Out of all our resources, our relationships are often the one we don’t establish a lot of structure in. People with great financial fitness structure their finances. People with great health structure their exercise and nutrition. People with great time management, structure their responsibilities and activities.
But yet, most people don’t bring structure into their relationships. They don’t consider the benefit that bringing structure and intention to relationships would have for them. I’m not going to address relational structure entirely in this piece, but rather want to start by highlighting a great example of how structure and systems can pay off big in this area just like any other area.
Most people possess many many relationships, whether or not they realize it. Each of those relationships represents a collection of opportunities both to help them find what they want, and even to help other’s find what they want through that person.
One of the best ways to add structure is add each of your relationships to a Excel (or Google Sheets) spreadsheet (I suggest naming it something like “Supply and Demand”) what they’re looking to supply (what they have to offer), and what they’re demanding (looking for in the market).
Here’s an example for the founder of a graphic design firm:
Supply: Top quality commercial design
Demand: Design clients in the contracting space
And let’s say I know someone who owns a construction service:
Supply: General contracting for custom warehouses
Demand: Someone to design a new logo
Then I can notice that connection through reviewing my Supply and Demand sheet, and make an introduction that might be very valuable to both parties. It’s also helpful if I’m say looking for a commercial designer and then I can search the document for “design” and find a couple designers to talk to about a problem. It’s also great if someone asks me if I know someone who does some specific job, and I can use that document to recommend people quickly.
Here’s a sample document you can make a copy of for yourself, and it includes an example for how my information could be entered. Or here’s another sample of focusing just on their supply. Obviously this will take an investment of time and focus to make valuable, but this is one of the greatest opportunities for value creation I know of!
If you would like to add yourself to my “to be reviewed” supply list (not my inner circle list), use this form below: