As I work with my clients, patterns emerge that I often distill into models to allow me to be more precise in my work. After coaching many entrepreneurs over the years, I have developed the following building blocks for success in business. I have found these variables also are useful in building healthy relationships, a process which I outline toward the end of this article.
1. Be good at who you are. Beyond your product or service, people are interested in interacting with you. Showing up as your authentic self with a positive attitude attracts more flow in terms of both people and income.
2. Be good at what you do. You can have all the personality in the world, but if your product or service falls short in the category of customer satisfaction, you will struggle to meet your goals.
3. Be where people can find you. You may have stellar people skills and a wonderful product, but an essential part of any business is marketing and sales. I once coached a man who had his master’s degree in marketing, but he fell short in the first item on this list. He was an extreme introvert, and although he invested significant money and time in learning the elements of marketing, he was unable to effectively promote his own marketing business and wound up switching careers to electronics.
4. Be able to handle the business you generate. Whatever the tools of your trade may be, you need to have the infrastructure and capacity in place to deliver what you promise. Otherwise, you invariably will lose market share. Elements of infrastructure can be as simple as a business card, a website, a telephone, an accounting and record keeping system, or whatever else the nature of your business dictates.
As I have perfected this model, I have discovered that the same elements hold true in relationships.
1. You need to be good at who you are. Beyond showing up, the foundation of any healthy relationship is trust and respect. Being authentic and living with integrity allows your partner to open his or her heart and come forward as well.
2. You need to be good at what you do. As a corollary to business savvy, this model in the relationship arena includes elements of partnerships skills such as being able to share your heart and be compassionate, having good listening skills, practicing stress management in partnership, and employing effective communications skills.
3. You need to be where people can find you. Just as in business, it is not enough to sit there and wait for the phone to ring when it comes to dating; one needs to create opportunities. Cultivating good skills in the first and second categories builds confidence, as you have to believe in yourself sufficiently to be vulnerable enough to risk your heart. People find potential partners through friends, work, an online presence, or special interest groups like spiritual affiliations, ski clubs, etc. However, I also think it is important to leave space for the magic of life to cross your path with another special person’s — just be sure to show up and partner with life to be in the right place at the right time. This same kind of synchronicity that can happen in the business arena can manifest in our personal endeavors when we take time to stay centered enough to be proactive instead of reactive.
4. You have to create time and space for the relationship you generate. There are a lot of factors in this category, which will be expanded in the book on relationships that I am currently writing. In the 21st century, the challenge that many couples have is managing the demands on each of their time and energy. Going back to the metaphor of business, I was sharing with a coaching client last week that the variables in business distill down to time, money and resources (people, tools etc.). For instance, if you want to shorten the time for a project, it often requires spending money to hire more people and more tools to do the job. In applying this to relationships, a couple may want to spend more time together and thus have to pay for a babysitter. Beyond this dynamic, however, there are many “time and space” variables that need to be negotiated for a couple to build a life together, such as where they live, how they manage children, how they incorporate religion or spirituality, how they wish to work their finances, etc.
It is fun for me to see that there is a relationship side to business and a business side to relationship. Successful people bring themselves fully to both arenas, and it is my hope that this model can provide you with a foundation for more meaning and fulfillment in both.