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by Jason Whong

It's all about relationships

I've been working at Ambrosia for nearly 2 years, and if there's one thing I've learned, it's that relationships are the essence of business. This mindset is what governs what I do every day; by being friendly while I conduct business, I'm not only reflecting well on myself, but also on Ambrosia. The cool thing about this mindset is that it's an intangible skill; that is, it takes no effort to learn, and doesn't show up as something you did. Ultimately, it becomes who you are.

Consider the Ambrosia CD-ROM. While I am in charge of this project, there is absolutely no way I could have done it completely by myself, while fulfilling all of my other responsibilities. Including myself, four people were involved in the production of the CD, and three companies and a government entity are involved in its production and distribution.

Much of the artwork was done by Benjamin Costello, a freelance artist in Ithaca, NY. The frontend was created by Ben Spees, and the artwork for the CD itself was made with much help from Nancy Pennell, a graphic designer in our building. All of these people like me, and that's good for Ambrosia, because these people will probably work with me in the future, if such an opportunity arises.

But let's look at the other entities involved, with whom I must stay on good terms:

OptiMax likes me, not only because I am so friendly to them, but also because I refer 3 or 4 customers to them in a year. It's a great reciprocal relationship: I help their business grow, and they give me low pricing. This is a very good thing.

I don't interact with Pitney Bowes or Calumet very often, but they're both very critical players in the whole CD strategy. Ambrosia is dependent on Pitney Bowes for the ability to meter its mail instead of using stamps; this is an incredible time saver. We also need CD mailers from Calumet; we can't just go throwing CDs into the mail unprotected. If, at any time, we couldn't get postage, or didn't have mailers, the CD mailings would stop.

And what of the United States Postal Service? Consulting with business advisors there helps me make decisions about packaging, labeling, and the like, all of which help you get your CDs faster. While it is very easy to get angry at the postal service, it's much easier to play by their rules, and be friendly with them. And it's so much more fun!

If you're looking for a job, it is certainly good to bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to your employer. However, if you have none of these, you should look at adopting this mindset; companies are generally much more interested in friendly people who are willing to learn than they are in belligerent people who already know everything.

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