to better work-life balance and increased job satisfaction.

The idea of working together to achieve better results is a powerful concept that has proven to be true time and time again. Within the context of families, communities, or the workplace, the benefits of collaboration are clear. By leveraging the strengths of each team member, learning from each other, and increasing efficiency and productivity, teams can achieve success that would be impossible to achieve when working alone.

The sum of the whole is indeed greater than the individual parts, and when people work together, 1 + 1 really can equal 11.

I would love to hear your thoughts and stories about working together.

Don’t Reinvent the Wheelstring(26) "Don’t Reinvent the Wheel"

As businesspeople and networkers, and even in our personal lives, we often make things harder than they need to be. In the business world, there are endless opportunities to learn from the successes and mistakes of others who have ventured into the entrepreneurial waters before we did.  There is an abundance of tried-and-true techniques – for communicating, for sales, and general business practices. In fact, there are so many that some of them seem too simplistic to truly be effective.

So, what do we do?
We re-evaluate them, we “improve” upon them, and we overcomplicate them. Possibly worse, we sometimes just abandon the old way and try to start over from scratch. Yet all we succeed in doing is making things harder than they really are.

Often, we think we are smarter than those who came before us. Maybe our egos prevent us from listening to those who have more experience. The trouble with reinventing the wheel is that it exposes us to the danger of history repeating itself.

One of the biggest mistakes that people in business and in sales make is not listening to those who have experience. For some reason, they assume that they themselves know better . . . and the truth is, they don’t. There is nothing like experience; it beats education every day of the week. The only thing better is a combination of education and
experience . . . or a willingness to learn from other people’s experiences.

Avoid the Danger Zone

These are three common warning signs that you may be falling into the danger zone of reinventing the wheel or repeating work.

  • Instead of solving a problem, you invent new features to cover it up.
    First, it is poor customer service to add features to try and distract from a known issue with a product or service. Instead of wasting time coming up with new features on an old issue, invest the time to investigate the old issue and make minor changes on existing features to elevate the whole product.
  • When something with a history doesn’t work perfectly, you think it might be easier to start over.
    Without a doubt, there is always a reason why things got to where they currently are. Instead of erasing all the work of those who came before you, do some research. Talk with your predecessors and learn about the motivation that led to the choices that created the current situation. Chances are you will discover the core problem and be able to make strategic moves to target the issue, rather than completely starting over.
  • You forget that the wheel you’re thinking about reinventing is a common wheel that many businesspeople are faced with.
    Is your wheel unique to you? Or is it something that others in your profession are dealing with? If the latter, it is highly possible that many other people are also working to reinvent that wheel right now. Perhaps it is a standard business practice in your field that simply doesn’t work. Instead of putting forth resources, such as time and money, to tackle it on your own, do research to find out if there is a group in your field that is already exploring the issue. If you are working to forge new paths at the same time others are trying to do the same thing, it’s likely that you could work more effectively as a team and avoid wasting valuable resources.         

Simple Ideas Can Have a Big Impact

There are many basic sales techniques that a successful salesperson knows to be effective. They don’t look for something more complicated or involved because they know from their own experience, and from the experience of others, what works in sales and what doesn’t work. If you’ve read my book, Masters of Sales, you may have read things that seemed too simple to be effective, or you may have read ideas that you’ve heard before. Instead of being dismissed, these tactics and ideas should be embraced. Truly successful networkers and businesspeople learn from other people’s success. They remember that it is often the simplest ideas which have the biggest impact.

We can learn from others’ mistakes and avoid dooming ourselves to make the same bad decisions. We can also learn from others’ success and utilize their knowledge and experience so that we don’t reinvent the wheel.

Is there a simple lesson you have learned from another businessperson or fellow networker that has helped you achieve success? 




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All Networking Groups Go Through Cycles

All networking groups go through


Why Do Businesspeople Help Others?string(34) "Why Do Businesspeople Help Others?"

There are only a few basic ways to inspire people to care about your business and help you build it. Basically, it comes down to relationships and rewards.  

Some people, typically family or friends, will want to help simply because they like you and want you to do well. They are motivated by the relationship itself.

In most other cases, the long-term motivation for people to want to help you and your business is not based solely on whether they like you. Business partnerships, including referral relationships, almost always include some type of mutual reward, typically in the form of financial or social gain. Both you and your networking partner have something to gain, and you are both willing to help each other achieve it.

Some people are motivated by the potential for business referrals you can give to them, while others are motivated by the prestige and opportunities created by having a relationship with you. Regardless of the underlying motivation behind them, business networking relationships can take some time to reach profitability in a substantial way. However, they are certainly worth cultivating. Ultimately, strong relationships will steer opportunities back to you because of the nature of networking itself.

Referrals are Not Reciprocal

I remind networkers that there isn’t a rule that says, “For every referral you give, you can expect one in return.” When you give more referrals, it does not mean that others will automatically do the same. It just doesn’t work that way in referral marketing.
A referral is not always reciprocal.

Effective business networking is about strong and deep relationships with your referral partners. Professionals who focus on giving first and asking, “What can I do to help you?” rather than having an attitude of “What’s in it for me?” usually find more success in their networking efforts.

I believe that most relationships will prove rewarding in the long term, even in cases where you don’t receive referrals in return. There are a few extremely successful people to whom we send referrals and who never reciprocate with a referral back to us. We’re motivated to continue helping them because they will work with the people we refer to them. That makes us look good, as it is often difficult for the average person to start a working relationship with these very successful, very busy professionals.

Additionally, if we refer someone, it opens a door that might never have otherwise opened. The new person that we are referring to our very busy friends or associates is the one who now goes out of their way to reciprocate. That becomes our motivation for helping our networking partners achieve their goals. And, in true Givers Gain® fashion, it usually winds up coming back to us in some way or another.

The Philosophy of Givers Gain

Givers Gain is not only a great way to get business, it’s an even better way to do business. These are some of the motivations that fit with the philosophy of giving.

  1. We give because we understand that in a community, what we do, others will do, and we all benefit.
  2. We give because we know that in the same situation others would do the same for us.
  3. We give because we want to give back where we have profited before.
  4. We give because when we work together, we get bigger and better results than working on our own.
  5. We give because we enjoy it.

A key element of giving is having ethical motivation. You can always give once and justify your motivation, however, giving over and over again requires a motivation that is understood by you, and by the people you surround yourself with.

Remember, in business networking, successful referral relationships are mutually beneficial with both parties being motivated by some type of reward that helps them, and their business, grow.
Can you think of some way that you have benefitted because of caring about others’ businesses and helping them achieve their goals?  




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