Building a business? Cultivate & invest in these relationships.

Karl R. LaPan, President & CEO, The NIIC
Photo by Shutterstock

The new venture creation process often has business builders focused on the technical and systems aspects of building their organization – getting the product made, hiring staff, finding early customers, locating the business and developing and producing marketing assets. However, in the process, they often overlook important variables (read: people) and adaptive leadership (& emotional intelligence) traits that contribute to their success.

Here’s some food for thought to work on not just in your business. Take care to prioritize giving attention to the following key constituencies and activities that will result in a better version of yourself.

Invest in yourself.

Make sure that as you work to cultivate an exceptional customer experience, you are giving yourself enough attention. Be mindful of burnout — you can’t pour from an empty cup. Find outlets for self-care and personal development – First FridaysOptimize.me mastery series, attending yoga, joining a mastermind, participating in a Bible study or something that inspires you and gives you energy.

Appreciate your tribe.

Most business builders are often square pegs in round holes. They do their own thing because of a desire for freedom, wanting to make a difference, and set their own rules. However, in the pursuit of their business, they can often neglect their loved ones, because they’re so caught up in the hustle. Don’t forget to stop and smell the roses! Priortize not only your business tripe but your family tribe.

Elevate your team.

Behind every growing company are a hard-working team and outside partners, vendors, and trusted advisors. How do you inspire and recognize jobs well done? Don’t forget that no matter how capable and motivated your people are, they are human and need time to recharge their batteries. Today, a work-life balance seems nearly impossible and a myth so strive for personal and professional satisfaction. Matthew Kelly believes we don’t want balance we want satisfaction. How can you create the cultural conditions to facilitate an environment in which people feel comfortable catering to their needs, both physical and intellectual?

Nurture your network.

Your network is anyone else who comes in contact with your business that could become a customer or could be a potential source of referrals. Most businesses and organizations are challenged to think through what makes them special, different and unique. To that end, communicating your value proposition clearly and effectively can make it less costly to acquire a new customer, find “right fit” partnerships or validate product-market fit -to create products and services customers actually want.

That said, your experience needs to be exciting enough that people want to spread the word. Think beyond the obvious and consider what types of experiences are most sought and how you can infuse them into your brand experience.

Bottom line: Your venture touches on all areas of your business and personal life. Don’t forget to tend to these important relationships! They are key building blocks in building a business.


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