This is an unprecedented time in the relationship between the United States and Cuba. After decades of isolation, the U.S. has decided to begin removing trade sanctions against Cuba that have been in place since the year Uri Gregarin was the first man in space, a stamp cost $.04 and a gallon of gas was $0.31. Whatever will come, it's important to remember that the vibrant Cuban culture has not only survived decades as an international pariah, but thrived. And it's because they focus on the basics of relationships.
Cars that are 70 years old still run. Distribution chains that include carts pulled by beasts of burden still operate as part of everyday life. And people live full and rewarding lives. And they find success, in their own way. Because, when all technology, distance and wealth is stripped away, it's all about the relationships.
When work is done face to face over a handshake, negotiating the price for an as-yet-unseen case of mangos or a 60+ year old starter for a Buick, the relationship matters more than anything. In our era of seeing everything NOW, glamor-shot profiles on social media, and generous venture capital seed investment, it is so easy to get disconnected from relationships.
An impactful relationship in business includes connection, trust and partnership. It yields rewards for both client and provider. Relationships in life and business are the same. They take time and attention. No matter how busy, taking the time to call and connect over kids going off to High School, how the game was last night or the challenges of running a small business invites you both to INVEST in a successful relationship together. It is this foundation of relationship that allows us to trust that we can reach out to each other to discuss a missed order, an incorrect invoice or a faulty part and know that it will work out.
Choose one every day, call one business connection, partner or affiliate and spend 15 minutes building the relationship. It will pay off exponentially because at some point you may be the one asking for that 60+ year old starter over a handshake.