People Come And Go
Do you remember your best friend from elementary school? Are you still close today? In some cases, I’m certain you have stayed in touch. In most cases, I doubt you have. As I’m writing this, I was trying to remember who I would have considered my best friend. Needless to say, I’m not still in touch, even via social media.
People come and go in life. They come into your life for a purpose. You learn from them, and they learn from you. When you both have filled that purpose, they drift away. That may sound harsh, but in my world, it’s reality. It’s not that I discard them, it’s just a different level of importance for each of us.
A few years ago, I had an intern that joined us during his final semester at the University of Texas. He was an outstanding person, and an outstanding intern. He was graduating with a degree in finance and his path led him away from our company. A couple of weeks ago, he reached out via text to see if we could meet up. It was amazing how we could just start our conversation like we had been working together for the entire time. He has done extremely well in his career, as expected. I was grateful he reached out, and we will do better in keeping in touch.
I really enjoy the relationships with friends where we can not talk for some time, then pick up exactly where we left off. I have five or six relationships like that. All but one of them came through business. It’s remarkable to me that these relationships have thrived through the years, even when we are not doing work together. The relationships are built on the trust that we have. If they need me, I’ll be there, and vice versa.
My belief is that if you go into a business relationship trying to solve their problem, you are taking it to another level. It’s not an on-purpose strategy to become friends with my clients, but it is an on-purpose strategy to make their life better. Sometimes, that is enough. Are you truly working for your customer? Are you truly solving problems, or are you trying to sell them something? Long term, mutually beneficial relationships start with sincere effort to solve their pain.