I didn’t claim to have all the answers about building relationships. However, through my journey I’ve had the joy of learning how essential relationships are. Success is not about how much we possess; rather, it’s about learning throughout our lives what is most important, not only for us, but for others. It’s about learning to serve, learning to care, and learning to give. Those words sound easy, but it takes a heart-full effort to build meaningful relationships that will last a lifetime. Through this journey of life, I’ve not only experienced meaningful relationships, but I have had the opportunity to watch what happens in the lives of other when those relationships are built. It is an indescribable emotion-filled experience to watch what happens when relationships are made in a community of women–all with the same goal of success; yet all taking unique avenues. It’s just simply amazing!
Inside the pages of this book, 20 women have shared how they have reached a level of SUCCESS, powered by meaningful relationships. They have done so by, meeting the needs of others, being a connector, and building a network. None of us claim to be experts; we share only from our hearts to yours.
This book was written for you in order to encourage you to seek out relationships in your life, be an encourager to you when you feel stuck in relationship building, share with you how a community of women an make a difference in the lives of others, and to have the opportunity to experience what it feels like to reach success powered by relationships.
SUCCESS AS A RESULT OF BUILDING MEANINGFUL RELATIONSHIPS
“Build what you need before you need it.”
– Jeanne Porter
Leveraging is one of the most powerful tools man will ever utilize. We know, we cannot do everything ourselves. True, some may have the mentality, “If I want it done right, I must do it myself.” I have heard that phrase more times than I can count; and perhaps, sometimes it just might be the case. However, I guarantee, about 99.9% of the time, it is false and will wind up causing you to self-destruct as you overload, and ultimately drown yourself in a sea of desperation yelling, “Help?! Save me!”
Everything in life begins and concludes with relationships. Do you really believe that you can build an empire as a one-woman show? Besides, even if we could, who would we have left to celebrate with? You may be in the early stages of your business and feel as though you – a powerhouse of a woman – have it all under control. If this is you, then I want to say, “Great! But, it won’t always be this way.” I want to encourage you to know and understand, the day is coming when you have more to be done than what your two hands and one head can handle. The time to start is now. Step out and network – build relationships, invest in others, and seize every opportunity that makes your heart sing.
As you lick your fingers and turn the pages of this book, you will dive into a world of many women who have embraced the power of relationships. For this embrace, they have soared to heights that are both scary and exciting, breathtaking and angelic, and has turned them into successful women who will never be forgotten.
MEET THE NEEDS OF OTHERS AND WATCH YOUR NEEDS BE MET
“Meeting the needs of others is the
1st step in getting your needs met.”
– Jeanne Porter
It was 2007 when I opened the doors to WiBN. As the ladies shuffled into the room to find their seat, I was ready and eager to begin. As the women sat staring back at me, awaiting my first words, it was these words that they heard, “If you are joining WiBN in order to meet only your needs, then this is not the organization for you.”
The truth is, in this journey of reaching success, we are all in this together. The most successful women I know, are the ones who make a constant effort to meet the needs of others. Once they know that they met the needs of those they could, it is then that they see their own needs getting met. When you help others, they want to help you. When they want to help you, they will give it all they have, to see to it, that the proper help needed is provided.
As you read this book, you will read the success stories of women, who not only understand this profound principle, but who also choose to live it. Before you entangle your mind in these stories, there is a powerful lesson I would like to share with you.
As I began to work towards my own success I found that I was like many other woman; I was battling time. “Time…time…time…there seems to never be enough time!” This is a misconception, and an excuse for the simple minded. There is always enough time to do what you really “want” to do. If it is a priority to you, then you know you will make the time to achieve it. If you feel that you don’t have time to invest in the lives of others, then what you are really saying is, “Others are not my priority”. If this is you, allow me to first, encourage you to make investing in others a priority. Then second, allow me to show you how to “find the time” to do so.
What I have found that works for me is what I call, “Others Hour”. This is where I set aside one hour per week to do nothing for myself. Instead, this entire hour is spent on investing in others and meeting their needs. I know for me, if something is not on the calendar, it doesn’t get done. Others Hour is a time when we can write a note, make a phone call, deliver a gift, pray, or do a favor for those special people who we’ve been meaning to do this for. I strongly encourage you to give it a try! Who knows? Perhaps, it will work for you as much as it does for me.
THE DOMINO EFFECT: BEING A CONNECTOR
Think back to when you were a child. Did you ever play with dominoes? You spend 20 minutes setting up a line of dominoes, just to sit back, look at its beauty, and give the leading domino a flick of the finger. Once this action has taken place, you watch in amazement as they all fall in line, one overlapping the other.
