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Treat Every Business Like a People Business

Posted on August 24, 2022 by James Harold Webb
Treat Every Business Like a People Business

Treat Every Business Like a People Business

When someone asks me what I have learned in all the experiences that I’ve had in business, I’ve realized it ultimately comes down to people and relationships. Valuable to both business and life is what I have learned about the importance of relationships. In business, relationships are more important than capital, ideas, infrastructure, or profitability. Relationships have unlocked opportunity after opportunity in my career. They have helped me to capitalize on those opportunities and to survive bad situations.

Strong relationships with banks have gotten me loans when I probably didn’t qualify for them. Relationships with mentors and customers have helped me to overcome temporary shortfalls. Relationships with partners and competitors have allowed me to take risks. In addition, relationships have helped me try new things and view strategy through a different lens. Relationships with employers and employees have multiplied my output. Moreover, they have brought meaning to my work. In life, relationships are the reason for working. Family, friends, communities—without these, life would be hollow and empty.

These Relationships ARE Your Business

Business is really about people interacting with one another. This is in the hope of bringing value to themselves and one another. When we remember what business is fundamentally about – people – then it will be easier to recognize where our efforts need to be directed. This even includes being faced with mounting tasks related to budgets, sales, inventory, marketing, etc.

The relationships we build with our people will require effort. However, it is the greatest investment we can make. They are accounts that need deposits, not just withdrawals, and gardens that need tending. Over the years, I’ve learned I need to be humble enough to understand that you need these relationships to succeed. Additionally, you also need to be successful in developing relationships that keep you humble.

Some of the smartest, most naturally talented people I have ever met have achieved a fraction of the success I have seen. That is because they think they can and should do things on their own. That’s not the way the world works. It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in or what kind of family life you aspire to. Every business is a people business and every family is a community.

Treat All Relationships with the Greatest Respect

Each and every interaction and relationship you have with individuals is an opportunity to grow and become a better person. Treat them all with the greatest level of respect. You may find yourself in a unique position as a CEO or as a parent having more responsibility than other members of your community. However, that does not make you more important. In fact, in some of those relationships where the power dynamic is seemingly unbalanced, those are times where you can often learn a lot from one another.

Relationships have always been the most critical thing to me. The good ones have strengthened me and enriched my life. Of course, there will always be ones that you are happy to leave in the rearview mirror. Some go bad, leaving wounds that hurt and can be hard to recover from. However, I’ve found healing those wounds stand out as some of my greatest successes throughout my life and career. Just remember, our businesses are built on people and relationships – not widgets and bottom lines.


In my book, I share with you fundamental principles that have helped me triumph personally and professionally. You’ll learn about amazing wins and devastating losses, about sin and redemption, recovery, and forward momentum that can help you spur your own growth, profitability, and success. Attain your own copy of Redneck Resilience: A Country Boy’s Journey to Prosperity today!