Growing up, I was very confused by my dad and the way he chose to invest. I thought investing was just a way to get money fast and to turn money you have now into even more money for the future.
Yet when my dad was asked to name the price for a building he owned, he passed. He could have easily made a seven-figure return. This absolutely baffled me. It wasn’t until later that I fully understood why he chose to keep the building.
As it turned out, he chose to enhance his social capital over his economic one. I have come to learn that there are more types of capital than just economic capital. For my father, keeping the building helped preserve his vision of his social capital.
Now, several years later, I recognize the power of different types of capital. It is very important to understand the types of capital and how each comes with a plethora of powers and burdens.
Take for example the power of knowledge. Knowing the market, the business processes and the industry you are in can help you out in many ways. It allows you to quickly ask the right questions and get to know the strengths and weaknesses of a person you may be working with. Now, just imagine using this knowledge to help someone enhance their business, perhaps to make their operations better, faster and more efficient.
Most people underutilize the capital of knowledge. It can be a powerful sales and marketing tool.
This leads me into my second point: social capital. We all have heard the cliché: “It is not what you know, but who you know.”
I fundamentally disagree with this statement. You may know a thousand people; however, you can be completely invisible to them. But, if you can convey what you know to these people, you can develop relationships and expand your network.
Through experience, I have learned that you must be a sincere and genuinely good person. By building trust with a person, you can become a true asset to them. I believe that I should always give more than I get. People will sometimes question me and say that it is not sustainable. My take on it is that you can always give more than you receive. Once you truly become genuine, you will start to see those people in your network start to benefit you as you build mutual relationships. I am constantly looking to increase my social capital and build stronger relationships at the same time.
Political capital stems from how you can enhance economic capital for yourself and others. These seem to always tie together. When you follow the money, you will often find out it is concentrated in a group that shares knowledge and social influence. Your dedication to building your social capital to enhance your own economic capital and that of others will ultimately increase the benefits.
Obviously, human capital is the most important type of capital for an organization. I cannot tell you how wonderful it is to find the right “group.” I strive to foster an environment where employees can excel in their own knowledge, live a full life and enjoy economic prosperity. It is inspiring to be able to sit back and watch the group morph into what we call our office family.
Ultimately, for me, the power is in making the best use of the assets we have. For example, I realized I had a weakness in marketing, so I leaned on my knowledge capital in other areas to grow my company and provide value to customers at Liquid Logics. I once responded on a marketing panel, “I am here on this panel because I suck at marketing, yet I managed to convert my weakness into a strength to make Liquid Logics successful.”
My takeaway for you is to find your capital and do what you do best. Spend it generously in the best way possible so it benefits you and those you work closely with.