I’ve been reflecting lately on how fortunate I’ve been that my work has reflected my life. It’s always been the way I’ve been able to express myself, to learn about myself and others.
To see how I show up.
And how I hide.
To learn when to take risks.
When to be vulnerable.
I’ve grown up through my work, failed miserably through my work, and gained incredible insights about life through my work — all because of the relationships I’ve forged in business with clients, partners, and employees.
Connect with the right people, and great things happen.
Making connections usually leads to opportunities, especially if you build a network of people that support you and want you to succeed.
So many of us have questions about how to form healthy and successful relationships in our careers — here are my top 3 pieces of advice:
1. Stop “networking” and spend time really investing in relationships.
What I mean by this is — we are prompted constantly to network and get out there and meet people, but I find that once you’ve met someone the real magic is in sustaining that relationship.
Stop looking for what they can “do for you” right away and instead, genuinely invest in building a connection over time. Some of my most fruitful business ventures happened years after I met someone and were a result of building a strong connection.
2. Believe you are enough. As is.
Sometimes what gets in the way of making meaningful relationships is we don’t think we are worth it. We feel we have to show off, hide parts of ourselves, or pretend to be something we aren’t.
Everyone is feeling that kind of pressure — especially with the hustle culture we’ve all been raised in.
Focus on who you are as is.
You won’t be for everyone.
And everyone won’t be for you.
That’s OK. And it’s totally normal.
3. ENJOY building connections.
I know for my introverts out there, the idea of getting out and meeting people and making connections might be overwhelming. But try not to think of this as work.
This is the joyful part of working with other humans!
Especially now — with so many of us working remotely — embrace the chances you have to connect in non-work areas, don’t shy away from asking more than “how are you” on work calls, and give yourself the gift of investing in people.
Always Learning. Always Growing.
Relationships have sustained me and saved me in my work. Even the shitty ones. Make sure to tend to the relationships in your business and try to build real ones.
After all, we are just all here to learn more about who we really are.
The way you enter and exit work relationships matters, too. In fact, they matter in all kinds of relationships. Some aren’t meant to last forever. Others are for moments or seasons. Understand the fluid and flexible nature of relationships and always keep that door open.
You have no idea where it could lead in the future.
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