Success Powered by Relationships
Project Manager: Jeanne Porter
(one chapter by Elena Rahrig)
Inside the pages of this book, 20 women have shared how they have reached a level of SUCCESS, powered by meaningful relationships. They have done so by, meeting the needs of others, being a connector, and building a network. None of us claim to be experts; we share only from our hearts to yours.
SUCCESS AS A RESULT OF BUILDING MEANINGFUL RELATIONSHIPS
Leveraging is one of the most powerful tools man will ever utilize. We know, we cannot do everything ourselves. True, some may have the mentality, “If I want it done right, I must do it myself.” I have heard that phrase more times than I can count; and perhaps, sometimes it just might be the case. However, I guarantee, about 99.9% of the time, it is false and will wind up causing you to self-destruct as you overload, and ultimately drown yourself in a sea of desperation yelling, “Help?! Save me!”
Everything in life begins and concludes with relationships. Do you really believe that you can build an empire as a one-woman show? Besides, even if we could, who would we have left to celebrate with? You may be in the early stages of your business and feel as though you – a powerhouse of a woman – have it all under control. If this is you, then I want to say, “Great! But, it won’t always be this way.” I want to encourage you to know and understand, the day is coming when you have more to be done than what your two hands and one head can handle. The time to start is now. Step out and network – build relationships, invest in others, and seize every opportunity that makes your heart sing.
As you lick your fingers and turn the pages of this book, you will dive into a world of many women who have embraced the power of relationships. For this embrace, they have soared to heights that are both scary and exciting, breathtaking and angelic, and has turned them into successful women who will never be forgotten.
MEET THE NEEDS OF OTHERS AND WATCH YOUR NEEDS BE MET
It was 2007 when I opened the doors to WiBN. As the ladies shuffled into the room to find their seat, I was ready and eager to begin. As the women sat staring back at me, awaiting my first words, it was these words that they heard, “If you are joining WiBN in order to meet only your needs, then this is not the organization for you.”
The truth is, in this journey of reaching success, we are all in this together. The most successful women I know, are the ones who make a constant effort to meet the needs of others. Once they know that they met the needs of those they could, it is then that they see their own needs getting met. When you help others, they want to help you. When they want to help you, they will give it all they have, to see to it, that the proper help needed is provided.
As you read this book, you will read the success stories of women, who not only understand this profound principle but who also choose to live it. Before you entangle your mind in these stories, there is a powerful lesson I would like to share with you.
As I began to work towards my own success I found that I was like many other women; I was battling time. “Time…time…time…there seems to never be enough time!” This is a misconception and an excuse for the simple-minded. There is always enough time to do what you really “want” to do. If it is a priority to you, then you know you will make the time to achieve it. If you feel that you don’t have time to invest in the lives of others, then what you are really saying is, “Others are not my priority”. If this is you, allow me to first, encourage you to make investing in others a priority. Then second, allow me to show you how to “find the time” to do so.
What I have found that works for me is what I call, “Others Hour”. This is where I set aside one hour per week to do nothing for myself. Instead, this entire hour is spent on investing in others and meeting their needs. I know for me, if something is not on the calendar, it doesn’t get done. Others Hour is a time when we can write a note, make a phone call, deliver a gift, pray, or do a favor for those special people who we’ve been meaning to do this for. I strongly encourage you to give it a try! Who knows? Perhaps, it will work for you as much as it does for me.
THE DOMINO EFFECT: BEING A CONNECTOR
Think back to when you were a child. Did you ever play with dominoes? You spend 20 minutes setting up a line of dominoes, just to sit back, look at its beauty, and give the leading domino a flick of the finger. Once this action has taken place, you watch in amazement as they all fall in line, one overlapping the other.
- a thing that links two or more things together.
“a pipe connector”
- a short road or highway that connects two longer roads or highways.
When the dominoes are standing in line they are not connecting. When they lay overlapping, they are connected – linked. Building relationships can be viewed as the same. As long as you are standing alone or merely beside another person, little success will be achieved. However, when we decide to overlap – connect – walk arm-in-arm with the same goals and vision, we begin to reach levels of success we only once dreamt about. Just as when one domino hits the next domino, that domino hits the next domino, and the next and the next; so does it happen when we touch the life of one person. When one life is touched because you took your time and effort to invest in them, they can then go on to invest in someone else. As we begin the glory of the domino effect there is no stopping it. As it doesn’t stop, neither does success. The earth shakes, the mountains move, and the people rise to heights that once seemed unimaginable.
I want to encourage you to be a connector – a domino. Connectors have the utmost power and influence. Being a connector enhances relationships, opens doors that appear to be locked, and gives you a high return on your investment.
BUILDING A NETWORK OF SUPPORTIVE RELATIONSHIPS
Often times when we think of networking, we cringe, slouch, and say, “Do I have to?” The thought of dressing to impress, being overly proper and polite, and faking a great mood, seems overwhelming and tiresome after an already long day. I get it! However, allow me to soften your heart, as mine has been softened towards networking.
Networking is not about impressing or pretending. Networking is about building relationships. We tend to make it feel worse than it is because our approach is all distorted. Allow me to ask you, “Have you ever been to a networking event, passed out and collected as many business cards as possible, returned home, looked at your stack of cards, and then never called a single one of them? Perhaps, you added them to your email list and moved on? Yes? Is this you?” I have seen this done a thousand and one times. If this is how networking works for you, then I agree – I’d rather stay home too!
When you learn to use networking as a tool for building relationships, you will begin to see and feel how magnificent and heart-warming the experience is designed to be. Take the time to meet your connections for coffee, in order to reach a place of understanding to who they are, and what their dreams are. Build the relationship. When you do you will see that your “net-works.”
BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS ON COMMON VALUES OR INTERESTS?
Have you ever stepped into a new friendship wherein the beginning all was well, and then after a short time the friendship just seemed to have slipped away? If you are like me, then I am sure you have. Sadly, this happens more often than not. We can blame a busy schedule, but if we are honest, there is a bigger root cause of why this is happening.
Relationships are built when there is value in it for both parties. When one party feels the friendship has too little value for their efforts, they tend to drift away, parting as acquaintances rather than friends. If a relationship doesn’t offer enough value, it is more than likely that an individual doesn’t feel valued; perhaps, they are putting in more effort than the other.
Feeling valued is what ties one person to another. How are we sure to add value to our relationships? Your answer is, to share common values. Values are important ideals that guide our priorities and are core to the organization. Values not only tie people together, but they also set visions and affect what we do as a community.
What is the best way to be sure you are making others feel valued? First, ask questions, really listen, and develop a mutual commitment. When we combine all 3 of these efforts, we ultimately show the other person that we are interested in them, and that we value them. One of the greatest advantages that I have found working with a community of women who support one another, is leveraging the many different disciplines, interests, and practices. Taking the time to build relationships based on common values and interests provides networking opportunities for whoever desires to be involved.