We have always defined business as the buying of goods and services. This is true! However there’s something we need to add: business is relationship driven. I have learned this over the past few weeks and this is one of the biggest lessons I have learnt as a startup entrepreneur.
When I began to conceive the idea for my business, I wish I could say I was enthusiastic and firing on all cylinders with faith and belief. I wasn’t. But the first thing God opened my eyes too was the ‘multitude’ (okay number) of people around me who could help me with one thing or the other while finding my feet in business. This was my first breakthrough as it where and so far it has kept me going since.
My family has been privileged to be members of a certain church for twenty two years and my father has served as deacon in this church by the grace of God for sixteen years, that’s a lot of years by any measure and so the seed of relationships sown over a decade ago have grown to produce a harvest.
I have mentors to share my ideas with, who are willing to share their experience with me. I’ve been privileged to get encouragement and prayers, advice on how to register the business and run it, coaching on its legal structure, a lot of books (one of which is worth $24.99), a good advertisement deal and medical care for my ears all ABSOLUTELY FREE! Every time I want to complain, God always reminds me of this miracle and I shut up. What is noteworthy though is 80% of the time after I get helped the statement that comes afterwards is either How is your father? Or say hello to your father. It reminds me that my parents have formed lasting relationships with this people and as I step into business I must do the same with customers and employees.
Love & Integrity are two qualities my parents have developed over the years making all these relationships possible by the grace of God. The same qualities every businessman must have if he must form deep relationships to excel. Don’t form relationships with only people that can help you, this is not love; develop relationships with everyone the ones who can help you and the ones who can’t. Realistically you really don’t know who can help you in the future.
The goal of every entrepreneur is to develop excellent products and add a strong relationship with the customer. Much has been said in business schools and textbooks on the need to develop excellent products or services, much more needs to be said about developing relationships with customers and employees.
In the end it all comes down to love, everything else is commentary!