I talk a lot about how having authentic and meaningful relationships helps you to prosper. When people deeply care about you, they will go out of their way to support you, love you and care for you -- and not only for you, but also for your business, career and family. The more real, raw, one-to-one relationships you have, the better the chances are that you will be successful in almost any area of your life.
For the first 15 years of growing my school, I didn't spend a dime on advertisement. It was all word of mouth. I knew every family's stories and they knew mine. We hugged a lot! We had very real and honest relationships, and they referred their friends and family to my school. They trusted me. They knew me. And I trusted them and referred to many of their businesses. Prosperity through relationships! But the power of prosperity through relationships was made even clearer to me when my engagement ring was stolen.
Three years ago, my fiancé moved into my home. The movers arrived earlier than I expected and I rushed from the shower, leaving my engagement ring on the soap dish in the bathroom. Movers were all over my house, bringing boxes in, setting up beds, scrambling about moving furniture. After all my fiancé's belongings had found a place in our home and the movers departed, I realized that my engagement ring was not on my finger. I panicked, sprinting to the soap dish where I had left it. It was not there. It was not insured. In utter fear, coupled with intense nausea, I searched everywhere including the sink drain. The ring was simply gone. I felt crippling anxiety and hatred. Somebody had stolen not just my engagement ring, but something much more. It had taken me over a decade to come to terms with marriage again. That ring symbolized personal growth and my new future. In one fleeting moment of greed, some monster stole my trust in the goodness of humanity, and I was pissed!
Immediately, I phoned and emailed one of the biggest and most well known moving companies in the country. I informed them (read -- yelled and screamed!) that I knew that one of the three movers who were in my house had stolen my ring. I called the cops and filed a report. Emails -- mine typed mostly in ALL CAPS -- flew back and forth for days. I sent pictures of my ring, an estimate of its worth (a lot!), and demanded that they investigate the movers and involve the police. They did, in fact, speak to all three movers and of course, each one denied any involvement. The police report was inconclusive. It was my word against theirs. The moving company had no obligation to pay me because there was no evidence that their employees had taken it. I was devastated, questioning the very fabric of human behavior. I thought this was the end of The Ring Tragedy. But I was wrong.
I received an email from the owner of this huge moving company. He said that there was no evidence against his employees, so his insurance would not pay for the ring. Still, he felt that my story was very likely accurate. I was floored! Why was he saying this? He went on to say that he would personally pay for the replacement of my custom-designed engagement ring. What? There had to be a hook. There was. He wanted to personally deliver the check to my home, in the evening, face to face. Creepy a little? I thought so, but when the owner of one the largest moving companies says he wants to hand-deliver a very large check... would you say no?
When the owner showed, I invited him in. He took a seat, and I could see he was holding an envelope, but I could also see that he wanted to talk.
Michelle, you probably don't remember me -- it's been over 12 years -- but I am the father of (insert any name you want, I can't share her name), and you changed the course of my daughter's life. Because of you, your loving teachers and your personal relationship with her, she went from not believing in herself, feeling depressed and anxious, to finding herself and her confidence. She graduated college and has a very successful career. If it weren't for your relationship with her, I don't know what would have happened to her. Thank you.
He handed me the envelope. And then it hit me who he was. The name of the moving company was his last name. I remembered him and his daughter.
In the end, I was given back not only my ring, but something even more valuable -- my trust in the inherent goodness of people. My certainty that, when there is real love and connection, your peoples got your back!
Surely this experience is evidence of prosperity through relationships in action! Because of the relationship I had with this man's daughter, he made things right and paid for my engagement ring. I'm not claiming that you have to have changed someone's life or be some type of hero to have prosperity through relationships -- you just need to allow yourself to be authentic, open to building honest and caring relationships with the people in your personal and professional lives. Through one-to-one relationships you will find abundance, opportunity and prosperity, and your life will become richer in every sense of the word.