Beyond the Build


A Circle of Two-Way Streets

I have found success in the leverage of our efforts by having solid “two-way street partners.” This is somewhat like loosely connected circles–watching out for each other, touching the perimeter and being able to help each other with opportunities.

Sometimes I feel like a high school coach, forwarding my good recruits to my favorite NCAA football team. Other times, it’s the opposite, with people giving us a solid recruit or “lead.”

When one side becomes too much of a “taker” it can pull the life out of a relationship. At times we have shared opportunities to others without so much as a thank you. There is not a real motivator for us to continue to help them.

I try to never get lazy along the way, taking our circle of business friends for granted. Never. A few things I keep top of mind:

  • I don’t ask for support from others without reciprocating.
  • When someone helps us with a lead, I try to reciprocate by a factor of 2X.
  • I remember that business relationships, just like personal ones, can be mended.


Merrill Stewart Jr.

Merrill Stewart is Founder and CEO of The Stewart/Perry Company, a commercial building contractor based in Birmingham.