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The Key to Business Success
The foundation of all relationships is trust. It is is a priceless asset that can’t be bought or sold.

What do all businesses need to survive?

Trust generates the most effective and cheapest marketing campaigns that exist.

They all require relationships. Business only takes place when you have healthy relationships with your staff, suppliers, investors and customers.

Without good relationships you quickly become unemployed.

What is the key to successful relationships?

The foundation of all successful relationships is trust. Without trust there is no relationship. Trust keeps employees returning to work each day. Trust allows your suppliers to ship without prepayment. Trust is what convinces a customer to part with his money in return for your product. There is no loyalty without trust. Without loyalty there is no business.

So how do we grow and develop trust?

Trust can’t be bought or taught, it has to be lived and earned. Trust requires action. It is a gift that one person offers to another. Trust is never automatic or based on words. It is an outcome of experience.

Trust starts with honesty. Honesty has to be a core value that supervises and guides every decision you make. Honesty requires action with integrity or it’s just meaningless talk. Values alone don’t win trust, they must be combined with action.

When you are trusted, people will want to work for you, ship to you and buy from you. They will tell others about how great you are and your business will increase. Trust generates the most effective and cheapest marketing campaigns that exist.

In Dan Sullivan’s book, How the Best Get Better, he lists four habits that demonstrate why you can be trusted. Once mastered, these habits lead to enthusiastic loyalty from everyone you are in relationship with.

The four habits are:

  • Show up on time
  • Do what you say you will do
  • Finish what you start
  • Say please and thank you

These should seem like common sense but we all know people who don’t bother with these habits. Do you trust those people? The reason these habits build trust is they each convey your attitude of respect and appreciation for others. When you practice these habits it indicates that relationships are important to you.

A trustworthy person will always succeed because of this formula — Honesty leads to trust which creates loyalty which releases success.

Trust is a priceless asset that can’t be bought or sold. It is easy to spot and is highly rewarded. It should be the goal of everyone in business to be trustworthy.

Christians have a clear advantage in this area. If we are committed followers of Jesus then honesty just comes naturally as we allow the nature of Jesus to flow through us to others. Knowing that we are never alone and that every thought and decision is being watched by God is another incentive to be honest at all times. Honesty and integrity in business will always earn trust and will eventually lead to success.

When you are trustworthy it will increase the likelihood that you will be treated the same way. But it doesn’t guarantee it. No relationship is ever perfect and it’s the same way in business. So how do you handle a situation where you are losing trust in an important relationship?

The key to this unpleasant situation is to always remain open, transparent, honest and trustworthy. These should be your core values that nothing can shake. You will need to gently confront the other party with your concerns. Your honesty and integrity will be disarming to them.

The best outcome is that they will be honest with you so trust and relationship can be restored. If they continue to evade your questions then trust has been broken and you will not be able to continue in the same relationship.

God is interested in your business and your relationships. He is wanting to flow the character of Jesus through you which will radiate honesty, integrity and trustworthiness. These qualities will transform your relationships and attract staff, suppliers, investors and customers.

Will you let Jesus work through you and give you the key to business success?

Dr. Grant Mullen is a mental health physician, author, international seminar leader and consultant who writes and teaches how emotional well being determines success in life and business. For more information and resources including his book The Breakthrough Solution, Release the Potential in People, visit

Originally published in Business.Life Magazine, Fall 2008.




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