I married into a family full of great advice.
My father-in-law, the Honorable Steven W. Fisher, didn’t have an entrepreneurial bone in his body. He was conservative and cautious — not a risk taker by any means, and he was a Judge, not a businessperson. Yet one thing he knew was people and relationships — and he gave me the most important advice I’ve ever received – advice that has deeply impacted my businesses and my life. PopPop, as we knew him in the family, told me early on in our relationship, four words which continue to resonate with me many years later:
Show your friendship first.
PopPop taught me this essential business paradox: when you want something from someone, give them something instead, with no strings attached or expectations. Ask how you can be of service. Act like a true friend, even before you’ve established a friendship. Are you guaranteed to be able to leverage this later? Absolutely not. But that’s not the point – the point is that when you act unselfishly – when you behave as you would to a great friend – trustworthy and trusting, respectful and kind – then more often than not, good things will come in the relationship. [read]