The value of relationships

Many people argue that the fundamental unit of value in the modern world is money. I neither agree nor disagree. But I wish to add another dimension to this understanding—the role of relationships in making or saving on your money.

Think about it for a moment. What happens if the relationship with your boss or your customers sours? You could lose your job or sales and your income goes down. The opposite is also true—promotions, salary raises, more sales come with better reltionships.

The value of relationships in growing your finances is equally applicable in your personal life. Let’s say, for example, that you are about to move. If you have a lot of real friends, a few phone calls will get you all the help you need—free labour, free truck, etc. This would save you money.

This phenomenon pops up in pretty much every aspect of our lives. From this, it is easy to see that building up a lot of real relationships with people is valuable. What do I mean by real relationship? I’m referring to one where something of positive value is exchanged on a regular basis—useful advice, a helping hand, loaning of items, an ear to truly listen, and so on. Any relationship worth its salt has a healthy dose of positive exchanges of value with a minimum of negative exchanges (insults, backstabbing, gossip, incorrect advice, being an obstacle). Genuine friends can also advise you on whether to venture into a certain business or not – this can save you money.

I confess that for a long time, I didn’t know how to do this relationship-building game well at all. It wasn’t that I thought other people should give me value in exchange for nothing—I just simply didn’t understand the value of such exchanges.

Building relationships is very important for boosting your finances. Go to where people are and open up. Attend conferences and conventions and meetings. If you hear someone talk who seems interesting, follow up directly with that person. Volunteer to present—it will give lots of others a chance to hear you, thereby marketing yourself. I do have the ‘rule of three business cards’. So, every time I attend a conference, I will make every effort to get at least three business cards from new people that I find potentially useful for my career growth or just friendship. Some may not offer explicit benefits, but I get surprised at how much prayers have poured on me through some of them. And some of the benefits have not come to me, but to my relations and children far much later in life.

Do also remember to keep in touch. Make a regular habit of keeping in direct contact with people. I should confess that I have been very bad at this myself. But a good technique is to keep a big list of people you want to maintain relationships with and strive to contact them on a regular basis. Let them know what you are up to directly and ask what they’re doing.

Do also give of yourself freely. If someone needs help, do help. Don’t worry about “payback.” Do not worry about what you might get out of it. Just help them. But be assured that one good turn will surely generate another turn sooner or later.

Have a blessed week-end as you build real relationships—and observe how your personal finances will grow over time.

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