“Life is a people business”–Allyson Lewis, The 7 Minute Life™ Daily Planner
Actively building relationships is crucial to actively building an amazing life and an amazing business. There is no way around this simple fact, but how many of us are consciously investing daily in this life asset? Are you?
If not, then you are missing out on one of the key sources of both meaning and productivity. Survey people about the greatest moments in their lives and invariably they speak about experiences they shared with others. For example, the birth of a child and getting married are often at the top of the list. Even celebrities and athletes who seem like a force of nature in and of themselves, when honored for their achievements, immediately begin speaking about all of the people who made it possible.
What’s surprising is how easily you can build life connections and yet most of us tend to be completely passive. So, over the next several blog posts I want to challenge you out of complacency and equip you to stride forward in building 7 Minute Life connections. In this series, I will walk you step-by-step through building your list and actions you can take to strengthen those connections.
Let’s start with creating a life connections list. Let me qualify this activity with a disclaimer: This is a brainstorming exercise. Don’t limit your possibilities. Go for the relationship gold medal. Dream and think big about who could possibly be on your list. You never know what’s possible. Just recently my 18 year old daughter met Nick Jonas and got to give him a hug. She did so through shear tenacity and good people skills. So, anything is possible. Okay, enough disclaimer. Here are 5 questions to consider as you build your list.
1) What existing relationships do I have that I want to make a 10? The quality of your relationships, to some degree, determine the quality of your life. If your relationship with your spouse, children, boss or employees is a 5 on a scale from 1 to 10, then daily living will be difficult to enjoy. Turn those into 10′s and your home and work will be absolute well-springs of joy. So who do you want to be a 10 with?
2) What are my goals and who would be an invaluable resource to help me achieve them? These can be people with special knowledge, skills, or experience. Let’s say you want to run a marathon. Who do you know who has already run one? Think bigger. Who was the winner of last year’s of marathon? Which school has the best track team and who is their coach? If you don’t know the name of the person just write down a descriptor, i.e. “last year’s winner from the Little Rock Marathon”.
3) Who could benefit from my knowledge, skills or experiences? One of the easiest ways to build a relationship is to offer help. Allyson Lewis and I have a great friendship because there is a lot of give and take. I knew Allyson initially through a business relationship. That started changing into a friendship when I called her one day and said, “Hey, I am thinking about writing a book. You’ve published a couple. Would you give me about 30 minutes of your time and just tell me things you wish someone had told you when you wrote your first book?” Allyson graciously said yes. Years later, when Allyson began blogging, I reciprocated by writing her and saying, “I am an avid blogger. If there is anything I can do to help you with your blog, please let me know.” I never dreamt that we would eventually be writing together.
4) Who is the best in my industry? Are you friends with the people who are the best in your field? I recently toured the home of Nathaniel Hawthorne, author of the classics The Scarlet Letter and House of the Seven Gables. Hawthorne’s social circle included: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Ellery Channing, Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr., and Herman Melville.
Some of these authors were his neighbors. Holmes and Melville he met at a picnic hosted by a mutual friend. It’s not like they set out to create a literary guild that would shape American literature. They hung out together and were friends. I am not surprised though. I have noticed that amazing people almost invariably have amazing friends.
5) Who am I drawn to? Don’t discount your intuition. There is a part of your brain called the reticular activating system that is always on the look out for things you need. I suspect that what we call intuition is often times our reticular activating system outpacing our conscious thought. I can’t tell you how many times I have been drawn to someone, only to later find out she was exactly the person I needed to connect with.
Now with those questions in mind, go make your 7 Minute Life connections list. You can download a 7 Minute Life Connections Worksheet from the Member Tools area of the The7MinuteLife.com. If you are not already a member, you may sign-up below and gain access to a whole host of free time strategy tools.
The 7 Minute Life™ Connections Worksheet has 30 spaces for names on it. Here are some suggestions for filling in those 30 spaces:
- 5 people who you already know that you would like to get to know better
- 5 people with access to resources that you don’t have
- 5 clients/customers with whom you should build a stronger connection
- 5 people who are the best in something you would like to learn more about
- 5 people you would like to reconnect with
- 5 people you could help
Again, “DON’T LIMIT YOUR LIST. DREAM BIG”
Have an awesomely productive week. Cheers.
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