Network Marketing Success Blog with Michael Clouse

Building Relationships

It’s early Tuesday morning, and I haven’t finished sleeping. Daylight streams in through the unfamiliar window above as I try to ignore its subtle power, but I am losing the battle. Caught up in a world not all that far removed from my own, I lie half awake anticipating the day in a back basement bedroom so warm and comfortable my body is unwilling to move.

We are to depart Kelowna at 8:00AM, a picture postcard town located somewhere along the 50th parallel in the heart of the Canadian Okanagan Valley. Long drive ahead of us. Have been told we are to travel by car over roads mostly of asphalt, sometimes gravel, and the occasional “you-have-got-to-be-kidding-me” dirt stretch destined to add a new rattle or two to even the most well-crafted vehicle.

Our final destination on this Network Marketing business trip is Fort St. John, B.C., Canada. Thirteen hundred kilometers, and 15 hours due north into an area of wilderness the locals affectionately call “The Bush.” With bags packed for our five-day excursion stacked neatly throughout the van, a full tank of gas, and Amanda Marshall’s, Let it Rain playing softly on the CD player, the journey, and our conversation begins…

We speak of philosophy, of life, and of its purpose. Cover the books one must read, movies worth a second look, and review in detail the numerous worldwide destinations we should include along the way. Minute after minute. Hour followed by still endless hour, we have a chance to do what so few in this world seem able to do—really connect as people. To engage in endless dialogue, and by choice learn everything we possibly can about another human being.

If it’s true that the three most important things you will ever leave to your children are your photographs, your personal journals, and your library, what then is your most prized possession while you are living? Complex question, perhaps, but with a simple answer—because nothing can be more valuable than your relationships.

Gazing out the passenger window a few hours into the day, our words come to an abrupt end. Stunned, we watch in amazement as six bald eagles perched upon the mighty limbs of an old cottonwood tree majestically survey the bend in the river below. I’ve never witnessed such a sight. The beauty that surrounds us is breathtaking. Our conversation continues…

If you really want to know someone, you must uncover his or her core values. Asking simple questions like, “What is most important to you in life?” Followed by the obvious, “What is important to you about that?” And the all-important clarifying question, “How will you know when you have it?”

Getting to know people for who they are is what we should do best. Sadly, as entrepreneurs we rarely develop our relationship skills as carefully as needed for that. As business leaders, it’s time we start understanding this fundamental point. As the chain breaks at its weakest link, so, too, your enterprise will rust and decay wherever it is least attended.

Therefore, we must make time, and really get to know those in our lives for who they are, and for the individuals they wish to become. This is good for business. This is good for life.

Along our journey we wait for a herd of elk to cross the road before continuing; almost hit a bear…we count deer, a coyote, and one red-tailed fox. The Bush, and our lives, are amazing places—a collection of experiences, and their intensity.

And while some may selectively choose to recall only the rain, unpaved roads, and the Fort St. John mud, we prefer a pizza parlor in Jasper, photographing a lake in the warm afternoon sunshine, and over thirty hours of endless conversation—building a relationship that will last a lifetime.

Perhaps the best advice anyone ever gave is, “The next time you decide to develop a leader, begin your journey by becoming a friend.”

All the best,



Posted in Articles by Michael S. Clouse on April 27, 2014 by admin.

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