In one of the Pirates of Carribean movies, one character who runs the East India Trading Company reminds another character that the primary currency of the new world is no longer loyalty. He explains that “…currency is the new currency.” Even though the film is set in pre-colonial times, it comes as no surprise to us; money is indeed the fuel on which all businesses run – even at that time in history.
We have all likely experienced the need of cash flow and funneling of cash into business initiatives. We may also have experienced the limitations of cash flow; whether we cannot expand our business, pay our present bills or, perhaps, even struggle to make payroll. Regardless of the reason, we know the importance of currency in the business.
While capital is absolutely crucial, we should consider OTHER forms of currency that are incredibly valuable:
Our time is something that we ought to treat as a critical resource – after all, it’s the one resource that we can’t get more of! We have no more time in a day than anyone else. We can’t squeeze more time into a schedule, no matter how hard we try. How we spend our time is significant and with whom we spend it is equally important. Think through how your time is allocated and to whom it’s promised. Do you value the time that other people have committed to you? Perhaps you have a customer who is disrespectful of YOUR time? How long can you afford to allow them to monopolize or take advantage of your time?
What are we focused on in our limited time? It’s probably a good idea to ask ourselves if we give 100% of our attention to the project, tasks, people, or concern that is in front of us. Maybe we are easily distracted by other duties or concerns. Can we place our phone out of view during a meeting and resist the urge to check messages? What are we really dedicating our attention towards and how can we give that attention to the proper people? Think about it this way — when someone is giving an answer to your questions, are you listening to their answer and trying hard to understand? Or have you already jumped ahead with the rebuttal and refutation of their claim? We may often not be listening and giving proper attention because we’re totally focused on our response first, rather than granting our total attention to the person we’re working with.
In a Referral Network like Two Twelve, we’re striving to promote and refer our fellow team members for business opportunities. Some of our more valuable components as members are the ethical guidelines that we accept and background checks that we must pass. But in spite of these, we’re all human. We probably make a mistake or two and, when we do, we must be willing to take responsibility for our mistakes and own them. When we drop a referral or fail to call, we need to be honest with our teammates and admit that we made an error. If we didn’t serve someone well or do our best, or failed to provide our highest levels of service, we must own our actions. By honestly atoning for our mistakes, we honor our commitments and prove our responsibility to our team.
From time to time, we may become disappointed in our teammates. Maybe there’s a relationship that we felt would produce more referrals and it’s not being helpful. We may immediately jump to conclusions about our teammate’s performance (or lack of). If we have done a proper job of building relationships with our teams, then this becomes a simple matter of trust. Rather than presuming other’s intentions and judging their execution, perhaps we ought to ask them how we can help. If we have trust in our teams, then we can have those challenging conversations. If our foundation is built on trust, that conversation is much easier.
There is little doubt that Gratitude is the cornerstone of the Two Twelve Referral Network. In all things, we strive to be grateful for our colleagues, opportunities, and business success. While we should all experience the adage that “…what gets rewarded gets repeated..”, we really can do much more. Our gratitude is something that (unlike time) we can absolutely mint again and again. There’s no credit limit, no balance, and no regulation on our gratitude. You can spend all the gratitude you have and, in a blink, spend twice that amount again. The art in gratitude is in the expression. Whether in words, deeds, gifts, or other non-tangible ways, we must practice the art of expressing our gratitude with credibility and sincerity.
Currency may very well drive our businesses and be the fuel for our economy. We cannot function without money. But if we practice and perfect our habits of time, attention, responsibility, trust, and gratitude, we’ll quickly find that money is not something we lack. We’ll always have what our business needs and, more importantly, the relationships that allow our businesses to thrive.