Relationship Building

The Relationship Edge: Unveiling the Power of Community in Business

Last Updated:
October 11, 2023

Welcome to the first episode of “The Relationship Edge,” a newly-launched podcast hosted by our Founder and CEO Ablorde Ashigbi. This insightful series delves into the pivotal role of relationships within deal-driven industries.

In this inaugural episode, we are thrilled to have Chris Deutsch, a renowned VC investor and founder of Chicago-based Lofty Ventures, as our first guest. Together, Ablorde and Chris explore the art of cultivating meaningful connections and their profound impact on personal and professional success. Join us as we embark on a journey to unlock the secrets of building authentic relationships and nurturing thriving communities.

For access to the full episode, please view the recording below or find it on the most popular podcast platforms.

Here’s an overview of the key topics discussed by Ablorde and Chris:

Building Communities, Not Networks:

Chris advocates for a paradigm shift from networking to community building. He emphasizes creating authentic communities where individuals are at the center, similar to a hub and spoke model. Unlike networks that often prioritize transactional exchanges, communities focus on fostering genuine connections based on shared values, interests, and aspirations.

Within these communities, the actual value lies in enabling connections and collaborations. Chris highlights the significance of breaking down silos and creating opportunities for individuals to interact across different communities. By nurturing a supportive environment, community members can exchange ideas, support one another, and collectively achieve success.

Chris reiterates the importance of an attitude of giving, as opposed to taking, when building communities. This involves investing time, effort, and genuine interest in others. By being committed to the growth and well-being of the community, individuals can harness the true power of relationships. Diversity and inclusivity add to the richness of these communities, providing sources of inspiration, mentorship, and professional development.

Practical strategies for effective community building include regular online and offline engagement through events and meetups. Technology platforms like 4Degrees offer valuable tools for managing community connections, facilitating introductions, and maintaining relationships in a fast-paced world.

By prioritizing community building, individuals can tap into a vibrant ecosystem where collaboration, support, and collective growth thrive, propelling them toward long-term fulfillment and success in their personal and professional lives.

“Words matter. Don’t think of what you’re doing as networking; you’re building a community that you are in the center of. The value comes from enabling relationships to cross-pollinate and creating meaningful connections.”

The Magic of Cross-Pollination

In their deep dive into the transformative potential of cross-pollination, Ablorde and Chris delve into the powerful impact that arises when individuals from diverse backgrounds and industries come together.

They emphasize the importance of breaking down silos and introducing people with different perspectives, knowledge, and expertise to ignite a spark of innovation. By facilitating these interactions, communities can unlock untapped potential and pave the way for groundbreaking ideas and solutions that would otherwise not have materialized.

Drawing from his journey and experience, Chris shares captivating stories highlighting the power of cross-pollination. He recounts inspiring collaborations that led to remarkable advancements and breakthroughs, demonstrating how the collision of different ideas and skill sets can generate transformative results.

Furthermore, he offers practical insights and strategies to foster cross-pollination within communities. Ablorde and Chirs explore methods to encourage the exchange of ideas, such as organizing networking events, facilitating mentorship programs, or creating platforms for knowledge sharing. By actively promoting diversity, inclusivity, and interdisciplinary collaboration, you will discover how to cultivate an ecosystem that fuels collective success, drives innovation, and propels growth.

The Art of Judging Character

The podcast delves into the art of judging character, an essential skill when building relationships and communities. Drawing from his experience as an investor, Chris shares insights on quickly assessing whether someone is a giver or a taker. He emphasizes the importance of relying on intuition and instinct, honed through years of interacting with people. Chris highlights the significance of surrounding oneself with givers who bring value and contribute selflessly to the community.

The conversation sheds light on the value of swiftly but accurately judging a person’s character. Chris explains that within the first few minutes, he can form a solid initial impression, which is further reinforced over time.

The podcast highlights the importance of this art in fostering meaningful connections and building communities of trust. By being discerning and surrounding themselves with genuine givers, individuals can create a supportive network that enhances personal growth and contributes to the community’s success, emphasizing the significance of building relationships based on trust, empathy, and shared values, ultimately creating a thriving ecosystem of like-minded individuals.

Operationalizing Relationship Management

Managing numerous relationships and communities can be a challenging endeavor. Ablorde and Chris share practical strategies and tools to streamline relationship management and stay connected in today’s fast-paced world.

They discuss the power of technology platforms like 4Degrees and other specialized tools that aid in nurturing relationships, facilitating introductions, and enhancing their ability to engage with communities and foster meaningful connections.

The Impact of Relationships

Ablorde and Chris delve into the intrinsic value of relationships beyond financial returns. They highlight how investing in relationships—despite the outcome of ventures—can lead to unforeseen opportunities and long-term wins. Drawing from their experiences, Ablorde and Chris share stories of personal growth, mutual support, and emotional fulfillment from cultivating authentic connections. Their insights inspire individuals to prioritize relationships as a vital aspect of their personal and professional lives.


Individuals can unlock transformative opportunities and create a vibrant ecosystem of engaged collaborators by focusing on shared values, enabling cross-pollination, honing the art of judgment, and leveraging technology.

Tune in to “The Relationship Edge” and embark on a path toward building meaningful connections that will shape your success as an investor.

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