Just two weeks ago, while playing basketball up at school with the fathers of our children, I sprained my thumb. It was painful enough that I thought it was broken so I paid a visit to Patient First only to leave with a brace on my thumb. The doctor suggested that I wear the brace for three or four days. Of course, I thought nothing of it at the time. However, that was until I realized my shoe lace was untied. I bent over to tie that shoe lace and to my surprise, I just couldn’t do it. Immediately, I thought, “Wow! What else do I take for granted?” The next morning I went to cook some eggs and surprisingly enough I had a tough time cracking open the eggs. In fact, I had to ask my son to do the honors. Again, what else am I or do I take for granted?
I thought about all the simple things in life, like the air I breath, the vision I have to see the brilliant colors, the sense of taste and touch, my hearing and most importantly the relationships I have in my life and in my business. How often do we take for granted the relationships closest to us: our family, our friends, our clients, and anyone else close to us. Why does that happen?
I think we just get comfortable with those closest to us and we feel they will always be there for us. But we forget that it is still important to work on those relationships. In a previous blog post I noted Thomas Edison’s words, “Success often comes dressed in overalls and looks a lot like work.” That quote not only applies to being successful in business but it applies to the success of our relationships. Successful relationships require work. If you’re married, and have been for a while, do you just go about your everyday business as husband and wife and get through the day or are you intentional about going to work on your relationship? We go to work everyday to feed our families, to pay our bills, or to have the good things in life because we have to or because we want to. The problem is we so often take that other person in our relationship for granted because simply, they are there. I believe that so many marriages fail these days for the simple reason we are not intentional about working on our relationships. Do we take the time to listen? Do we make our relationships a priority? Do we take the time to talk with our spouse or our children for that matter? How many times have you been in a conversation and the other person might make the remark, ” I just want you to listen!”
In business, do we take for granted our relationship with our clients? I have sold hundreds of houses over the years and I try my best to stay in touch with my clients on a regular basis for three reasons. First, because I care and I want to be a resource for people even after the close of the sale. Secondly, because I have a sincere interest in what is going on in their lives. And finally, because I never want to take for granted my relationship with my clients. Every so often when touching base with my clients I will say to them, ” I never want to take our relationship for granted. Am I still the real estate agent you would refer business to if you knew of someone interested in buying or selling a home?”
As many of you know, I am a veracious reader of inspirational material. One of my favorite authors is Og Mandino. In his book, A Better Way To Live he has seventeen rules to live by. One of those rules is this; “Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead at midnight. Extend to them all the care, kindness, and understanding you can muster and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again.” Go out today and with the intention of making the people you meet or see a priority. Let them know you are there to listen, to help, or because you care and work hard never to take a relationship for granted again. If you would like, go here to hear Og Mandino discuss his book or visit my Pinterest board for more inspirational words.
Until next time….