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A Piece of Yourself

Written by: Bill Sherman on Thursday, 19 June 2008, 5:19 AM

My friend, Rajesh Setty, made the following comment during a recent conversation:

“When you build a relationship, you make a commitment to give away a piece of yourself. You cannot create a relationship any other way.”

Some people do not want to give away parts of themselves, so they make surface relationships and pretend that they’re meaningful relationships. They believe the number of business cards they give/get equals their number of relationships.

When you build a relationship, you invest part of yourself with the other person–your time, your skills, your access to you, and your network. You have to be willing to give some of yourself away as a genuine gift . . . and be willing to never ask for that piece back.

Each relationship is an investment. This summer, set aside some time for a portfolio review. Look wihtin your self and across your relationships.

  • Have you “hoarded your relational cash” and chosen not to invest in relationships?
  • Have you widely diversified and made small investments into many relationships?
  • Do you have a portfolio deep in a few relationships?

How have your investments turned out? Have they produced excellent returns? Could you make wiser investments by thinking with a long-term strategy?

2 Responses to “A Piece of Yourself”

  1. Rajesh Setty Says:

    Thank you for the note Bill.

    The point about long-term relationships simply is that it takes a “long time” to build them. When people try to focus on building a long-term relationship “quickly” things go wrong.

    What if we look at every relationship and ask “how can we both increase the capacity of each other for the rest of our lives?”

    There can’t be a bigger competitive advantage than a set of right long-term relationships.

    Have a great evening there.


    June 19th, 2008 5:32 am

  2. Tamara Says:

    One of the best relationship gifts I’ve been given this year came in the form of Bill Sherman who flew to the Canadian prairies to work with someone he barely knew on a high potential project. In practicing what he preaches, he shared his ideas, perspective, creativity, time and boundless energy in our joint pursuit of a business opportunity. Though we weren’t successful in securing the business, the experience of working with him made a definite impression on me and I hope that our relationship continues regardless of the competitive advantages!

    Though I think there will be advantages.

    On another note, Weezer is one of my favorite bands/ music video masterminds ~ thanks for including them in a blog! (Yes, I did read them all and I really like what you’re doing here!) Rajesh, the interview with Bill at was great…

    July 26th, 2008 2:36 am

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