You can't do everything by yourself. It's not feasible, and it certainly isn't any better for you in the long run. Over the years i've built a strong circle of friends who are business sharks in their own right.

These friends help me to improve in areas I am weak, and I offer my two cents when they ask for it. We recommend interesting people to work with, give help when needed, and generally just want to help each other to succeed

Building these types of relationships that are mutually beneficial is key to the growth of your professional abilities. However not everyone is a good fit. For me it's the people who are easy going and enjoyable to chat with, and it's comfortable to shoot a text over like, "Hey I think you might find so and so as a great fit for your new project, what do you think?"

I was reminded of this last night when a friend reached out to discuss his goals for 2018. He wanted to achieve more notoriety for his efforts in the business world, and thought that I could assist him in achieving that goal. What I appreciated about his approach, was that it wasn't all "me me me" but that he understood that asking for help comes with the responsibility of offering help in return.

He asked how he could help me, and as I had seen this coming a mile away, I was quick to say that I knew he had done over 50 speaking gigs in 2017, and that I was interesting in becoming a better public speaker. I'm of the opinion that we can always learn something new from others.

He and I decided to help each other throughout 2018 to accomplish certain goals that the other excelled at. These are the types of business relationships I admire, the ones that give and take, yet leave you feeling fulfilled at the end of it all. Not only do I get to help someone truly worthy of more publicity, but I get a few lessons along the way.

Take a moment to think of a weakness in your professional persona that could use a boost. You cannot be great at everything, but with the help of others you can very well try to be.

Ask yourself these three questions to put your plan into action:

1. What professional skill do you want to excel at?

2. Who do you know that is very good at this one thing?

3. What help can you offer them in return?

Make it a point to reach out to that person to catch up with them. Don't make it too obvious you're only calling because you want something, that's the worst. I feel that way constantly, and I am no longer too timid to call someone out on it.

Tell them you'd appreciate their help with something, and ask them how you can help them. They may surprise you and ask for help in an area you didn't expect. Take that as a compliment. Remember, mutually beneficial relationships make the world go round.

Don't be parasitic, those are the worst types of friends. If you act in this manner you will find yourself sending texts and emails that people don't reply to. Propose a mutually beneficial relationship to a colleague or friend, and start bettering yourself today.