Business Relationships: Trust

I was planning on writing about my “type” journey this week, but I woke up thinking about something else: relationships. I couldn’t shake the feeling that this was a much more pressing subject to write about. The more I explore LA and wonder how to “make it”, the more I keep coming back to this theme of relationships.

We’ve all heard the phrase, “It’s all about who you know.” Well, Yes and No. The longer I’m in this business and the more involved I get, I believe that is true, IF you quantify the word “know.” I used to hear this phrase and think just because someone knew of someone or had some connection (i.e. so-and-so’s nephew’s cousin’s dog needs and job and so they’ll give it to them) you had an “in.” However, I think this “know” goes deeper. It has a lot more to do with trust.
There’s a reason why directors often return to the same actors and crew, time and again. They’ve worked together, know how each other functions under pressure, and trust that future projects will have a similarly positive outcome. I have a friend who got a job because of his dad’s relationship with this production company. I’d wager to guess that the boss at the production company hired the son because he trusted that if the son was as dependable and hard working as his dad, hiring the son would be a smart choice. If the opposite were true, you can bet the son would still be looking for work. Good relationships build trust.
“Networking” has always kind of been a dirty word to me. It made me feel like I had to sell myself to people and put up with other people selling themselves to me, resulting in this superficial “network” of people using each other to get what they want. Yuck! However, as I look at the successful people(people who keep working) both in Seattle and LA, I’m beginning to see that these people have built a network of fellow artists who genuinely like each other and therefore like working together. No one keeps working with someone they absolutely hate and no one likes to be used, so how does this genuine relationship happen? Perhaps we need to reverse the scenario of networking I gave above. Instead of using people to get what we want, what if we found the people who want the same thing and work together to get there. Novel idea, right? (Not really, but I’m just discovering it myself.)  Everyone wants people around them who’ve got their back. So, take the first step and be that for the other person. And if they don’t reciprocate, then you know you can’t trust them and you move on to the next person. Pretty soon you’ll have a group (i.e. network) of people who’ve got your back and you’ve got theirs. What better way to tackle this business than with a team of people around you that you can trust?

I’m preachin’ to myself here. As an introvert, it’s much easier to sit at home and watch a movie. Then I wonder why no one asked me to work on a project. I need to take the first step and offer to help. “Treat others the way you want to be treated”, right? Every time I’ve put myself out there, something positive has come back my way. So, what are my goals this week?

  1. Putting myself out there.
  2. Finding those people who have common goals.
  3. Treating them the way I want to be treated.