The size of the future
you actually experience will largely be determined by one factor: the
people you choose to connect with. Inviting more people with bigger
futures into your life makes progress easier and more enjoyable.
As an entrepreneur, you have the freedom to create a future full of
endless growth. The bigger future of your business lies in the bigger
futures of your clients and customers and also in the bigger futures of
your team members and all the other relationships you depend on to help
Gas In The Tank.
People with bigger futures come with a full tank of gas: They have a
positive outlook, they have goals, they have their act together, they're
inspiring to be around, and they're going places. If you can find a
place where your goals and theirs align, your combined energy will help
you both get where you’re going faster with greater ease and enjoyment.
The common denominator in any relationship like this is that each person
is making a contribution to the other.
By making a conscious effort to have more people in your life whose
bigger futures align with your own, you can turn what may seem like a
serendipitous meeting of “just the right person” into a proactive
strategy for growth.
Fewer, Better Relationships.
If you were to make a list of the relationships in your life that have
this quality of mutual contribution, you might notice that some people
are conspicuously absent. This brings about the opportunity to make some
conscious decisions. Perhaps there are some relationships you’re
currently in that you would like to change or transform. In business, it
is often thought that a bigger network or client base is always better.
However, sometimes having fewer, more strategic relationships allows you
to be more productive and focused. Managing relationships with people
whose futures don’t align with your own can be extremely draining and
time consuming. Worse, we often don’t recognize the true costs,
especially the opportunity costs, of just getting by in these
The pressures and complexity of running an entrepreneurial business day
to day can be all-consuming. If you’re able to take time out to get
clear about your goals and what contributions from others are needed to
achieve them, it's much easier to make clear decisions and to partner
with the right people. However, when you’re just struggling to get
things done and keep it all together, it’s easy to feel that simply
anyone is better than nobody. It can seem easier to just work with what
you’ve got than to have to worry about replacing staff or clients with
people who might be a better fit.
As a result, you may have a client who demands a lot of time but isn't
generating the revenue to justify it, or a team member who seems to be
going through the motions but not creating the results you want. You
know you need to do something, yet you don't.
In The Strategic Coach® Program, participants sometimes receive "tough
love" challenges from one another, such as, "You've been complaining
about this person for a while now. When are you going to do something
about it?" Often, when the entrepreneur finally has that conversation
they've been avoiding, they come back to report, "Why didn't I do that
ages ago? I feel so much better! I got so much energy back
Your Big Future Network As a Strategic Tool.
Entrepreneurs can support themselves in focusing on the right
relationships by looking at their best relationships and using them as
models. Start by reflecting on who these people are and how you support
each other’s bigger futures. The insight you receive from looking at
your network of relationships this way can have an impact across your
whole business. Here are a few possibilities:
Clone the best.
You can tailor your marketing and prospecting efforts to generate more
relationships like your best ones.
Clean up messes.
You may see some relationships that you want to end, delegate, or
transform in some way in order to align them with your bigger future.
Strengthen existing relationships.
When you see how you contribute to your best relationships, you have an
opportunity to do more. You can also take the opportunity to express
your gratitude: By acknowledging a relationship as special, you make it
special and stand apart from those whose interest is solely in
A big future together.
By focusing on growing and nurturing quality relationships, you can
build a network of future-focused, aligned growth partners in all areas
of your life. How do you see your future together with the people in
your best relationships? All the money you're going to get paid, all the
extra demand for what you do and for the innovations you’ll create — it
all lies out in that future. When you invite people who are truly
committed to growth into every aspect of your life, your own potential
for growth becomes truly unlimited.
© 2007 The Strategic Coach