How To Build Valuable Relationships

People say that you can make anything happen in NYC. Every year, an average of 62,000 new people move to NYC to pursue their dreams. Dreams of making it, becoming rich, achieving prestige, financial freedom, fame, you name it. If it exists, someone in New York City is probably trying to do it.

In the famous words of Frank Sinatra —

“I wanna wake up in a city that doesn’t sleep and find I’m king of the hill, top of the heap.”

And, at the same time, it is one of the hardest places live. I always tell people if you live in NYC, you have two jobs. Your day job and surviving the city. With the constant pressure of pursuit, the cycling of people coming and going, and a transportation system as reliable as the weather forecast, you’re going to have to work extra hard to get from point A to B.

And yet, for me, there is one defining quality about New York City that makes it the best place on the planet to be. The sheer volume of people. And New York City, being the largest city in the US and the 28th in the world, has people in droves. Not to mention the 10+ million people who visit New York City each year. The visitors alone amount to more than the entire population of New York City.

You see, people are the drivers of everything. They are the conduits for growth, they are the reasons businesses can operate, and every person possesses unlimited potential. If you operate with this belief, you’ll be surprised at how quickly doors swing open.

Since I moved to New York City less than two years ago, largely thanks to the relationships I have developed, I have seen exponential growth in myself as a person and a professional. I believe that without my excitement over the opportunity to connect and collaborate with others, I would never be in the place I am today, building my own business, working with and helping companies all over the world, and doing what I love. My love for people coupled with New York City’s endless supply has led me to places I never dreamed I would be at an incredible rate.

I gave a workshop last week about leveraging relationships which allowed me to extract some key reasons I was able to achieve and build the relationships that led to such rapid progress and development. Hopefully these insights will help you to cultivate your own relationships and accelerator your growth.

1. When you are in a meeting, talk less, listen more

Dale Carnegie was a huge proponent of this. He described instances where people like someone just because they spend most of their time listening.

The reason I don’t just say talk less is that you need to change the way you listen. You need to become an active listener. Ask probing questions and draw connections. Every time you interact with someone, you should try to find similarities between them and another person you know.

When you do this, you will not only remember them better, but you will signal you can provide value to them based on your network.

2. Start believing you have what it takes today to be the person you want to be in five years

Believing your potential now will impact the way you perceive yourself and, in turn, others’ perception of you.

One study showed that people who had written down their goals each day were more able to achieve them than those who didn’t.

Not only will it help you achieve your goals but believing in yourself has power. It will not only make you less averse to the risks necessary for you to grow, but it will improve your confidence and strength of will.

3. You become who you spend time with

Jim Rohn, a well-known speaker and entrepreneur, said that you are the average of the five people you spend most of your time with. You may have heard this and agree, but have you ever sat down and wrote out the names of all the people with which you spend most of your time?

How many of them are putting in the extra hours after work on side projects? How many of them skip the late night on the weekend so they can get up early on Saturday to have a productive day?

Are you this kind of person to your friends?

Find people who lift you up, who you want to emulate, and who push you to do better.

4. Don’t be afraid to steal

I highly recommend “Steal Like An Artist” by Austin Kleon. It is a short, simple, and to the point book packed with insights that will help you grow as a professional and creative.

Austin talks about ‘stealing’ to emulate those you admire. When you want to start to develop yourself, you should look at your heroes. Research what they do, how they do it, what they like, and begin to do like them.

We want to emulate people we admire because their traits, philosophies, and ethics will rub off on us. Then we can develop them into our own.

“You don’t want to look like your heroes, you want to see like your heroes.” — Austin Kleon

5. LinkedIn is not your resume

How many of you use LinkedIn as a digital resume?

The power of LinkedIn is incredibly untapped especially if you are someone seeking a new job or building a business in the B2B space.

LinkedIn has 500 million members with nearly one-fifth of them being senior level influencers and decision makers. It is the most used social media among fortune 500 members and guess how many people post on it regularly?

3 million. That is .6 percent.

You should be using your LinkedIn as a representation of your leadership and knowledge in the spaces you care most about, in the career path that matters most to you. You should be writing, posting, and engaging.

More LinkedIn Stats here:

6. Be more responsive (with email)

We get it, you’re a busy person, and you get hundreds of emails all the time. So does everyone.

How many of those emails are spam and how many of them are from people you know? If you have an email inbox with thousands of unread emails, then you’ve poorly managed your inbox (Unless you’re a c-suite executive. But even then.).

If you don’t get back to people within a day or two, you will come off as unreliable.

Did someone make an intro for you? You should respond in less than 24 hours.

Someone reached out to you that you value? Same story.

Even if the person isn’t at the “top” of your list, if it is hard for you to get back to people quickly, then you will leave an impression that you are not very reliable or that you don’t care about the person on the other line.

For me, if I don’t respond within a day, I will always apologize for the delay even if it has only been two days.

7. Honor the chain of connection

In NYC, many people like to make introductions and find value in the network they have.

If someone makes an intro for you, especially if that intro leads to a new opportunity or if that intro is to someone who is your senior in some way, go back and thank the person for the intro.

Not many people go back and thank people for intros. If you do, you will stand out to them immensely as someone worth making more intros to. Not only are you showing you know how to handle an introduction, but you show your appreciation for the time, effort, and risk they took when connecting you.

8. Believe In Luck and You Will Be Luckier

Everyone likes to claim that it was their hard work that got them to where they are today. But the reality is that sometimes you can’t predict the good things that come your way. Sometimes there are unseen circumstances that lead to the success of one and not the other.

So why believe you are lucky?

It has to do with letting your brain believe in the frequency of opportunity. The more opportunistic you become in your chances at being lucky, the more likely you are to encounter goodwill.

9. Karma is very real

Karma is something you can only realize on your own with time. What you do, good and bad, always always always comes around.

I am not religious, but I do believe strongly in the balance of nature. If you put darkness into this world, you will reap darkness. And vice versa.

10. Kindness is the currency of opportunity

As simple as this may be, kindness will get you farther with your relationships than anything in the world. And, unfortunately, kindness is not abundant in this day and age so choosing to be kind consistently will make you stand out.

For those of you who choose to be kind to all people, those lesser and those greater, you will be rich with opportunity.

If you like what you read, have something to add, or want to learn more about what I do, drop a comment below or connect with me here!