Tuesday, April 15, 2014

My dear friend: Yours is not the best way to build relationships.

Building relationships? Really?
Letters of love (and hate) are always trendy in social networks, and this post is going to be one of them.

As always, I strongly believe everything bad that happens to any of us, offers an incredible opportunity to move on and learn a valuable life lesson, which then helps us do things in a better way, and that’s what I pretend to do with this post: Retrieve the lesson I’ve learnt from what happened and share it with you.

It's an experience I recently had with a friend of mine who I considered close, but who definitely showed me that such closeness was just due to a specific interest on his side, and not coming from a genuine relationship that was growing between us.

Here is my letter of "love". Hope you enjoy it. After you read it, we will then review the lessons we can all learn from this situation, with the hope it will help many of us (or at least just one) to make things better.

Dear friend,
I remember with nostalgia the days when you had your online store running and used to write me regularly to ask me about things, to help you clarify your doubts, looking for my advice to help you clearly see the path you had to follow to achieve better sales.
I remember how every day, with absolute regularity, we chatted for a few minutes (even on weekends) as you used to share with me the good news, which sometimes were not that good. I do remember you telling me how you had a supplier failing on delivering the merchandise as it was expected, or that silly customer asking you for a reimbursement, and many other things.
I also remember, as we started to build a little more personal relationship, that we didn’t talk that much about our businesses or projects, but also about life itself, about exercising and the need to keep ourselves fit, about our families, children you’re yet to have but hopefully will have someday... and many other things.
I remember the day you told me about your decision to shut down your ecommerce site, I asked you not to give up, reminding you there were still a lot of things you could experiment and implement on your business to make it better, reminding you your project was just too young to be demanded so much. Anyway, I tried in vain to keep alive the illusion I knew you initially had for your project, which had already disappeared from your heart.
To make it brief, business, like life on itself, is a continuous opening and closing of doors and opportunities. And I completely understand it because my own life has been just that: a continuous flow of things.
However, now that you're in your new project, I feel really bad watching how our relationship has become a one way highway. A highway you are simply using to promote the things you’re doing now, or just inviting me to read the things you’re writing now without even taking the time to stop by this blog, my blog, from which you have received so many good business tips in the past.
Now, the messages I receive from you are non personal communications sent to everyone, without any sort of interaction on your side, no personal touch, without any sign of that affection or connection that united us at the beginning, which gave room for our relationship to start.
Keep always in mind that, from this little corner of cyberspace, I will always wish the very best for all the things you do, for all your ideas and projects. Always.
Because being positive and saying good things is something that defines me and is part of my life. That's me and the way I am.
However, I do want you to know that, doing things the way you are doing, is not a way to build long lasting relationships. Not at all.
My best regards, your friend.

And after the tears have been poured out, what lessons can we draw from this to our own lives and businesses?

  • First of all, and on top of everything else, businesses are about people to begin with. Businesses are founded on the basis of the values ​​that define us as people, and not otherwise.
  • Don’t fake it. Never pretend to have a personal interest on someone you don’t care, whether it’s a partner, an employee, and (don’t even dare to) a customer. At some point in time, people will notice. You can’t fake it forever.
  • Relationships should always be a two-way highway, for mutual enrichment and growth.
  • Keep always in touch with the people who have helped you along the way. You'll never know if you'll need them again, and then they will no longer be there for you.
  • Never take advantage of a personal relationship to turn it into an opportunity for you to sell your things or projects. And if you do, be wise.

And here I leave it for you guys, so that you all can make your own, personal and intimate reflections. It’s an issue truly worth to think about twice, three times, or even more.

Social networks were created to unite people, to keep them close, to get them connected with each other. It is its core value.

Then we had all sort of businesses rushing in to turn them into a flea market, where you can barely listen and understand what others are trying to tell you. But on the very beginning, it was just about people, not business.

Don’t make the mistake of destroying your relationships just because you think they have became useless to you.

It might surprise you what life has prepared for you.

Photo Credits: dvs71 / 123RF Stock Photo

I recommend you to read:
"Dear Facebook, we need to talk"

Related posts in this blog:
Social Networking: How to destroy a relationship in less than 24 hours.
Facebook: A city full of street vendors.

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