Building a business begins with developing a relationship and it’s critical whether you are a startup or established.


However, professional jealousy may attempt to flare up. In my very early days as a business owner, I experienced what I thought were twinges of jealousy. In reality, what I felt was fear: if I met another writer, would that mean any chances of me gaining ground were lost?


No. What is lost is the opportunity to help when a lead calls but I’m not the ideal person for the job. With established relationships, I can then refer the client to another writer, therefore helping two people. Now I welcome the opportunity to connect people with the best person for the job. It’s very satisfying to help and it’s even more exciting when someone refers me.


Recently, a LinkedIn connection introduced me to a client that needed help with profile writing—a skill we both had. However, the connection had a full work load and couldn’t take on another project under the requested deadline. I was referred because she knew, liked and trusted me, even though we only knew each other through LinkedIn.


Be prepared! Unexpected issues can strike at any time: sudden emergencies, family issues, vacation time or a full agenda. You may be called in to take some pressure off when these situations occur and vice versa. But if fear rules you, it limits you.


Differentiate yourself by networking with peers. In a recent conversation with a tax software specialist, she was concerned about how to stand out from others. As I interviewed her, she said, “I don’t prepare taxes. I train others on how to use the software and specific features to best serve their business.” After more discussion, this became her new approach to her industry which will be added to her LinkedIn headline and her elevator speech.


If you attend a meeting or an event and feel fear or a twinge of jealousy creeping in, remember we each bring something distinctive to our profession. It may be years of experience, specialized training, work in a specific setting or situation, perhaps an ability to work under extreme deadlines. Everyone has something. Instead of fearing everyone’s strengths, highlight your own.


In 2012, I met Amanda Abella, millennial coach and financial blogger at FinCon St. Louis. Her view of competition is, “Competition doesn’t exist. It opens up the door for collaboration.”  Viewed this way, it makes reaching out and helping others more effective—and fun.

The big gains from relationship-building are:

  • raise awareness
  • make connections
  • help when needed

Find their strengths, highlight yours and magical things will happen.

What business relationship stories do you have? Please share below.

Happy writing—and growing!

Kris the Scribbler


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