The Bridge-Building Business

Every business owner is in the bridge-building business: one project (or sale) often leads to another.

Think of every client not in terms of what you make today, but rather what you might make in the future as a result of that client’s testimonial and referrals.

Clients are the bridge between your present and your future.

You want to be in the bridge-building business, not the bridge-burning business.

Every time you burn a bridge, you actually burn two of them. You first burn the bridge between you and your client. Then you burn the bridge your client might have built between you and a future client.

Which means anytime you burn a bridge you are literally burning the bridge to your future! Not a good plan.

In any project you take on, in every sale you make, always give your best effort, your best service — even when you don’t feel like it.

Build bridges; don’t burn them.

-Ryan M. Healy

Ryan M. Healy

Ryan Healy is a financial copywriter and the author of Speed Writing for Nonfiction Writers. Since 2002, he has worked with scores of clients, including Agora Financial, Lombardi Publishing, and Contrarian Profits. He writes a popular blog about copywriting, advertising, and business growth, has been featured in publications like Feed Front magazine, and has been published on sites like,, and

kencinnus - January 9, 2010

Thanks Ryan! That's a good encouragement and reminder.

Reeveso - January 10, 2010

Great post Ryan, short and sweet!

I've known this from the start of my business and it's slowly become of my “USP's” I guess I could say. I've had NUMEROUS clients come to me simply because they love the fact that I can think ahead and understand that the actions I take today are going to impact my life in the future.

So people…listen to what he's sayin – it's true!

Jeremy Reeves

Ryan M. Healy - January 10, 2010

Well, it keeps me going some days. :-)


Ryan M. Healy - January 10, 2010

Thanks, Jeremy! I think I'm going to be doing some more “short and sweet” blog posts to mix it up a bit this year.

I'm glad this way of thinking and working has payed off for you. There are far too many “hit and run” copywriters and Internet marketers out there.


bookluver321 - January 10, 2010

I like the idea that you pointed out about thinking of customers as not only customers today, but future customers. I think that if you can connect well with a customer, they will remember you and will utilize your services at some point.

I recently finished reading a great book titled, “Networking Like a Pro” by Dr. Ivan Misner. Dr. Misner points out the importance of face-to-face networking and gives good pointers on how to motivate ongoing referrals and track your progress, amongst many other great tips that are so valuable in building the bridges for business. This is my New Year's resolution… to build a more successful clientele.

drglennlivingston - January 21, 2010

Hi Ryan, it's Glenn Livingston, thanks for this great post :-)

This metaphor brings to mind something one of my favorite marketing mentors told me “Glenn, if you build 4/5ths of a bridge, or if you build an bridge that falls down, you do NOT get partial credit!”

In other words, creating a bridge between you and your prospects, jv partners, and vendors which empowers true value to change hands doesn't produce ANY rewards (and in fact can be damaging) until the whole thing is in place.

The bridge also requires regular maintainence, or it just might fall down.

We all have the fantasy of quickly building an electronic system which funnels money into our bank account without any ongoing effort. But that's really a perversion of business, and represents a few “loopholes” which were available for a very brief time as the internet was in its infancy as far as commerce was concerned. (Adsense sites, Traffic Arbitrage, Google Cash, etc)

If you think of the internet as a way to catalyze and supercharge the value you bring to the market, and ongoingly build and maintain bridges, you'll be fine.

G :-)

Ryan M. Healy - January 23, 2010

That's a great point. Partial bridges don't work!

Also, I love that phrase: “perversion of business” — could be a great blog post title. :-)

Thanks for dropping in and contributing, Glenn!


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