Not every relationship is going to work out the way you initially envisage.
From a professional perspective, we are coming into contact with ever more people who could have an impact on our success. It is important to not only cultivate those relationships which will best contribute to our goals, but also ensure that we are doing our fair share of giving to give each and every relationship the chance of getting there.
Giving without an expectation of receiving anything in return is almost a cliché, and in the early stages of a relationship, it is hard to continue for long. You take a chance on someone, you wonder how things will develop, and you understand that the “return” on your investment might be far in the future if ever at all.
But there is always a chance.
As more people take control of their destinies and take charge of their careers in the gig economy, choosing the people around us is becoming ever more important. Relationships where both parties benefit in multiple ways are the holy grail, but often a lot of trust and faith is required while you are working out how you fit into each other’s lives. If you give each other a chance, you can find common ground and build on that solid foundation.
Not every relationship is so linear.
Some of my closest client relationships have been close to breakdown in the past. One client couldn’t pay me for 9 months, so we took a break. Another client was so busy that I felt ignored and utterly unappreciated. Along with many other UK gig workers, I lost a couple of clients in the wake of Brexit. In all three cases, I chose to be patient and wait for my previous investment in the relationship to come good. These relationships have since grown stronger through the adversity, but that won’t always be the case.
Not every relationship will work out – don’t take it personally.
No matter how amazing you are at your job and how fantastic you are with other people (nope and nope for me), the relationship dice can never be fully “loaded” in your favour. Sometimes you will lose. Over the past five years, there has always been an amount of attrition in my client relationships for various reasons. I fully expect that to continue – I choose to give every relationship a chance, but sometimes you just have to close the door and use the extra energy to open another one.
I’m not sure that I would say that I have fully given up on these relationships, but if the door closes once, it is hard to decide to open it again. You have to give every relationship your maximum effort the first time, but if they break down entirely, then the reasons are often too weighty to overcome again and again.
I will give every relationship a chance, but I will not always give more than one chance. Apart from my wife, kids, and family, very few people have unlimited “get out of jail free” cards, and that is also pretty normal I reckon.
Relationships are a game of chance, but those chances are limited, so make the most of them.
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