As I am growing my business while working with others to help them improve their relationships, I realize that the same concepts apply to both building a business and to building better relationships.
I refer to this conceptual approach as the “3 C’s” – Commitment, Consistency, and Cultivation.
Anything we set a goal for requires commitment and follow-through. A business requires one’s commitment and dedication, and so do our relationships. In order for any relationship or business to thrive, one must be committed to one’s vision and one’s goals. That person must be committed to putting their vision into action, and committed to taking personal responsibility for making things happen. So too, our relationships require total commitment in order to thrive.
When we are feeling challenged or stuck in any of our relationships – be it with our significant others, children, parents or friends – we must first check in with ourselves and be honest about whether or not we are really committed. Are we committed to making our relationships work, or are we waiting for the other person to change? Are we committed to taking personal responsibility and changing ourselves, or have we given up and put the sole responsibility on someone else? The only way we will see any significant change or growth in our relationships is when we first choose to be fully committed.
Often people try one thing or another and then give up if they do not see results right away. For example, in business, one might implement a marketing strategy that does not get much of a response right away, which might lead to feelings of self-doubt and hopelessness. The key to any business marketing strategy or to any new tool we are implementing in our relationships is consistency. In business, committing to doing even just one thing and being consistent with it is key to branding oneself and spreading one’s message to the masses*.
And consistency is key when aiming to create a change in the culture or emotional atmosphere in our homes and to building better and stronger relationships. Consistency in relationships can mean being consistent with our message of unconditional love in both our words and our actions. Or it can mean being consistent with what we say we are going to do, and then actually following through with it. It can also mean applying a new communication tool consistently (and not giving up after only a few tries), so that this new communication becomes a part of the culture and the natural way we relate to one another in our homes.
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, to cultivate means “to prepare; to loosen or break up the soil; to foster the growth of; to improve by labor, care, or study; to further; to encourage.” Both businesses and relationships require constant cultivation. In order for a business to thrive, one is required to cultivate it; to help it to grow, change, and improve all the time.
Relationships require cultivation too. Sometimes one may think that relationships should just happen naturally and have the attitude that if ‘it is meant to be, it will just happen.” I disagree. In order for a healthy relationship to thrive, the people in that relationship must be committed to cultivating it: to putting in the effort to helping the relationship and each individual in it to reach their greatest potential.
We can cultivate our relationships by supporting and encouraging one another, making room for each person to grow and develop as they are meant to; helping each other improve; and encouraging and supporting one another through the good times and the challenging times.
We also cultivate our relationships by having the willingness to explore new approaches, or re-visit past approaches that we have left dormant for some time. This revitalizes our relationships and keeps them fresh, exciting, and new. As in business, relationships stay healthy and energized when we are committed to consistently checking-in with ourselves and with others about where our relationship stands; to think about and discuss what, if anything we want to change; and to revitalize our relationships by trying new things and having new experiences together.
Apply the 3 C’s to your family relationships and see what happens. Applying the 3 C’s works in any relationship – be it with our significant other and friends, our children, and our own parents. Getting C’s in school might be considered average, but applying them to business and relationships will only lead to success. Do try it and let me know how it goes.
* This is a paraphrase of a helpful tool Jonathan Buzelan once shared with me about branding myself and building my business. Check him out at: http://www.linkedin.com/in/buzelan