Photo of mosaic in NY subway station, taken by Joana Miranda

Usually Chris Guillebeau, the author of the Empire Building Kit, caps off each week in the EBK course by providing a look back over the high points of the week.  I’ve found that weekly marker to be very helpful; at the very least, I’m reminded of the passage of time and the need to keep up with the daily tasks he sets forth.  More importantly, since I’ve been taking notes throughout the course, the weekly reviews provide me with a convenient set of mini chapters – very handy when my business is not quite ready for one of the steps, but I know I’ll want to revisit it later.

Last week Chris broke with this tradition and went 9 days before he remembered that it was time for a weekly review.  Week 48 also finished (yesterday) without the usual recap.  So, in an effort to keep myself  on track, I’m still sticking to my weekly reviews here.

One of the interesting points brought up  in Week 47 was the important of knowing how to conduct a successful negotiation.  Too often, negotiations go bad because the opposing sides haven’t bothered to learn about each other.  Listening empathetically and trying to understand your opponent’s point of view is really the only way to move closer to a mutually satisfactory resolution.  This skill can be a make-or-break for your business, especially when it comes to dealing with your customers.

While I certainly haven’t mastered the art of negotiation, I have learned that most people operate from their own perspective and not from the desire to cause anyone else harm.   Anaïs Nin famously said…

We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.

Even this tiny shift in understanding will help you to soften your stance and ask for what you need in a respectful, and maybe even friendly way.

In Week 48, the importance of cultivating relationships in your business was brought home again.  Among the list of assets in any business, is its subscriber list. Chris believes, in fact, that a businesses’ subscriber list is actually its #1 most important asset .  The quality of your subscriber list is in the quality of your relationship and interactions with your subscribers.  Treat them as just names or a number and you’ll quickly lose them.  If you nurture these relationships, you’ll not only have a tried and true fan base, but probably a lot more good friends as well.

I couldn’t agree more!  (And for those of you who subscribe to my blog or to the Joana Miranda Studio newsletter, look for an announcement of a subscriber-only special sale in the upcoming week.)


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