Science is clear: for most of us, most of the time, the quality of our relationships is the key to our happiness and well-being. Could relationships also be the key to business success?
A Short Story
It’s amazing to me how often smart people can get distracted from proven paths to building success. I’m one of them. I got lured into the hype of digital marketing and started putting most of my business development efforts into my online presence. And Happy Brain Science started to suffer as a result. Earlier in 2019, my normally wonderful speaking business was slowing down a bit. That’s OK, I told myself, These online marketing efforts are going to start paying off soon. I kept telling myself that—but the world kept telling me otherwise.
I had lunch with one of my best friends, Jon Hays, founder of app development company Silverpine Software. Jon and I worked together several times, have remained great friends since, and he serves on my strategic advisory board at Happy Brain Science. I was being candid with Jon that my speaking business was slowing down some, and I was starting to worry about the trend.
Jon asked what I usually did to bring in speaking work. I replied that I don’t like selling, so I don’t cold call people. I just rely on referrals, send out newsletters and social media, and hope that business will come my way.
Jon said he was surprised. He said he thought that for me—like most people—work would come by connecting one-on-one with people I knew, liked, and trusted…and who felt the same way about me. He encouraged me to reach out and get beverages and meals with people I know.
It was then that I realized I had been ignoring key advice just like his. Another good friend, fellow speaker Patrick Galvin of The Galvanizing Group, had written and published a book called The Connector’s Way: A Story About Building Business One Relationship at a Time. To be completely transparent, I’m in a mastermind group with Patrick, but hadn’t yet read his book. Shame on me! I decided it was well past time I read it.
I’m so glad I finally read this gem of a book. You’ll be glad after you read it, too.
The Connector’s Way: A Summary
The book is a story. I know the science; our brains are wired for stories. So the fable format used in The Connector’s Way makes the book an easy pleasure to read (or listen to).
The book tells the tale of Robert Hanson, owner of a struggling insurance agency. Robert had to learn the hard way—as apparently I did—that relationships are the key to business success for almost all of us.
Through short, entertaining chapters, we are introduced to seven rules for building business, one relationship at a time. I won’t spoil the book by sharing all of the rules, but I will tell you that the rules encourage us to take great care of ourselves, as well as our friends and colleagues. The book shows us ways to focus on great relationships, even in this modern digital world we live in.
To my pleasant surprise, the book doesn’t ignore the modern digital world, and it doesn’t paint a black-and-white picture where the online world is dark. Patrick wisely embraces modern digital technology, while keeping his focus on how to invest in relationships even when online.
After my lunch with Jon and reading The Connector’s Way, I started putting these great ideas into action. I reached out to old friends just to see them and try to be helpful to them. I did my best to give, without any expectation of anything coming back my way.
The results have been staggering. In the time since I started focusing on relationships, my speaking work at Happy Brain Science has exploded! In the eight years that I’ve been working at Happy Brain Science full time, I’ve had the busiest stretch of speaking work ever. I’ve gone from California to Toronto to the northern tip of Alaska, and many places in between. Working with repeat clients such as Boeing, and new clients including Google, has been such a pleasure! While I can’t honestly attribute 100% of that work to my new relationship-focused approach, I can definitely attribute a significant portion of the success to focusing on The Connector’s Way.
It’s abundantly clear: The Connector’s Way works. It’s worked for me, and it will almost certainly work for you, too. Focusing on relationships may not be new. But it is the key to both business success and happiness. I hope you read The Connector’s Way, and I hope it reinvigorates your business and your happiness, too.