Relationships are living, breathing things. Feed, nurture, and care about them: they grow. Neglect them: they die. This goes for any type of relationship on any level of intimacy. The best way to strengthen a relationship is to jump-start the long-term process of give-and-take. Do something for another person. Help him or her. But how?
Here’s a good example. When Jack Dorsey was cofounding Square – the mobile payments company that turns any smartphone into a device that accepts the swipe of a credit card – he had loads of investor interest. For killer entrepreneurs with a killer idea, it’s actually the investors who compete for the privilege to invest. Digg and Milk founder Kevin Rose had seen a prototype of the Square device and immediately realized the potential for small businesses. When he asked Jack if there was room for another person to join the initial round of funding, Jack told him it was full – they didn’t need more investors. That was that. But Kevin still wanted to be helpful. He noticed that Square didn’t have a video demo on their website showing how the device worked. So he put together a hi-def video showing off the device and then showed the video to Jack just as an fyi. Impressed, Jack turned around and invited Kevin to invest in the “full” Series A round of financing. Kevin found a way to add value. He didn’t ask for anything in return – he just made the video and showed it to Jack. No strings attached. Not surprisingly, Jack appreciated the effort and returned the favor.