Johnson Cook

Atlanta tech investor. Entrepreneur.

Johnson Cook - Atlanta tech investor. Entrepreneur.

The Incredible Value of Deep, Meaningful Relationships… in Business!


Forum Relationship BuildingWe all know the difference in a real relationship and a superficial relationship. It’s about trust. It’s about really knowing and understanding what makes someone tick and knowing that they know what makes you tick.

In business today, the most successful people are the ones who bring real, deep, lasting relationships into their business world.   Call them “friendships” if you must, but because these friendships are built in a setting where things get done and differences are made, they are typically even more powerful than best friends.

THIS ISN’T NETWORKING… Networking is forming a new contact. Networking doesn’t create deep relationships, it only puts you in the right place to build the relationship. You have to use disciplined structure, routine, and intentional actions to turn a contact into a relationship. All too often, our focus is on networking: forming as many contacts as we can, at the cost of forming deeper relationships. That matter.

A few key benefits from deeper, more intentional, more structured relationship building:


Every relationship that is functional, productive, and meaningful starts with trust. Not coincidentally, the most successful business arrangements in the world are started from a position of trust. For a company to invest money in you, someone must first trust you. For you to provide your service to a company, someone must first trust you.   The reason spam cold calling has such a low response rate is because it is approaching people without first establishing trust. Even e-mailing “contacts” who have signed up for an e-mail list performs not nearly as well as warm introductions from trusted contacts. Nothing is more powerful than an introduction attached to a recommendation that “I trust this person, you trust me, so you can trust them.”


When we have ideas and we share them, those ideas are processed from their own viewpoint, their own experiences, their own needs, and their own observations. That’s the default nature of humans. However, in a true deep relationship there is a stronger understanding of what the other person is thinking. We are putting ourselves in their shoes. We are thinking about the world from their perspective. If a truly deep friend comes to us with an idea, instead of thinking about the idea, the innovation, the invention from our own experiences, we typically know that we must first process their idea from their own viewpoint of the world. From their life experiences, pains, challenges, and dreams.  When this happens, we collaborate on a level that people in a shallow, business-only relationship cannot achieve.    Ideas are fueled. We annex our creativity in the minds of our friends and deeper ties.


Once ideas are born, it takes crowds to make them happen. Turning innovative ideas into meaningful action requires groups of people, not individuals working alone.  Without deep relationships built on trust and true understanding, it is difficult to rally others, to inspire, to move! When people leverage deeper relationships they extend their own abilities, their own excitement, inspiration, and personal energy. Inspiring others to act on your behalf is a requirement of great leaders, and inspiration rarely happens from shallow contacts and wide networks. It happens from deep friendships.


Maslow had it right. We are all looking for the same things. Food, shelter, love… but at the top of the pyramid of personal needs is self-actualization. Aligning purpose and passion with work and industry. Deep relationships are the key driver to helping you achieve self-actualization.   The people around you, who know your goals, your passions, your skills, your weaknesses- are the most suited to helping you become self-aware enough to achieve true career satisfaction.


Good makes more good, as we all know. Confidence in itself accelerates our abilities. Deep bonds, friendships, close professional relationships all give us a satisfaction that we cannot gain from superficial relationships, no matter how many of them we have. The value in career and life satisfaction for building a successful career and a thriving industry cannot be ignored.


Industries and companies are made first and foremost of people. The stronger the relationship glue that holds together an industry, the stronger the industry or profession becomes. The cycle continues by continuing to build stronger individuals.


We aren’t just making deals, building industry, we are building your personal legacies. We will be known for the work we do, and the difference we make. Even if our work doesn’t directly give us warm-fuzzy, we are surrounded with opportunities to help others accelerate in their career, in our industry. The opportunity to give of ourselves to others to help them achieve a higher level of happiness is the greatest opportunity we have to leave an impressive, memorable mark on the world.



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