The pace of living in the Bay Area seems to be getting faster and faster, doesn’t it? On the freeway, it takes longer to get somewhere, which means you have less time when you get there. We race from one destination to the next, one appointment to another, then hurry to meet family and friends. We seem to bounce from one event to another. Do you feel like you have a busy hectic life? Do you feel the people around you are busy?
Do you ever feel like people are too busy for you? Who in your life always seems too busy for you? How do you feel about your relationship with them?
Now, what about that person you know is busy and yet always seem to have time for you? How do you feel about them?
Busy is the enemy of relationships.
If you are building your business through relationships and referrals, you want to be careful about how your busyness is affecting your relationships. Here are three tips to help:
1. Reframe your thoughts and wording.
See if you can remove “busy” from your vocabulary. Try “full” instead. (I have a full life. My life is full of the people and activities I choose and enjoy.) Shift your mindset to focus on people. Our lives are full of people. Let’s focus on them and our relationships with them.
2. Be present with the people you are with at the time you are with them.
If we’re always thinking of being somewhere else, we will never be where we are. Being present can take practice, especially if you are a slave to your phone. The best way to build a relationship is to be present, look people in the eyes, engage in active listening, and give your undivided attention. Be there, where you are, with who you are with. I believe you will find more meaningful moments, more business opportunities, more life in your life, you will be more productive and have deeper, stronger, more meaningful relationships.
Eckhart Tolle, author of The Power of Now, teaches about living a life of presence. I’m inspired by many of the things he has said on the topic of being present:
“Always say ‘yes’ to the present moment… Surrender to what is. Say ‘yes’ to life – and see how life starts suddenly to start working for you rather than against you.”
“Realize deeply that the present moment is all you ever have. Make the Now the primary focus of your life.”
“The power for creating a better future is contained in the present moment: You create a good future by creating a good present.”
“Don’t wait to be successful at some future point. Have a successful relationship with the present moment and be fully present in whatever you are doing. That is success.”
The idea of presence and being in the present is not new. Roman philosopher Lucius Annaeus Seneca pointed out that, “True happiness is… to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future.”
I think Guy Finely summed of the power of presence nicely when he said, “Being fully present is the best guarantee for a bright future.”
3. Schedule time.
If you don’t have time today, or even next week, it’s okay to schedule time a few weeks or months out. It will be here sooner than you expect. Chances are, the person who wants to schedule time with you also has a full calendar and it will be easier to book a time that works for both of you. In fact, scheduling a time on your calendar shows them that they are important. You are making time for them. When you book that time, do everything in your power to keep that time. No rescheduling for a new opportunity. Your best referrals come from the deepest relationships. Be careful of always looking for the new, there is a ton of value in the more seasoned relationships. You spent time to build the trust. Once you have built that trust, do you want to lose it? Trust, like relationships, needs nurturing. One of the activities I have my clients do are How Are You calls. These calls are simply for checking in on and furthering the relationship. Keeping the trust that has been earned.
If you don’t have time for your referral sources, they will assume you don’t have time for their referrals. They’ll lose interest and motivation to help you.
Live a fuller happier life by being in the present and investing quality time in your relationships.
– Maile Collmer