Why savvy business people build relationship capital

Good relationship capital can change your business forever, explains Shark Tank investor Daymond John.

DAYMOND JOHN: Relationship capital. There's three phases, of course, to having power and giving power, and one of the most overlooked one is relationship capital. You know, there's a saying that it's 21 times easier to up-sell a current customer than it is to acquire a new one. Most people are trying to expand their portfolio and their brands by operating new businesses instead of digging into the relationships that they already have – 5, 10, 20 years. Because when you already have worked with somebody, whether it's a relationship as friends or your community or at the office or as an investment, the first transaction is usually the lowest. It is the ten transactions afterwards—not only the transaction you're having with the person, it's the fact that that person is probably another businessperson or has a relationship and they're out there networking, telling people about how good you are. And that's exactly where it is.

See, your reputation is like your skyline. You drive to the city, everybody can see it. And when you have developed these relationships and nurtured them you do more and more business because the people know your ethics or morals and how you handle situations. And when you don't nurture these things it slowly corrodes the foundation of who you are and you have to go out and acquire new relationships. And that's why the development and the nurturing of a relationship is more important than anybody else.

If you're on social media right and you have a good amount of people following you it's nice if they keep liking your comments and saying happy birthday and thank you. But if you're not liking them back and you're not actually going into their avatar and seeing who they are and making a comment here and there, sooner or later they're going to go away to somebody else who's doing that. You have to nurture these relationships. They are symbiotic no matter what level you're at and that's the importance of, after you've negotiated. now the real pot of gold is all those other transactions, all those other relationships, all those other references and networking things that they'll do for you and you'll do for them that you'll end up realizing have paid the best dividends.

You know one thing about shifting power and relationship capital is that I wish that I can tell you that you always have to be glossy and things of that nature. You have to be true to who you are—it's the reality. Because a lot of people want to be something different than they're not or be perceived as something they're not. You have to be extremely aware and a lot of us, because of society we think, 'Well, nobody's going to accept me because I'm this way.' And the reality is they will accept you. You have to just be honest with yourself. What are you doing this for? Can you put yourself in two to five words. I may joke but I'm serious: Old dirty bastard was an old dirty bastard and he delivered on that every single day. And when you start to try to be something you're not, it crumbles, it kills your authenticity when you shouldn't be afraid of who you are.

We've seen people often who are persecuted or various other things because they can't be who they are. And once they do become who they are their life opens up. So I want to make sure that I don't give you this lava lamp, really prissy, campfire, kumbaya thing where you need to think that you need to only be one way. Listen, if you're a coder and you come to my office to have an interview you better not be wearing a suit because I know that you're supposed to be in your pajamas three nights straight coding all the time. If you come to my house to be a construction worker to handle construction you better not be in a suit because I think that you're paying the people who are really wearing the knee pads and the dirty clothes with their wrenches. Be who you are and be authentic to it and that's one of the keys of Powershift.

  • Relationship capital is one of the most overlooked facets of doing good business, says investor and entrepreneur Daymond John.
  • Savvy entrepreneurs know that digging into the relationships that they've nurtured for 5, 10, or 20 years is what pays the best dividends. That doesn't happen passively. You must build your reputation and take great care to be authentic in your interactions, says John.
  • Relationship capital is symbiotic and becomes a network. When two parties genuinely look after each other over the long term, that goodwill spreads across both their networks and brings tens or hundreds of new transactions instead of just one initial deal.




    Photos: Courtesy of Let Grow
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    The surprise reason sleep-deprivation kills lies in the gut

    New research establishes an unexpected connection.

    Image source: Vaccaro et al, 2020/Harvard Medical School
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    • A study provides further confirmation that a prolonged lack of sleep can result in early mortality.
    • Surprisingly, the direct cause seems to be a buildup of Reactive Oxygen Species in the gut produced by sleeplessness.
    • When the buildup is neutralized, a normal lifespan is restored.

    We don't have to tell you what it feels like when you don't get enough sleep. A night or two of that can be miserable; long-term sleeplessness is out-and-out debilitating. Though we know from personal experience that we need sleep — our cognitive, metabolic, cardiovascular, and immune functioning depend on it — a lack of it does more than just make you feel like you want to die. It can actually kill you, according to study of rats published in 1989. But why?

    A new study answers that question, and in an unexpected way. It appears that the sleeplessness/death connection has nothing to do with the brain or nervous system as many have assumed — it happens in your gut. Equally amazing, the study's authors were able to reverse the ill effects with antioxidants.

    The study, from researchers at Harvard Medical School (HMS), is published in the journal Cell.

