Cultivating Relationships

In this series, we're talking about the growth of your green business.

In this article, we review relationships and how they impact your life and your growing green business.

Have you done an assessment lately of the types of people who impact you?

I've "slotted" important people for my own life into some very special lists and take time on a regular basis to connect with (phone, e-mail, in-person) people who are important to me.

When you think about it, three different types of relationships are going to impact your life:

1) positive relationships, such as friends, family, significant others, mentors, and associates, and people to whom you have a strong positive reaction

2) negative relationships, such as difficult clients, people who are mean, hostile, or malicious to you, challengers, and people to whom you have a strong negative reaction

3) neutral relationships, with whom you do not have a strong emotional connection

Also consider breakdowns from the above: you might know "friend-of-a-friend" people (easily found through a tool like, people who are interested in you (such as followers through or fans on, and regular friends with whom you share a mutually beneficial and positive relationship.

The task ahead of you as you grow your green business is to identify your most important business relationships, your "core" relationships that will help you build your business: note that these may or may not be related to your life relationships!

We work very closely with referral partners, companies who overlap — but don't do the same as — our own business, and people who are in a similar industry but don't do our exact work. We also work with people who are relatively new in our own field of work, because we help do more complex or complicated projects.

Relationships take time and trust. Hundreds of thousands of dollars transfer hands based on a handshake or someone's relationship, so consider what your current relationship circles look like and where you can improve.

My list of people I relate to is the following:

+ Experts and Influentials — people who perform at a level I'm interested in, and who I learn from

+ Mentors — my coaches and teachers

+ Friends – from childhood through adulthood

+ Work Associates — people from other jobs I've held

+ People I'd Like to Get to Know Better

Who's on your own list of relationships? Who can you cut? Who's missing?

In general, I advise you to move closer to people who you "resonate" with– these are typically people on your "positive" list. I also advise you to reduce your exposure to people who are on your "negative" list.

As you grow your green business and get to know more people, and interact with more people on a regular basis, you'll utilize tools like e-mail lists, Facebook, and phone calls to keep in contact and build those relationships.

As you develop your plan for your green business, consider what your relationship circle for you and your company looks like in 5, 10, or 20 years. Act as if that circle already exists and believe that the types of relationships you're now fostering will be the strong relationships that carry you through your next levels of growth.


List your green business for free in the national directory at Follow me on Twitter at @monicadear and let me know about your green business!

Monica S. Flores  of 10kWebdesign is committed to educating, empowering, and connecting women in business — she believes in the triple bottom line of people, planet, and profits. She is available for consulting on web development, green business practices, and women in business.


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Social Networking for Women in Business, 136 pages of tips on managing your social media.


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