- a thing that links two or more things together.
“a pipe connector”
- a short road or highway that connects two longer roads or highways.
When the dominoes are standing in line they are not connecting. When they lay overlapping, they are connected – linked. Building relationships can be viewed the same. As long as you are standing alone or merely beside another person, little success will be achieved. However, when we decide to overlap – connect – walk arm-in-arm with the same goals and vision, we begin to reach levels of success we only once dreamt about. Just as when one domino hits the next domino, that domino hits the next domino, and the next and the next; so does it happen when we touch the life of one person. When one life is touched because you took your time and effort to invest in them, they can then go on to invest in someone else. As we begin the glory of the domino effect there is no stopping it. As it doesn’t stop, neither does success. The earth shakes, the mountains move, and the people rise to heights that once seemed unimaginable.
I want to encourage you to be a connector – a domino. Connectors have the utmost power and influence. Being a connector enhances relationships, opens doors that appear to be locked, and gives you a high return on your investment.
BUILDING A NETWORK OF SUPPORTIVE RELATIONSHIPS
Often times when we think of networking, we cringe, slouch, and say, “Do I have to?” The thought of dressing to impress, being overly proper and polite, and faking a great mood, seems overwhelming and tiresome after an already long day. I get it! However, allow me to soften your heart, as mine has been softened towards networking.
Networking is not about impressing or pretending. Networking is about building relationships. We tend to make it feel worse than it is because our approach is all distorted. Allow me to ask you, “Have you ever been to a networking event, passed out and collected as many business cards as possible, returned home, looked at your stack of cards, and then never called a single one of them? Perhaps, you added them to your email list and moved on? Yes? Is this you?” I have seen this done a thousand and one times. If this is how networking works for you, then I agree – I’d rather stay home too!
When you learn to use networking as a tool for building relationships, you will begin to see and feel how magnificent and heart-warming the experience is designed to be. Take the time to meet your connections for coffee, in order to reach a place of understanding to who they are, and what their dreams are. Build the relationship. When you do you will see that your “net-works.”
BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS ON COMMON VALUES OR INTERESTS?
“To be valued, you must first value others.”
– Jeanne Porter
Have you ever stepped into a new friendship where in the beginning all was well, and then after a short time the friendship just seemed to have slipped away? If you are like me, then I am sure you have. Sadly, this happens more often than not. We can blame a busy schedule, but if we are honest, there is a bigger root cause to why this is happening.
Relationships are built when there is value in it for both parties. When one party feels the friendship has too little of value for their efforts, they tend to drift away, parting as acquaintances rather than friends. If a relationship doesn’t offer enough value, it is more than likely that an individual doesn’t feel valued; perhaps, they are putting in more effort than the other.
Feeling valued is what ties one person to another. How are we sure to add value to our relationships? Your answer is, to share common values. Values are important ideals that guide our priorities, and are core to organization. Values not only tie people together, but they also set visions and affect what we do as a community.
What is the best way to be sure you are making others feel valued? First, ask questions, really listen, and develop a mutual commitment. When we combine all 3 of these efforts, we ultimately show the other person that we are interested in them, and that we value them. One of the greatest advantages that I have found working with a community of women who support one another, is leveraging the many different disciplines, interests, and practices. Taking the time to build relationships based on common values and interests provides networking opportunities for whoever desires to be involved.
“Respect others and their values, as you build your relationship, on the common values shared.”
– Jeanne Porter
What Others Are Saying About Jeanne Porter and This Book
As Jeanne Porter writes about being a connector, she certainly practices what she preaches. Over the years, Jeanne has become the most enthusiastic connector of people in the Dayton, Ohio region. The moment she meets a new person, her mind starts racing about who she knows that could help this person, connect this person, befriend this person, or mentor this person. I can’t imagine the number of contacts she carries around in her phone every day! Jeanne goes above and beyond the common connector; she truly cares about building a network of supportive relationships. Making the contact is the easy part, teaching you how to develop meaningful, supportive relationships is the hard part, but Jeanne is committed to showing you how to do this one step at a time, and one relationship at a time.
Tina Rezash Rogal
Digital Marketing Manager, Cox Digital Marketing
In this wonderfully crafted book, Jeanne Porter brings together a symphony of many voices, and stories designed to teach and inspire the reader. The work itself aptly demonstrates the benefits of building relationships and collaboration; central themes discussed within. These are the same skills I’ve been privileged to watch Jeanne use over many years to build a successful women’s organization into a national program. Full of poignant ideas and valuable insights from successful and inspiring women, the information in this book describes how anyone can effectively build, develop, and maintain relationships with the proper “how to” knowledge. I’m pleased to give it my highest recommendation!
