Editor’s Note: For a while now, I’ve wanted to do a weekly personal write-up/recap on my entrepreneurial adventures, and now I’m committing to doing it. Every Friday, I’ll post either a write-up of something I experienced or learned that week or something that inspired or motivated me. I hope you find the same amount of value in it as I did experiencing it!
Relationships, whether personal or professional, require good communication to be successful. In personal relationships, we need to be able to communicate how we feel and in professional relationships we need have a clear understanding of the goal we’re trying to accomplish. Both types of relationships require a willingness to work together as well as trust. All of these elements may seem like common sense, but generally we don’t compare personal and professional relationships to each other (And realize that it’s really the same components of each that will make or break it).
I attended a networking dinner last week where the guest of honor, a COO of very successful company, said something that really struck me. You have to keep disrupting a business if you want it to be successful. When you stop disrupting and evolving your business, it matures and eventually becomes irrelevant. It wasn’t that initial statement that really made me think, but it was what he said next. He mentioned that relationships, whether personal or professional, follow that same principle. When you stop putting time and effort into a relationship and growing it, it suffers.
On the professional side, the vision we have for our businesses in the beginning may be quite different than what the marketplace actually wants or requires that your business evolve into. Take Blockbuster for example, they didn’t disrupt their business model, and thus a new business, Netflix, came along and did it for them. When Blockbuster tried to catch up by offering the same services as Netflix, it was too late. By early 2014, Blockbuster ended their domestic retail and DVD by mail services. However, Netflix continues to thrive, not only streaming content but also now producing their original content.
On the personal side, it’s easy to draw the same comparisons. Once we get into “the groove” of a new relationship, it’s easy to let things become a little more routine. You don’t go out as much, you don’t have as many adventures, your attention shifts to other areas of life. However, what if you did treat your personal life as a business. As an entrepreneur, what would you do different? How would you keep your relationship evolving?
It’s an interesting way to look at relationships – whether professional or personal. I hope you see the challenge and opportunity in that point of view as I did.