Why You Want To Think About The Lifecycle Of Your Business Relationships

Every relationship has a lifecycle, even if we can’t quite imagine it when we first meet (looking at you, Barbie).

But in business—especially for soloists—relationships are often our most precious resource.

Which means we have to nurture our best and most promising and let go of those that no longer serve us.

That’s why thinking about the lifecycle you want for each relationship is so important—it not only gives you clues on how to prioritize your time, but gives you permission to let some relationships lapse.

There’s an old saying that we met people for a reason, a season or a lifetime and those aren’t bad categories for thinking about business relationships.


I’m sure you’ve had the experience of meeting someone and KAPOW! You just know you want them in your life somehow. There is a sympatico that you each recognize (because if only one of you recognizes it, the relationship probably won’t progress far).

Obviously, this is where you invest your time (and emotion). Your best clients, your most inspirational allies, the people who help you get your work out the door.

For the foreseeable future

These are the people you feel committed to for months or longer. They might be clients when you have longer engagements or buyers of your workshops, classes and memberships.

They could also be allies who have a crossover audience where you work with them on a project that benefits you both.

They might even be folks who you once imagined in the forever category but you see now that your relationship is winding down.

For right now

And sometimes, it’s really clear that this is a short-term thing. You guest on their podcast and it feels off.

Maybe they buy your book (which you view as a gateway to becoming a client or bigger ticket buyer) but trash it on social media.

Or maybe you were thinking this would be a longer-term thing and the other party does something intolerable and you need out.

BTW—no ranking system is perfect. I guarantee someone you thought was just here for a nanosecond will suddenly promote themselves and vice versa.

The point is this: if you marshal your resources to support your best relationships, it’s pretty much always a good investment.

For the business, yes. But also for you.

Because having rich relationships—of any length—multiplies your wealth, joy and impact.

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