When you have an idea that you’re passionate about, you are likely inspired to figure out ways to make it happen…and fast. Whether that requires a brainstorming session, a sales pitch, or a capital investment, establishing and maintaining strong relationships with other people can help you clarify and solidify your idea. You’ll need other people to support and help you move your idea along to implementation.

Much like traditional wedding vows, the concept of being there “in good times and in bad” can also apply to close personal and business relationships. When you develop connections with people during your good times, it is more likely that these same people will be there for you when tough times arise. Or, in this case, when you need a trusted supporter to help your idea succeed.

To build and sustain these positive connections in your own life, try these strategies:

• Make the time to cultivate relationships. Time is a precious commodity you must use wisely. While we all have different priorities – careers, hobbies, children, and parents – time for building and sustaining relationships is well invested. For variety’s sake, try different activities or settings with each individual or group:

1. Volunteer together. When you give your personal time to others in need, and you do it together with someone you like and respect, you form a unique bond built around selflessness and compassion. If you have never volunteered before, a partnered approach can make it a more comfortable experience.

2. Schedule reunion vacations or short trips to reconnect at long distances. When you live far away, it is easy to think you will “get around to it.” The truth is, the longer you wait the more distance you feel between each of you. Meeting up in person gives your relationships new energy, and helps sustain them during the days when you can’t be together.

3. Meet for lunch or after work. Even if you don’t have several hours to dedicate to activities, plan a lunch or after work get together. You may not get to cover everything you want or need, but you will show others that you care about the relationships you have with them.

4. Maintain regular telephone, e-mail or mail correspondence. Sometimes getting together in person just isn’t possible when schedules or lifestyles don’t easily align. Pick up the phone and call them every once in a while. Select a date and time to meet each other, in advance, if it’s the only way to make the connection work. Or, send an e-mail or real letter via snail mail.

5. Spend time alone, together. Whether it’s “date night” with your partner or spouse, or just those of you who are actual friends, schedule time on your calendar for these special people and focus just on them.

• Network professionally. While networking events are typical venues for meeting new potential client, they can also help you establish valuable professional relationships. When you have people in your database whom you trust and respect, you can bounce ideas off of and seek advice from them when you have an idea that needs outside influence and others’ perspectives.

• Organize impromptu group forums with friends, family and business colleagues. People who are comfortable with and build trust in each other are more open and honest when they communicate…exactly what you need when trying to develop, grow and launch an idea. Consider group breaks, lunches, contests, team building events, sports teams or other activities that build camaraderie.

Now that you know how to establish and maintain strong relationships, start dedicating time to each individual or group whom you value in life. Even if you don’t have an idea to pursue right now, your relationship-building efforts will prove a worthwhile investment when you need that winning piece of advice, guidance, or support.

Author's Bio: 

Sylvia Henderson is Chief Everything Officer (CEO) of Springboard Training—your springboard to personal and professional development. She is an author, workshop facilitator, speaker, and business woman. She provides people, tools and resources that focus on professionalism and work ethics (employability skills) and leadership...helping people & organizations show they are as great as they say they are.