Professional Speaker & Consultant
President, Professional Speakers Guild
Past International Director, Toastmasters International
Jeanne Porter brings people, especially women, together like nobody I have ever witnessed. Not to my surprise, she is doing it again with this book. Jeanne’s desire to help others overcome their fears, and help them to develop the skills needed to succeed are astounding. In this book you will find the stories of accomplished women, along with their insights and counsel. If you have the need to build confidence, learn to eliminate fear, take your networking to the next level, or simply desire an inspiring and motivating read, then this is the perfect book for you.
General Manager WKEF-TV, WRGT-TV
Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc.
Jeanne Porter provides a roadmap on how to truly connect, invest in the lives of others, and build meaningful relationships. Written in an easy-to-read style, this book is filled with inspirational and heartfelt messages from successful women, who have embraced the power of relationships.
Jayne McDougall, Founding Partner
McDougall Marketing Communications
Jeanne Porter is a genius and now the world will learn from her! Jeanne has a natural ability (and deep rooted passion), to connect people together for a greater purpose. Her lively take on life and business is felt through this beautiful masterpiece. This book is encouraging generations of women to help one another in transit to the top. Jeanne is the Oprah of networking. When she speaks, I encourage you to listen.
CEO Rising Media LLC, Founder of Woman of Power Conference
Jeanne Porter’s success is undeniable! She has taken her vision for empowering and connecting women, and founded the Women in Business Network (WIBN), where she currently serves as its director. Jeanne’s passion and enthusiasm for connecting women, and helping them realize their dreams shines through in this book. The treasures you will find in this book are Jeanne’s powerful and helpful insights, along with demonstrations of the benefits of relationships; written by 21 inspiring women. Success: Powered by Relationships, leverages both the personal and professional experiences of these amazing women to communicate the link between genuine relationships, and success. This book is full of honest heartfelt experience and practical counsel, that helps the reader better understand how they can grow their success by focusing on the power of relationships.
With a heart to help others in their endeavors and determination geared for success, Jeanne Porter is a woman of great wisdom. In this book Jeanne shares not only her wisdom, but the wisdom of the leading successful women in her network. This book is a great source of wisdom, combined with inspiration to all who desire to be successful in business relationships. From the day I met Jeanne and became a part of WiBN, I knew that Jeanne’s love for people would lead to her success, and create stories that would help others believe in their own capabilities in order to create their own success. There are many stories and lessons within these pages that, when you apply, will leave you being as successful as you dream of being. The knowledge and wisdom found in this book pleases me greatly, and has helped me tremendously in my own success – I know it will help you also.
Ruth Ann Pinnick
Daria Dillard Stone
Diane M. Wiater
Mary R. Miller
Jeanne Porter is an architect, with a special knack for connecting the dots of humanity. She is an expert at “reading”, not mundane words on a page, but the intricate etchings that build and balance each personality she greets. That’s what makes her an artisan of relationship building. She identifies strengths that you may not know you have, but after you are absorbed in her leadership, you rise to your potential. You become molded to what you never thought you could be, and your life has changed.
We all can detail someone in our lives who has been at some level, a mentor. However, it is rare to meet, and know someone like Jeanne, who shares the same amount of herself, not for reward or attention, but because she understands the importance of strengthening – by adding ingredients to an already existing recipe that might need extra a’ la Porter.
It is evident in each of these contributions, that Jeanne has had tremendous influence on the contributing writers. She could have simply written a book herself about herself, but again, she proves her life’s mission is to create larger connections among people. Jeanne’s purpose is to show us to not doubt we are all capable of doing great things, but we need each other to get there, and getting that encouragement is paramount.
This book teaches us, without connections, we can all get pulled into an abyss of doing too much and getting nothing done. We also learn, creating a web of camaraderie, gives us the knowledge that leads to successfully building the blocks of strong relationships. Chapter by chapter, each writer tells us how and what she has learned from a dynamic leader, and the lessons that bear witness to success.
The air was thick, the temperatures were endlessly increasing, right along with my insecurities the day I nervously walked outside of the walls that I have always known – the life of a stay-at-home mom. As you will read about me here shortly, I have become the woman who I once admired. A woman of poise, generosity, and success.
It was 1983 in Phoenix, Arizona, when I found myself walking inside the Biltmore Hotel for a woman’s conference. My skin felt foreign to me, as awkwardness consumed me. With my chin held high, back straight, and shoulders back, I prayed that confidence is all the other women would see. I desperately wanted to avoid appearing as though I felt. As I entered the room, I was surrounded by “those” women; you know…the confident, secure, and determined type – dressed to impress, perfect hair, perfect make-up, and perfect poise. The type that makes a “newby” to the business world want to retreat.
