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In today’s funding environment it can be difficult for companies to penetrate new markets, which is what makes partnerships so ideal as of late. Collaboration, or strategic business alliances, can often times strengthen both of the parties at play. By collaborating on various products or ideas, businesses are able to flourish and grow together. Rather than be so engrossed in your competition, why not align with your competitors to better the industry at as a whole? I think it’s important to be mindful that someone doesn’t need to lose in order for you to win. Building relationships is often far more rewarding than building an empire.


Yes, competition is healthy and often times ignites innovation and motivation; however, there are situations where collaboration is more gratifying than competing. Speaking poorly about your competitor or slandering their business in any way will rarely do you any good. In doing so, the only thing that you’ll gain, is a less than desirable reputation. Instead, why not strategize and network with your competitor? Collaborate on industry specific concepts or look for ways to expand your market so that everyone can experience a growth in revenue.


It’s important to reflect on these collaborations as relationships, not just a potential deal. By cultivating these interactions as cherished relationships, and making it genuine and personal, you’ll begin to form powerful connections. Fostering such connections will inevitably expand your professional network and provide more valuable growth. Much like you collect business cards, collect people and relationships. It’s far more rewarding being a professional that is well-known, not for their success, but rather for their compassion and authenticity.


Know that you can lead a successful life without compromising your generosity or compassion. Share your ideas and experiences with others. Lend a hand when it’s needed, without the expectation of something in return. Though perhaps an overused quote, I find Maya Angelou’s word to be most fitting when discussing business relationships…


“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”


I challenge you to embody Maya Angelou’s words. Leave every interaction making people feel better than they did before.  Focus your relationships on giving rather than receiving, because at the end of the day, isn’t it the same?