Last century, we saw wealth created by large companies using economies of scale to keeps costs low so they could dominate markets. In the next generation economy [pdf], new wealth will be created by entrepreneurs through a network of great relationships built on trust.
Trusting relationships will save you time and make you money. The question is, “How do you build this trust so you can build relationships?”
There’s a concept called equal consideration of interests – you place your interest equal to the other party. That sounds so simple, but we believe it deserves emphasis.
Win / lose. “I win, you lose” doesn’t work because it doesn’t build the trust that is necessary to have good relationships in tomorrow’s business world. Yet there are a lot of people who place their interest above everybody else’s.
Lose / win. “I lose, you win” ultimately fails because fulfilling relationships can’t be one-sided. Eventually frustration leads to anger and the relationship (if that’s what you call it) dissolves. Yet there are a lot of people who place everybody else’s interest above their own.
Neither one is the best path to building fulfilling relationships. There is a better way …
Win / win. This is the perfect combination in today’s business world. Win / win is equal consideration of interests. Even if it benefits me, I won’t do it if it hurts you. We’ll work together to find a better way that is mutually beneficial. That’s the key to innovation – another 21st century necessity. What works today won’t be good enough tomorrow. By working together, we can find a better way than either of us could find on our own.
Moving quickly on a new venture
We just launched a new offline venture. We had an idea for a product. We talked it over with people in our network. Based on their recommendation, we revised it … a lot! But it was much better. We reached out to potential strategic partners and got them in place. Last week, one of those strategic partners began selling our product across the nation.
It probably would have taken us six to twelve months to do this if we didn’t have the right relationships in place. Instead, this all happened in about two months. That’s another 21st century mindset – once you spot an opportunity, you have to move very quickly.
It’s hard to do that if you have to develop the concept from scratch. You need to reach out to people and firms who have the infrastructure in place to help you capitalize on it. If they aren’t already in your network, it will take longer. So building trusting relationships is essential. But there are (at least) two points to consider …
Relationship building is a long-term investment.
It takes time to build your network. We have years of goodwill built up with some of our strategic partners. This helps get revenue-generation going quickly once you have the right idea. Don’t wait to build your network until you need it. It will probably be too late then. Make relationship building an everyday thing.
Trusting people solve problems quickly.
When you trust your partner and your partner trusts you, problems can be solved much more easily. As we’ve had issues, we’ve been able to deal with them very quickly. We can hear our partners considering our interests along with their own; they can hear us doing the same thing.
The best way we know to capitalize on an opportunity quickly is when two or more people, with trust already in place, consider their interests equally and seek mutually beneficial solutions. It’s the way to create wealth in the 21st century!
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