A few years ago, my wife Shelly took a considerable risk: she reached out to her real dad, whom she had never known. She is adopted, and although her adoptive parents raised her well and cared for her, something had always been missing. Then, after her adoptive mom passed away, her relationship with her dad went completely away through a series of bad decisions and hurtful actions on his part.
Through genetic testing, Shelly discovered her half-brother, but taking the next step and contacting her real dad was a huge risk. What if he did not want to meet her? There was a good chance he would decide against forging a relationship. If so, the feelings and emotions she was trying to assuage would only magnify.
Fortunately for Shelly and Jesse, her real dad, she took the risk, and he accepted the invitation. Since then, their relationship has grown stronger as they heal each other's wounds with love and courage.
In business and life, there is all kinds of risk. There is financial risk, regulatory risk, physical property risk, competition risk, transaction risk, credit risk, and the list goes on and on. These risks represent the simultaneous opportunity for either gain or loss and generally the degree of gain or loss is directly proportional to the amount of risk taken.
We all know this, yet we make most decisions in a vacuum of misunderstanding. Nowhere is this more evident than in human relationships. Whether it is our employees, clients, friends, or family, the status quo is our comfort zone yet there is no benefit if we remain there. Without evolving, growing relationships; our lives and our businesses become stagnant.
Building relationships takes initiative, candor, and a willingness to put ourselves out there. If we can build relationships, we can grow personally and professionally. The essential component in any business success, no matter your product or service, is the people who work for you and those they serve.
In our firm, whenever we step out of our comfort zone with a client or a prospective client, we call it taking relationship risk. Relationship risk to us means we are willing to say or do what we feel is necessary to build further trust and confidence, even at the expense of losing the relationship.
Shelly's courageous decision to contact her dad is powerful inspiration. Are you taking the necessary risks in your personal and professional life to heal, grow and thrive? Has there been a time when you successfully took relationship risk? If so, I would love to hear about it.
Those are our thoughts.
Have a great Thursday