Relationships and Opportunities
In this issue, Dana Benner’s “Pioneer Penny-pinching” (pg. 22) triggered my idea for this note. His article discusses various ways to save money by thinking outside of the box, saving scraps and bartering, which is trading your services or goods for someone else’s services or goods. Benner’s ideas are great, no question.
I’d like to expand on his list. If you treat people well and go out of your way to help them, relationships form. When relationships form, opportunities just sort of happen.
Most of the opportunities I’ve experienced through relationships are hunting related. For example, I’ve traded archery equipment I no longer use to a landowner for permission to hunt deer on his family’s cattle ranch. Likewise, years ago, I gained permission to hunt another large property by helping the landowners create food plots and manage the land. My father, who sells recreational real estate, has more than once gained permission for me and my siblings to hunt property by treating clients as friends rather than just customers. The list of hunting opportunities could go on.
On another occasion, while my wife and I were camping in Idaho with two of my relatives, we met another group camped across the meadow. They’d been camping and hunting in the area for approximately 30 years. The group consisted of a husband and wife and their longtime friend. They were incredibly kind to us, and we to them. A relationship formed, and one of my relatives cooked a meal for them one evening.
That group then offered to help us out any way they could. So, when the fridge in our camper quit working, their offer came in handy. The couple’s friend is an electrician and he’d brought along some basic tools. He inspected our fridge’s electrical workings and soon determined the computer board ignitor wasn’t working. He diagnosed it for free, which saved us a pile of money.
That same group gave us tomatoes and zucchini, and helped us pump and filter pond water into our camper’s fresh holding tank—we were dry camping without water or electrical hookups—saving us trips to town. My wife baked them a pan of brownies to express our gratitude. If we hadn’t taken time to build that friendship, our minor problems would’ve been major.
Now, getting something in return shouldn’t be your central motive for establishing friendships. We coexist on this planet, and life is miserable for those who live by the mentality that everyone should keep to themselves. When a problem occurs, they must enlist professional services, which often gets expensive, rather than call a friend.
Invest some effort into creating real and meaningful relationships. Treat people well, and when you need a helping hand, someone will be there for you.