The Power of Relationships – Hard Work is Not Enough

This interview clip featuring Vice-Chair and MD at Morgan Stanley, Carla Harris, which highlights the power of relationships is so powerful that I want everyone to watch and share it.

I have reiterated this message during any private consultations or seminar sessions that I facilitate on personal branding and networking. In the PR industry, relationships are key and can make or break a brand or even an individual’s career journeys. I encourage clients and contacts to understand that the same principles which apply to business brands can often apply to individual brands, not just entrepreneurs but professionals too. For too long we have worked under the narrative that hard work is enough, particularly as Carla mentions, within Black communities. The idea that hard work will get us to where we want to get to is not entirely true and we can see that when we look at who often holds the keys to power in society and we look at structures like “The Old Boys’s Network”.  It is undeniable that hard work leads us to the the standard doors of opportunity but the rules of the game of life are not simply based on how many qualifications we have or (unfortunately) how hard working we are. Hard work can get us to the door but it won’t always open up the door or even get us through that door. We need to build and maintain the right relationships – recognise who you are, identify what you want and use who you really are to build relationships that will get you to where you want to go in life. By building the right relationships, for the right reasons and by maintaining authentic, intentional and purposeful communication within those relationships you can go so much further. The energy flow within those relationships should be genuine; give as much as you receive, don’t become a taker or user, build trust and a clearly defined reputation. Build relationships that add value to all involved, relationships that enrich spaces not as a means to stroke egos stand the test of time.  By all means continue to work hard but remember that relationships will work just as hard to get you to where you want to get to. Watch Carla Harris’ full interview here.

The “How To Build Your Personal Brand” Seminar

On the 28th June 2018 I hosted a high impact seminar at the AFFORD Business Club.  I provided delegates with the  strategic insight into how they can boost their personal brands in order to raise their corporate visibility and business credibility. Delegates learnt how to make more of an impact within their sectors and how to use PR tactics to raise their personal brands effectively, develop effective relationships and build a community of personal brand ambassadors who will champion them throughout their career or business journeys.

Key takeaways from the session:

  • The Power of A Personal brand – how having a strong personal brand can make an impact on your overall marketing strategy and open up new opportunities in your business or career journey.
  • Using PR to enhance your profile – Using public relations strategies to enhance your public profile.
  • Identifying your values & Knowing your purpose – Understanding what your brand is and how you can maintain your integrity and authenticity.
  • Social Media strategy – How to use social media platforms to raise your visibility.
  • Public Speaking Tips – Advice and guidance on becoming a more confident public speaker.
  • Measuring Success – Assessing Long term goals and celebrating success.

How To Build Your Personal Brand

Use hashtag #AriatuPRPersonalBrand

About The AFFORD Business Club

AFFORD Business club will support African diaspora entrepreneurs by providing business development support to entrepreneurs who seek to develop or launch their businesses in Africa.

If you are an African Diaspora entrepreneur then the AFFORD Business club is an ideal space to network, and get support for your business, in the diaspora, and in Africa.

We provide business development support and services to innovative, fast-growing diaspora SMEs to ensure they can – deliver their core business; produce socially-responsible products and services; and create well-paid, and sustainable jobs to contribute to Africa’s wealth and prosperity. For more information and to become a member:

How To Network Confidently and Effectively at Events

Networking is a great way to raise your business profile and get new clients or build relationships in your professional career. You have to remember that although your skills get your through the door, hard work is not enough to grow your brand you have to build relationships. Here are a few tips on how to work a room and network effectively:

  • If you don’t know where to start then I would recommend that you undertake some research into different types of events that would suit you. Start small and work your way up to bigger events.
  • Traditionally some people may think that networking is going to an event with lots of people, talking AT each other and exchanging cards but this approach rarely works and is probably why so many people struggle with it. There are so many different types of business events that you can network at which can make an impact on your business.
  • Be interested as well as interesting – ask questions that lead to meaningful conversations not just sales conversions.
  • It is a brand and relationship building exercise, by building strong relationships you can enhance your brand recognition and open new doors of opportunity for yourself and others. Make sure you go with the intention to keep in touch with those your connect with, which also means that you do not have to collect every single business card in the room – focus on quality over quantity.
  • One thing that you will need is confidence, even if you are nervous about attending an event for the first time if you can build your confidence you can overcome those nerves and make the most out of your networking experience.
  • Dress comfortably and appropriately for the event that you are attending but stand out – you don’t have to wear a ball gown or 3 piece suit to stand out but you can add your own touch of authenticity to an outfit. The more comfortable you are with your appearance the more confident you will be.

In this video I provide you with some straightforward steps that you can use to network effectively at business events.


What have been your networking experiences? Leave a comment below after you have watched this video if you have any questions on how networking can raise your business profile.