My dad said to me when growing up: 'When all is said and done, if you can count all your true friends on one hand, you're a lucky man'

Building Real Friendships

Well then according to Josh Charles I’m a very lucky man.

I’m very fortunate to be honest, because thankfully I don’t have enough fingers to count the number of great friends I have. Now, I’m not boasting, I am appreciating.

You see, I’ve built friendships across various aspects of my life. My friendships span across the globe from school friends to college friends, rugby friends, work friends, family friends and I can say that in all those groups I’ve made some unbelievable lifelong buddies, the likes I would want by my side going into battle.

I think the most important word in that paragraph is ‘built’, because when it comes to worthwhile friendships, foundations need to be set, your subconscious takes over and you start building. It’s a process you’ve agreed with yourself regarding what you will and won’t accept. Friendships don’t just appear, they take time for all involved to realise their true potential. Let me give you an example.

Last weekend I celebrated my pals wedding, it was down in Innishannon House Hotel in Co. Cork and was the backdrop to our amazing Indian summer. As the sun burned away the last of the fog, the grounds and lake sparkled just in time for the arrival of the bride and groom. My buddy who got married is one of my school friends and like most of our group we’ve known each other for over 20 years. 

For those of you reading this I hope you can relate because 20 years can see some amazing days of joy and happiness and some unfortunate days of sadness and despair.

I believe the greatest thing about true friends is the ability to share highs and lows knowing that your opinion of each other will never falter. Seamlessly we’ve set strong foundations and stood by each other while building our friendships.

I’m not saying it takes 20 years to become real friends, its obvious from early on.

With real friendships it never becomes a task or an effort, it just is. There’s always a helping hand or shoulder to lean on in times of need. Usually you don’t ask because you’re friends are already on board doing their bit.

Those foundations apply in professional friendships too. A lot of businesses these days want partners not suppliers, however partnerships don’t happen over night and thats just like good friendships, good partnerships need to set foundations and then each partner plays their part necessary.

Luckily, I work in a industry where the majority of our job is focused around building friendships either with my clients or with the consumers of my clients brands.

Everyone can relate to that person who I call a ‘topper’, the one person who has to be better than everyone else, the person who needs to tell everyone how great they are and how they should do loads of “cool stuff” with them because it’ll be the most amazing thing ever!!!!!

This is the same in advertising and is one of the first things you learn, consumers disengage when brands speak AT them and not TO them. The brands and friends who can resonate therefore elevate peoples experiences and interest. These are the ones see people come back to engage with them time and time again.

So set foundations with your clients and your brands and begin building friendships with them, you’ll ultimately build trust and reason to engage regularly.

All in all everyone enjoys a positive experience over a longer period of time.

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