It’s always about your relationships

Over the last few months I have been booking myself on every podcast possible in order to get in front of some new people and forge new relationships. I have gone on about 15 of them and one of the recurring conversation points is about relationships. The older I get, and the more time I spend on this planet, the more I realize that everything in life is really about your relationships. The quality of your personal life will depend on the relationships that you hold. The quality and success of your business will depend on the relationships that you have with your clients and your employees. Relationships come in all shapes and sizes, just like us. From the people who work on your car or mow your grass to the person you have made a lifelong commitment with.

Each one of those is a relationship that needs to be maintained and honored.

We spend so much of our time working and it’s such a personal thing because the money we make is tied to the quality of the work we do. Our clients become a huge part of our lives, we might even talk to them more than our friends at times. When I look ahead at the challenges we are all facing I am reminded of how important it is to work with the right people. From the people you hire, to the people who hire you. And equally as important, when I think about what has happened in the last 3 years I find it even more important to work with people whom I can trust with my vulnerabilities. Ill never forget the client who screamed at me the week after my mom died for not hitting a deadline that was 2 weeks away. I will never forget the way she made me feel, I have forgiven her but I will never forget.

None of us have escaped loss in the last few years and who knows what is ahead for any of us. It’s a good reminder for me to be really careful with whom we work with. Bad clients can fill your spaces with bad energy, man. They take up time in staff meetings, they burn through resources, they make you question your who way of being and they make you kinda hate people. We have all had those clients, hopefully few and far between. As we enter into this period of uncertainty, after a few years of uncertainty and loss, I think the best thing we can do as humans and business owners is align ourselves with people who we actually like and respect. I don’t care how much money you want to pay me, if you are a jerk I am not for hire.

There is no rule against your clients becoming your friends.

On the other hand, good clients are worth their weight in gold because they aren’t just clients, they become friends, confidants, and sometimes business partners or collaborators. Sometimes you are helping the client and sometimes, they are helping you. I was reminded of how important it is to ask for help recently and thanks to one of my favorite humans on the planet, who is also a client, I got exactly the help I needed. They say not to do business with friends and family, and after the last few months I would agree with that statement. 

Maybe in your world that is taboo, especially if you work for corporate america but shouldn’t we want to help our clients? Shouldn’t we want to see them win? Shouldn’t we want to go the extra mile for them, especially when they haven’t asked you to? Maybe 2023 is the year of saying no, or no thank you, or not today satan. Maybe in the middle of all of this madness we call life the key is to surround yourself with good people at home and in your work, in fact I am positive of it. 

I remembered exchanging with a client and she said, I can hear your voice when I read your emails and that’s a good thing. Which let me tell you, is a really good thing. I’m a big ole caring person with a matching voice that doesn’t always translate. I know where my weaknesses lie, patience is one of them. She could hear my email’s “voice” and knew that I was not mad and she didn’t take my tone personally, she knew me well enough to understand me and that in turn calmed her anxiety around the timeline. I don’t think that if we hadn’t started the relationship by being real people, really vulnerable, honest and real people, we wouldn’t be able to get each other the way we do. I am so grateful for those moments in business, it’s a far cry from being screamed at the same week I lost my mother. 

It’s a lot of things to say but there are two takeaways.  One, I am HELLA grateful for my clients. And yes, I am too old to say hella but I just did so here we are. Two, I am going to be thinking about new clients in a whole new light. It’s not about who I don’t want to work with but who I do want to work with. Bring me your heart centered, good natured, caring, non racist people who have businesses that make the world a better place.

I will step up to the plate and be your best advocate every time.

I’m excited for what’s ahead for the first time in a long time and I am pretty sure its because of the relationships in my life that fill my world with kindness, creativity, ingenuity, vulnerability, friendship and laughter. If you are reading this and thinking, Molly is my people, you are right and I love you right back. You know who you are and if we haven’t met yet, I hope you are one of them too. 

Here is a picture of my 47th birthday in Costa Rica. I have never had so many people show up to wish me well in my whole life. Days like those remind me of why I am here and why I call this place home.

As you journey forward, remember that the bonds we form define our path and make every place a home. Keep nurturing those meaningful connections. Pura Vida!


Molly Ruland

Molly Ruland

"Listening is the Revolution"

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