Elements of The Entrepreneurial Mindset Series Element #6: You are in a Relationship Business

Thoughts on Excellence Free E-Newsletter Series
Volume 20, Issue No. 17a
October 1, 2022

By Dan Coughlin


woman on computer

A business is a relationship between a value-provider and a value-receiver.

It really is that simple.

High-tech companies, grocery stores, hospitals, schools, professional sports teams, management consultants, musicians, landscaping companies, medical device companies, film companies, tv shows, trucking companies, and on and on and on.

Every business is a relationship between a value-provider and a value-receiver. Value is anything that increases the chances that the other person will achieve what he or she wants. Yes, there are technical differences between businesses and the value they create and deliver. However, in the end, every business is a relationship between a value-provider and a value-receiver.

No matter what value your business creates and delivers you are still in a relationship with a value-receiver, otherwise known as a customer. You are a human being, and the person who is receiving value from you is a human being. You’re both human beings. Therefore, the essence of the business is a human relationship.

Now that we have that established, think about how you want to be treated as a human being. My hunch is you want to be talked with in a respectful way that enhances your personal dignity as a human being. You don’t want to be yelled at or treated rudely.

Please slow down as you run your business and think about the human being who will be receiving value from your company. It’s not just creating and delivering value in a transaction for money. A business, every business, is a relationship experience between you and the people who work for you and a human being paying for that value. The product or service has to be great and of high quality. That’s a given. What’s not a given is the way human beings are being treated. That is just as important as the product or service that you are selling.

The hidden key to long-term business success is to realize and remember that you are in a relationship business. That relationship is just as important as the revenues and profits you generate. Relationships are intangible and are not based on money. They are based on the million little subtle things that make up good human relationships: kindness, caring, compassion, forgiveness, forgetfulness, patience, respect, empathy, gentleness, hospitality, sense of humor, smiles, and on and on.

Don’t go to work to just build a better widget. Go there with the intention of strengthening relationships every single day.

Republishing Articles

My newsletters, Thoughts on Excellence, have been republished in approximately 40 trade magazines, on-line publications, and internal publications for businesses, universities, and not-for-profit organizations over the past 20+ years. If you would like to republish all or part of my monthly articles, please send me an e-mail at dan@thecoughlincompany.com with the name of the article you want in the subject heading. I will send you the article in a word document.

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