It wasn’t long until I found myself captivated by the ambiance of the keynote speaker – Rita Davenport. She was no comparison to average speakers we often learn from – she was different. When Rita spoke she radiated a warm, but whimsical southern charm. It was with this, she was easily capable of pulling every woman into her message. Although, this many years later, I can’t remember the exact message, I will never forget the light-heartedness and warmth of it. As I watched, listened, and learned from Rita that day, I remember sitting there saying to myself, “I want to be just like her someday.” – Rita Davenport
As the conference began to disperse, I found my way to Rita, in order to express my gratitude for how she had touched my heart through her powerful message. Little did I know, this encounter would be the beginning to one of the greatest mentorships. One that would turn into a relationship to never be forgotten – a relationship that would shape me, grow me, and impact my life for success. Rita believed in people – she believed in me. She had a way of encouraging and empowering women to become who they were destined to be. Truth be told (until she reads this book), she probably doesn’t even realize the influence and impact she has had on my life.
“Success is not measured by the size of your bank account; rather it’s measured by the lives you impact.”
– Jeanne Porter
Although my mentorship began with Rita, it surely didn’t end with her. Because I understand the power of being teachable, I understand the need for mentorship. Mentoring someone goes beyond monetary success. I personally know people whose bank accounts may appear small, but their success remains large. Their success is measured by the significant life they lead. To be significant is to impact a life to such great extent, that one is able to overcome in order to become who they desire to be, because of your investment in their life. It means to elevate, encourage, and inspire one to be the best they can be – to be the person they were destined to be, with all insecurities set aside. It was those who took the time to be significant in my life, who left an impression on my heart, which would last all the years of my life. Significance goes beyond just teaching someone; it trickles into the heart of relationships.
As I am now blessed to be a mentor to others, there is nothing more rewarding to me, than promoting and contributing to other people’s dreams. I have watched many small business owners and entrepreneurs with great passion for their dream – passion that illuminates energy and excitement. For me to have the chance to empower this passion brings me the utmost joy and satisfaction. I encourage you to watch closely when you listen to someone who is expressing their passion to you. As you pay close attention, you will witness their eyes sparkle like a polished diamond, and their face light up like the sun on the brightest day. Passion is what will drive you to success. It brings out the best in us, whether it is something in our own lives, or helping someone else in life.
We can all find success in encouraging and elevating others. For the person who is taking that leap of faith, to step out into their journey of fulfilling their dreams – bringing their passion to life – more times than not, all they need is just one person to believe in them. Perhaps, you are that one person they are desperately seeking. Perhaps, you are the nudge they need, in order to take them to places they never thought they could go.
Through my journey I am learning:
- When you help others achieve what they desire, you will achieve your inner most desires.
- Those who often use the words “Me”, “My”, and “I” rarely reach their desired level of success.
- The key to building trust is being honest.
- When you’re willing to forego your own interests to help someone else, they know you are reliable.
- Relationships are your key to unlock the door to your success.
- The more allies you possess, the higher in success you will rise.
- Man, nor woman, was never meant to walk alone.
- Every person has an invisible sign around their neck that reads, “I want to feel important.”
- Everyone has something to offer this world, and it’s our responsibility to help them see it.
- Everyone is longing to hear the words, “I believe in you.”
- It is our responsibility to help others realize they are capable of more than they allow their minds to believe.
- When we place limitations on ourselves we get frustrated, lose belief in ourselves, and quit.
- It is important to believe that what we possess inside is all we need to step into greatness.
- All one must do to reach success is: Focus, Believe, and Take Action.
PART I: SUCCESS AS A RESULT OF BUILDING MEANINGFUL RELATIONSHIPS
Chain Reacted Relationships
Recipes for Relationships
Coffee Shop Relationships
Part II: MEET THE NEEDS OF OTHERS AND WATCH YOUR NEEDS BE MET
The Art of Meeting Needs
PART III: THE DOMINO EFFECT – BEING A CONNECTOR
50 Cups of Coffee
Rev-Up Your Relationships
Wearing the Right Relationship
The Power of 5
PART IV: BUILDING A NETWORK OF SUPPORTIVE RELATIONSHIPS
Relationships without Expectations
How to Build Successful Relationships 16 Simple Lessons
PART V: BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS ON COMMON VALUES OR INTERESTS?
Loved, Valued, and Powerful
Intentional Relationship Building