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March 08, 2010
The Ties That Bind
I spent a few days in the Dallas / Fort Worth area last week. During that time, I had the opportunity to meet with several friends and former co-workers with whom I still maintain friendships. We laughed about old times, updated each other on our families, and explored new ways to do business together.

My family and I lived in the DFW Metroplex from March 1999 to August of 2003. We established friendships that have withstood the test of time, and it's always gratifying to return and catch up with all those we spent so much time with when we lived there.

An added benefit from my last couple trips to Dallas has been an emergence of business created from those very same relationships. I was able to meet with several friends / former associates I now do business with on a regular basis. Most importantly, I already had friendships with these people, so the trust-building part of the business relationship is already in the rearview.

Last Wednesday I spent the day riding around with a friend who buys run-down properties and refurbishes them. We evaluated several properties, and I gained a new perspective on how the entire process works. In turn, I helped some of his employees learn how to more efficiently use the internet and public records to garner the most information possible on any property. A win-win situation all around.

Thursday I had lunch with two former co-workers that I also consider close friends. The discussion took a variety of turns, but it revolved around how each of us can help the others generate business and refer new business as well. Again, the fact that each of us trusts the others implicitly overcomes one of the biggest obstacles in any business relationship.

Think about the friendships you enjoy with people you've also done business with. Are there things you can do cooperatively to help each other make more money? Just as importantly, are there skillsets you each have that can help each other without consideration for dollars and cents?

There's an old poem that starts out like this:

Make new friends, but keep the old.
One is silver, the other gold.

In my case, my old friends are quite literally gold, and I hope they feel the same about me. We help each other make money, and do so with ethics, goodwill, friendship, and trust as the cornerstones of every deal. That's my kind of business!

Make it a great week.


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