Out of the Big Three, Health, Wealth & Relationships, this one comes last.
Out of the Big Three, Health, Wealth & Relationships, Wealth should come last. If you take care of Health first, and Relationships second, your Wealth should begin to take shape and help itself through the first two priorities. So much of life wealth is predicated upon health and personal relationships. In fact, a big part of feeling wealthy is based upon how we feel about our contribution to our relationships. How much are we giving? How much are we contributing? How much are we focusing on how we make other people feel? What do we want our lasting legacy to be? How do we want to leave people? What is our intention for how our personal interactions go?
Our tendency is to forget that we control where things go. We are in control of our emotions. We are in control of most situations. We can even control the emotions of others if they allow it, which they often do. Some might think it is a stretch to say we control others’ emotions. Only it isn’t. The important decision is what emotions do we intend to evoke out of others? How do we want them to feel? How do we want them to feel about us? How responsible are we for leaving them better than we found them? Is that on us? We possess great power if we see it and practice it wisely.
As important as relationships are to our health and well-being, it is ironic that we neglect them. You would think we’d make them a top priority, and you’d be wrong. Healthy, strong relationships are the #1 factor in leading a well-lived life. Yet we’re often pushing others away. Why? Why act against our own best interests?
It is not about the what or the how. It is about the Who. Who are you spending the most time with? What are you doing for them? What of their problems are you solving? How are you making them feel? How are you making them feel about you? The Who dictates the quality of our relationships and thus the quality of our lives. The Who is also a choice. We choose who we hang around with. And we choose how we show up among those we hang around with. It is up to us. The quality of these relationships largely determines the quality and quantity of our wealth. Quality relationships augment wealth. Poor relationships make you poor. If you want to up your game, up the people you surround yourself with.
Take the exclusive country club. Exclusive country clubs are difficult to get into by design. Money aside, typically the only way to get into them is by recommendation. And even then, there is a wait list. From a sales and marketing perspective, it is hard to get better than this. Nothing drives people crazy with desire like making them wait for something they really want. Aspirants and wait-listers are not jerks for wanting admission into the exclusive country club. Yes, there is the status. Yes, there is the prestige. But there is also something else at play: new relationships with people otherwise inaccessible. Country club membership isn’t just about the golf or tennis — it is about building new relationships with people. It is about problem-solving. It is about career-building. It is, somewhat strangely, about personal development. The exclusive country club is like a holiday feast. And we all desire a seat at the holiday feast. No one wants to be left outside in the cold, looking in. Aspiring to join the exclusive country club is choosing to up your Who, and thus your game.
Take the industry conference. The industry conference is full of movers and shakers, people who get things done. Conferences are about bringing like-minded people together to discuss trends and cutting-edge topics. They are great places to learn. They are also expensive for both exhibitors and attendees. If you’re not in the industry, you’re not getting in without a pass. Exhibition promoters try to make the events exclusive so as to enhance their aura. You should be a regular at your industry’s conference. Get on a panel. Give a talk. These public roles position you as a thought leader within your industry. They are also a great way to meet other people in your industry. Further, go to the parties or throw one yourself. There are always gatherings after the show you can attend. These are great places to meet people and further bolster your brand. Once you become a regular at these industry events, you become familiar with people and more comfortable.
This was the way Tim Ferriss launched his blogging career. He attended conferences and befriended and drank with the biggest bloggers he could find. He built early rapport. He talked about them and their audiences. And he contributed to their expertise. He wanted to know what he could do for them. Then, he backed off. Then, as a part of continuing the relationships, he connected with them post- conference and offered content he thought would be of interest to their audiences, like body hacking experiments. Some would take Tim up on his content offer, some would not. But the relationships were there. All Tim needed to do now was keep creating cool content and sharing it with these big bloggers when he felt he had something of value to offer their big audiences. This is a great way to build your own audience, by the way: borrow others’ audiences by placing content of interest in front of them. This is the joint venture strategy, and it is a great hack for list building. If you pick the right people and strategically surround yourself with them and figure out how you can best add value to them, you can make a difference fast both for them and for you.
If you’re looking to make a difference for your career and for others, focus on others first. What can you do for them? What problems can you solve? What cool things have you done for a group of people lately? What industry problems are on your radar that you have ideas for? How involved are you?