    An unexpected culprit

    The new research examines the mechanisms at play in sleep-deprived fruit flies and in mice — long-term sleep-deprivation experiments with humans are considered ethically iffy.

    What the scientists found is that death from sleep deprivation is always preceded by a buildup of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) in the gut. These are not, as their name implies, living organisms. ROS are reactive molecules that are part of the immune system's response to invading microbes, and recent research suggests they're paradoxically key players in normal cell signal transduction and cell cycling as well. However, having an excess of ROS leads to oxidative stress, which is linked to "macromolecular damage and is implicated in various disease states such as atherosclerosis, diabetes, cancer, neurodegeneration, and aging." To prevent this, cellular defenses typically maintain a balance between ROS production and removal.

    "We took an unbiased approach and searched throughout the body for indicators of damage from sleep deprivation," says senior study author Dragana Rogulja, admitting, "We were surprised to find it was the gut that plays a key role in causing death." The accumulation occurred in both sleep-deprived fruit flies and mice.

    "Even more surprising," Rogulja recalls, "we found that premature death could be prevented. Each morning, we would all gather around to look at the flies, with disbelief to be honest. What we saw is that every time we could neutralize ROS in the gut, we could rescue the flies." Fruit flies given any of 11 antioxidant compounds — including melatonin, lipoic acid and NAD — that neutralize ROS buildups remained active and lived a normal length of time in spite of sleep deprivation. (The researchers note that these antioxidants did not extend the lifespans of non-sleep deprived control subjects.)

    fly with thought bubble that says "What? I'm awake!"

    Image source: Tomasz Klejdysz/Shutterstock/Big Think

    The experiments

    The study's tests were managed by co-first authors Alexandra Vaccaro and Yosef Kaplan Dor, both research fellows at HMS.

    You may wonder how you compel a fruit fly to sleep, or for that matter, how you keep one awake. The researchers ascertained that fruit flies doze off in response to being shaken, and thus were the control subjects induced to snooze in their individual, warmed tubes. Each subject occupied its own 29 °C (84F) tube.

    For their sleepless cohort, fruit flies were genetically manipulated to express a heat-sensitive protein in specific neurons. These neurons are known to suppress sleep, and did so — the fruit flies' activity levels, or lack thereof, were tracked using infrared beams.

    Starting at Day 10 of sleep deprivation, fruit flies began dying, with all of them dead by Day 20. Control flies lived up to 40 days.

    The scientists sought out markers that would indicate cell damage in their sleepless subjects. They saw no difference in brain tissue and elsewhere between the well-rested and sleep-deprived fruit flies, with the exception of one fruit fly.

    However, in the guts of sleep-deprived fruit flies was a massive accumulation of ROS, which peaked around Day 10. Says Vaccaro, "We found that sleep-deprived flies were dying at the same pace, every time, and when we looked at markers of cell damage and death, the one tissue that really stood out was the gut." She adds, "I remember when we did the first experiment, you could immediately tell under the microscope that there was a striking difference. That almost never happens in lab research."

    The experiments were repeated with mice who were gently kept awake for five days. Again, ROS built up over time in their small and large intestines but nowhere else.

    As noted above, the administering of antioxidants alleviated the effect of the ROS buildup. In addition, flies that were modified to overproduce gut antioxidant enzymes were found to be immune to the damaging effects of sleep deprivation.

    The research leaves some important questions unanswered. Says Kaplan Dor, "We still don't know why sleep loss causes ROS accumulation in the gut, and why this is lethal." He hypothesizes, "Sleep deprivation could directly affect the gut, but the trigger may also originate in the brain. Similarly, death could be due to damage in the gut or because high levels of ROS have systemic effects, or some combination of these."

    The HMS researchers are now investigating the chemical pathways by which sleep-deprivation triggers the ROS buildup, and the means by which the ROS wreak cell havoc.

    "We need to understand the biology of how sleep deprivation damages the body so that we can find ways to prevent this harm," says Rogulja.

    Referring to the value of this study to humans, she notes,"So many of us are chronically sleep deprived. Even if we know staying up late every night is bad, we still do it. We believe we've identified a central issue that, when eliminated, allows for survival without sleep, at least in fruit flies."

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    Sartre and Wittgenstein realize they were mistaken. (Getty Images)
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    Sometimes philosophers are wrong and admitting that you could be wrong is a big part of being a real philosopher. While most philosophers make minor adjustments to their arguments to correct for mistakes, others make large shifts in their thinking. Here, we have four philosophers who went back on what they said earlier in often radical ways. 

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