How building quality relationships can serve you in your business journey

ceo blogpost Apr 17, 2024

When you're growing a business, it can feel very lonely and we can't succeed on our own.

Finding people who understand you, align with your values, share similar aspirations, but who are doing different things to you is an amazing way to find the support that every one of us needs, when we're working hard on building our businesses.

It can help you stay the course when you have the right people around you.

But where to find the right people? What sort of activities are best to participate in, to find your "tribe" (is it just me who gets the 'ick' from that word?!)?

Over 20 years in business, I've found that the most valuable way to connect and find people who are like-minded, when I'm busy, is to join specific communities where the values and focus of members are aligned with me.

Of course, I won't get along with everyone. There will be people who find me difficult to cope with, with my ADHD ways and very strong faith, but there are also lots of people who will really resonate with my values and what I'm doing to help people grow their businesses with my sales and marketing support services and business coaching.

And there will be people who I don't get along with, because I feel in my stomach there is something "just not right" and they're just not my people, even though we may share a lot in common... I'm sure you know what I'm talking about. It's that intuition we all have to gauge who is safe for us to connect with.

Someone recently mentioned to me that they noticed in my Inspired Women Mastermind group, that in our meet-ups there are women who've been attending for years.

They said in kindness and reflection without any negativity, but their tone of voice that suggested they thought this was a bad thing somehow 🤔

My immediate response was to point out that the very fact women are still attending, having been members for years, shows the value they find in being part of our community. We are fulfiling our purpose, which is to provide stable, long term opportunities for women to be connecting and supporting each other. And to create collaboration opportunities too!

Building quality relationships can create all kinds of amazing business opportunities for you AND bring you friendship, fun and camaraderie along the way.

The fact women get it, and are coming along regularly, or even take time out and come back, is a brilliant thing!!🥰🥳

That's what networking and masterminding with me is all about - finding friendship, encouragement and helping one another on our journeys.

Being committed to nurturing relationships long-term and the community as a whole is essential in that,

Women who come and go may do so because they feel they "no longer need" the women they've spent time befriending and accessing support from...

This makes me feel a bit sad, quite frankly, as they're going to miss out, and so will all the women they've spent time with, who they're disconnecting from if they leave.

They'll no doubt stay in touch with one or two who they've built close friendships with as a result of being in the membership, and will probably be breaking away to do their own things together... which is lovely for them but sadly it just shows they never saw the group as their extended business family; their community. They simply saw it as a place to get what they needed short term.

That's not the sort of people anyone wants to build long term relationships with. So driven that there's no interest beyond "the self".

That's not what community is about. Community can't work if it's built up of a whole load of "D" personalities (have you ever learned about DISC personality profiling? If not, check it out!)

Building quality relationships takes time and commitment but also brings huge rewards. 

Referrals, friendship, fun, joy, encouragement, introductions that lead to amazing opportunities...

It all comes from really caring about others. As humans, not just as businesss owners.

That's why our membership focuses on bringing together women who want to help one another increase their impact AND income... but who understand that this only happens when we really get to know and trust each other, which takes time and regular contact with one another.

I'm here for the long haul in what I'm doing, I've been leading masterminding and networking for 7 years, and when I bring someone into my little corner of the universe, into my community, I commit to them. I'm here for them. And so is the rest of the community...

Nobody wants to join a community filled with flaky, flighty people, who don't value others or that community beyond what they can take from it - so I seek to provide stability in relationships and that doesn't happen when people are "here today, gone tomorrow" once they've "got what they need".

Successful people understand that relationships take time. That they need to show up. That what they get out will only be as good as what they put in...

And that's why I aim for my mastermind to be SMALL and filled with people who are committed to one another's success.

Being part of a community and being active means we collectively increase the good we can achieve in this world, as well as achieving our individual goals. Reciprocity is key to this - GIVE AND TAKE 

It's why I only join one or two groups at a time and really try to find the people I can help, who I naturally get along with etc. and will always look to grow my network within those groups, and will support the leaders and others in those groups by being active...but I also am busy and can't commit to every single meeting they may run.

So I come wherever I can, on a regular basis, and especially the in person events, and work on being a good business friend to those I've already met, wherever I can. Keeping up to date with them wherever possible, and giving my time to them when they're having a hard time, or asking for help from them when I need it too!

Being a bit vulnerable is a good thing, and key to quality relationships - and it helps you because it enables you to get the support you need, when you need it, to move you forward and help you stay the course. This business thing isn't easy!!

So I also seek members of my community to be the right people who are genuinely interested in making a difference in the world and want to be supported in that journey. Who don't see people as a commodity to be "used" for what they can get, but as friends and collaborators, an extended family even!

I don't charge a premium for this as some coaches and mentors do - I am committed to making relationship-building, and my own support accessible to women at all stages in business.

What matters is the closeness, connection and QUALITY of relationship, and this is far more than how many people you have in your network or for me, how much £ I earn.

Keeping your network relatively small and focused is the way to enjoy quality of connection and see all the wonderful benefits

Humans can only handle 100 acquaintances in your network - in fact Dunbar says that we can only handle 100 people in our network as people we'd speak to once a month or so...and up to 1000 who we "know" (ie the names and faces) in our brains.

So if our community had 1000 people in it, you'd have no room for anyone else! If it had 100 in it, you'd have no room for other acquaintances!

I'm aiming for a maximum of 75 women, and recognise that of those 75, members may only meaningfully connect with a very small number, who they really resonate and see opportunity to collaborate with. Will running this group make me a wealthy woman? NO!!! Do I care? NO!!!

Because I do this for the love of holding space, for encouraging, and seeing women grow and thrive.

I love that they'll come to group meetings because they know they will find love, support, friendship, compassion and understanding there with us.

They will find people who will be able to support them, and who they will be able to support either

AND they get access to me, with my 20 years of business and entrepreneurship experience and my specialism in sales and marketing which is hugely valuable to those who tap into it and take what I say on board).

So, today I'm asking: are you interested in QUALITY relationships, or are you a serial networker who's everywhere with everyone but unable to really get past the superficial relationship stage with anyone?

Because if that's the case, you might want to consider setting aside time and space for specific relationships you can nurture, that'll blossom into lifelong friendships where you can also really help others and be helped into return!

Think about it. Are you ready to make serious business friends who'll go the extra mile for you? I've been a quantity person in the past and realised that it just isn't the way to do business.

I know many other seasoned business owners who've realised the same.

So the fact that my membership is small and has regular attendees who've been coming to meetings together for years is a GOOD thing in my view.

That's the sign that the community is working. We are business buddies who want to stay in touch and maintain our relationships.

There is quality and purpose and meaning in our meet-ups, and that's why women come!

If people joined and left within a month, I'd be concerned that we weren't delivering the friendly, supportive community space that I set out to provide.

We've only ever had two women do that!!

If you want your business to thrive, you need to invest time in your network and relationships. But it will serve you so, so well, and you in turn will be able to serve others well too, which brings a massive feel-good as well as building trust and establishing long term connection.

Go find those groups to join that you'll commit to! Build relationships with serious intention to help others. And you'll reap the rewards. Are you ready?

Any reflections on this, I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Big love

PS Want to know more about my Inspired Women mastermind?

Drop me a message and let's chat about it - entry is following a consultation only as I'm committed to protecting the community and ensuring the right people join us!

I also have a special bonus for the next 28 people to join, that makes membership an absolute NO BRAINER for anyone who wants to start or build a business, or who'd like to get unstuck...

Drop me an email: [email protected] or reach out to me via messenger apps on social media, and let's have a chat in the next few days. I'm here to help you connect and grow your business in a way that feels good to you.


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