I had invited a job candidate home for lunch. I prefer doing some of the interviews over lunch because it helps break ice faster. I get to read the person much better when the conversation is casual.
During the conversation, the candidate asked me about our competitors in business. She specifically wanted to know about our USP and how we differentiate ourselves from the competition.
Typically, my answer would have been the 17 years I have spent in the digital space and how it continues to hold my fancy. But there’s something else that I value even more. Its Building Relationships. Its the trait I have learned from people who I respect.
Almost 100% of my business have come from people that I have known earlier. Some for many years and some for few months. But one thing that’s commons is that when we started knowing each other, business was never part of the discussion. When you remove any motive or business intention, its amazing how trust and comfort sets in. Ironically enough, these two are the most important factors for a business relationship!
I remember when I stayed at Rajesh’s home in Sunnyvale, he gifted me his Snowball Professional Microphone. I initially refused but he insisted. He said he rarely uses it and that it will be put to better use because I do podcasting. Now every time, I record a podcast I think of Rajesh’s gesture and invariably talk about him with the achiever that I interview. In my opinion, Rajesh dug his well one shovel deeper.
The reason why I found the article interesting is because it has an insightful real life incident by Mukund Mohan, a passionate and successful serial entrepreneur. It tells the story of how a simple gesture of his started a relationship that resulted in his first ever business deal 3 years later. Recommended read.