You’ve heard it countless times throughout many industries – relationships are the key to a successful business. It doesn’t matter if you’re the best there is or if you have the most awesome product. The opportunities would almost always be in direct proportion to the people you surround yourself with. Ken Courtright shares the story of how he connected and built relationships with some of the most successful business leaders. He also dishes out how a relative nobody can start making connections right away.
Listen to the podcast here:
Relationships & How
I am doing a series on the letter R. This is number four. This is titled Relationships and How. Many of you have heard that relationships are the key to business. Many of you have heard your income is in direct proportion to the five people you surround yourself with. Your success is in direct proportion to your inner circle, etc. There are many books written that prove the fact that you will become an average of the five people you hang around with and take the most counsel from. You’re not going to dispute that. Nobody’s going to break that claim. It’s every country, every generation. It’s been that way since the dawn of time. Here’s the question. If relationships are truly the answer to evergreen success, evergreen meaning long-term, lasting success, not short-term bursts of massive revenue growth but sustained business growth.
If that’s the key, how do you cultivate a relationship when you’re nobody? When you’re definitely an unknown entity, I’ll use our company as an example. A few years ago, nobody heard of us. We’d been around for several years, 3,000 clients. We were chugging along, definitely doing okay as a business, but nobody heard of us. How did we go from literally an unknown in the business world to doubling five years in a row, three-timing 5000 company, etc.? Unequivocally, I cultivated and mastered the art of relationship building. Here it is. Here’s the Ken method of growing relationships.To start building a relationship with someone, sow seeds and ask nothing in return. Click To Tweet
Number one, sow seeds, asking nothing in return. How do you do this? You’ve got to add a couple of little spices in the mix. Number two, you’ve got to take your eyes off yourself and put them on others temporarily. This is not easy to do and to do that, you literally have to tune your world out and tune their world in. You have to study them. The person you want to build a relationship with, you have to study them. You have to get to know them from the outside truly. You have to find a way to find their pain points. You have to find a way to figure out what do they need in business. Here’s the bottom line. If you can sow seeds with the people you want to build relationships with and you can do for them things asking nothing in return, you’re going to trigger the Law of Reciprocity. When you need help, an army of people will come to your aid.
I’m going to give you an example. We have another Digital Footprint. Some of the key speakers are going to be Jeff Hoffman, the Cofounder of Priceline. Greg Reid, 54-book author and I don’t know how many languages. David Corbin, one of the gurus of all mentors and coaches and an incredible author in and of himself with his book, Illuminate. Brian Smith, the Founder of the billion-dollar company UGG Boots. These people are speaking on our stage. All but Brian has spoken in my basement to a small group of 60 people and I didn’t pay him a dime. I asked him if they’d come to my house, come to our event and speak to our group. These are the giants of their industry. Priceline is valued at $64 billion. I think UGG Boots is valued at $3.8 billion.
These are the titans of their industry. Why are they coming to Atlanta to speak on behalf of Digital Footprint? Here’s why. When I was nobody, I took Jeff Hoffman to the airport. I lied to him and said, “Jeff, I’m going to the airport anyway.” He had come off stage speaking and I could tell he was in the hallway checking his phone and he was definitely rushed. I knew this guy’s got to get to the airport. I said, “Jeff, let me do you a favor. I’m already heading to the airport. Do you want to jump in my car?” Of course I wasn’t going to the airport, but to get an hour with Jeff Hoffman, that’s priceless. Literally during the drive, I said, “Jeff, I’ve got about 500, 600 revenue-generating websites that our company is managing and sharing revenue on.”
I explained our business model and I said, “What can I help you with? Do you need anything promoted? We have twenty-plus Google news sites. We’ve got countless Amazon sites, Facebook sites. What’s your next project?” He was like, “Who are you again?” I was a little nobody, but I found a way to add value to Jeff Hoffman. Why? I was in the middle of that conference. I wanted to hear the next speaker, but I took my eyes off myself and I put them on Jeff Hoffman. I tuned my world out and I tuned in his world and I’m like, “This guy’s in pain. I can tell his limo’s not here. He has no ride to the airport. It would take him too long to get a taxi to this crazy location,” and I could spot it. I jumped in and I helped him and he never forgot it.Always think about how you can add value to somebody else. Click To Tweet
Greg Reid, I don’t know how many times I’ve walked up to Greg Reid and said, “How can I help you? How can I serve you? What do you need? Let me fix your website. I found a couple of pages that are broken,” and never charged him a dime. David Corbin, the same thing, “How can I help you? How can I serve you?” Brian Smith, the same thing. The question is, who in your life is not yet in your life? Does that make sense? I was a Brian Tracy guru junky many years ago. I needed to get to know him deeper. I built a relationship through someone else. Now I’ve been on the Brian Tracy Show. I co-wrote a book with Brian. I partially co-produced a movie of Brian Tracy and his life. We’re going to the premiere in LA. Who can you sow seeds with? Who can you help asking nothing in return until the Law of Reciprocity triggers and they go, “Stop. How can I help you?” I’ll talk to you soon. Take care.