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How to Make Your Friends Love You (and Develop Business Skills at the Same Time)

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Anything related to matters of the mind

MTF

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I recently made a conscious decision to provide more value in my relationships and create fun social opportunities.

Instead of simply going together with friends to have something to eat, I organized a 3-hour kayak down a river. Instead of meeting with a friend to just hang out and talk, I got him excited about open water swimming and now we regularly swim in a lake where we get exercise, get close to nature, and spend time together in a cool way. Instead of just inviting friends over, my girlfriend and I invite friends to play board games (simple games like Monopoly are a lot of fun) and provide healthy snacks, or we go together to an escape room.

It made me think that providing fun experiences for your friends and family is like being an entrepreneur in your personal life. It's very similar to running a business, except you're not getting monetary compensation, but social rewards (few people take initiative so you're a valuable friend if you're the one who always comes up with cool ways to spend time together).

First, you need to understand your target audience and their needs. You learn what your friends like and come up with ideas how to spend time together, even if it's just learning what cuisine they like most or what sports they like and dislike. It doesn't even have to be something they normally do. New, unconventional ways to spend time can be even better than doing something people expect or consider "normal."

Then you need to create a product and take care of logistics. Find a place that rents kayaks, book an escape room, get some board games, find transportation to the venue, or provide some snacks—and then get everyone to find the time (which is often a big challenge that requires a lot of patience and back-and-forths).

Then during the event you ensure that your customer service is top-notch. You do your best to be a great host, making sure that everyone has fun (this is not always dependent on you, though), and that everything is to their liking.

After the experience, you collect feedback and ideas for future fun experiences. This is like the process of innovation in business. The goal is to always have new ideas for fun ways to spend time together and become the guy or gal people love for providing a fun alternative to sitting at home watching TV or wasting time on social media.

This entire process helps you learn how to create value out of thin air, how to come up with ideas, how to solve problems, and how to manage it all.

Here are some ideas to provide experiences for your friends and family:
  • organize a day trip,
  • organize a hiking trip,
  • organize a kayak trip,
  • rent a boat or SUPs, go to the middle of a (safe) body of water like a calm lake and chill out there,
  • go to an escape room,
  • play frisbee,
  • host a game night,
  • plan a multi-day trip,
  • organize a dinner for a larger group of friends (and introduce them to each other),
  • get a friend to engage in your hobby so you can do it together,
  • go to a ropes course,
  • go camping,
  • host a theme party,
  • go pick trash,
  • go to a trampoline or adventure park,
  • have a picnic or barbecue,
  • plant some trees,
  • come up with something outlandish or completely random and ask people to do it with you (polar bear plunges, drive in a random direction for an hour, see who can get a stranger to join you to do something fun together).
Do you take initiative in your social life and provide one-of-a-kind experiences for your friends? If so, what were your coolest ideas?
 
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MILIANARD134

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Men, this is a gold piece. Nothing is more strong than a day on kayak, or a week hiking... with friends/girlfriends/partners/business.
But I think, it's too underused. The only problem with activity like this is: money.
My relations with my father were chaotic, I mean, no speak, I never slept at his house since i'm 15.
1 Month ago, he called me, and asked me to come in my city to see eachother.
I said yes no problem. Then he comes and he told me? What do you want to do?
I was wondering. You come to see me, but you don't have a clue of what you want to do?
Then I told him, do you want to go hiking with me ? He was hesitant at first, it was hot, it was hard ...
Then he said yes. I was super happy. We went hiking together, and we were talking genuinely. 1 week ago he called me to ask me if i want to go shooting, we had a call every 2/3 month before that event, now we are calling every 2 day or so.

Some people don't understand you need to do activites together to strenghengt the relationship, it's the best experience you can have.
 

Sander

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I've been doing this for years in my group of friends.

I've planned and arranged things like:

  • Dinners. We each take turns to be the host. The host cooks and the guests brings alcohol.
  • Movie nights. Every time a new dude hosts. The host choose the movie.
  • Tree climbing (like this).
  • Yearly 3-5 day trips to places like Budapest, Prague and Málaga. I plan the whole trip, booking plane tickets and AirBnB's, and usually the price is only around $200/person.
  • Board game nights.
  • Short 2-days biking trips with tents.
  • Barbecue nights.
  • Beer tasting nights.
  • Watching concerts, stand-up etc.
I'm usually the only one in our group taking these initiatives, and I love it. Otherwise we would spend our time on computer games and drinking a beer every now and then.
 

Bigguns50

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Really, really, good thread ! I would imagine if you incorporate this in your personal life, it would naturally bleed over into your business life. I don't incorporate this much in my personal life. Time to implement.
It's like working out. Being dedicated, persistent, disciplined, etc. in the gym has bled into all other areas of my life.
 
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ChrisV

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Agree. Profits aren't just monetary.

Seek to create win/win situations and it pays off in spades.

Life isn't zero-sum and you can create value from everyday activities.

Expand the concept of value to your social circle and it will bring non-monetary profits.
 

MTF

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1 week ago he called me to ask me if i want to go shooting, we had a call every 2/3 month before that event, now we are calling every 2 day or so.

Thank you for sharing your story, I love how it has changed your relationship.

I'm usually the only one in our group taking these initiatives, and I love it. Otherwise we would spend our time on computer games and drinking a beer every now and then.

Exactly, there are very few people who provide experiences like this (even though everyone loves to join them when everything is already set up).

Really, really, good thread ! I would imagine if you incorporate this in your personal life, it would naturally bleed over into your business life. I don't incorporate this much in my personal life. Time to implement.
It's like working out. Being dedicated, persistent, disciplined, etc. in the gym has bled into all other areas of my life.

Definitely, that's a pretty good comparison to working out. You try to find ways to have more fun and connection with your friends and at the same time that's what you start doing in your business as well.

I love this!!

Thank you.

Life isn't zero-sum and you can create value from everyday activities.

100%. It's as close to magic as you can get haha.
 
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