Collaboration – alone we can only do so much, together we can do so much more
What does collaboration bring up for you? Until recently I would have steered clear of a joint venture. This is not because I am against joint ventures it’s more
But recently things changed which have filled my heart and rebuilt my faith in the word team.
In January, a personal catastrophe occurred – my spine fractured. It meant that I had to take time out and work part-time for most of the year as I healed. To be honest there were points where I wanted to give up on everything. I, however, made a few conscious decisions. One was to remain in group run by the Arrows (Kevin and Sarah). The other was to heal my body as naturally as possible and to give myself time to do this – no matter how impatient I felt.
I remained in the Arrows group because of their leadership and the members. There were many days when I couldn’t participate and some days when I didn’t know if it was day or night. What I needed was to be inspired and motivated by what each team member was doing and to feel as if I was still in the ‘real’ world.
There were many days, indeed weeks when I would watch what they – as a team – were up to and cried because I couldn’t take part. I didn’t go quite as far as licking the screen to get a taste of their fun and excitement, but I wanted to.
A few months ago an opportunity for a group collaboration (The Navigate Bundle) appeared. I was still in a healing mindset rather than focused on my business, but I was intrigued. What if the collaboration on the table could ease me back?
Then I started to wonder ease me back to what? Did I still want to do what I did before my spine fractured? I thought I did but I was unsure.
In the collaboration (Navigate), we each needed to contribute a product. Ok, I thought I knew what that might be, but what if I no longer wanted to deliver that content? You can imagine what was going through my mind.
Without a moment’s
When you have had to take time out of your business it is only natural that you will be unsure of what you want to do ‘when you grow up.’
My intended contribution was Plan your non-fiction book online course. But first I needed to ensure that this was still my thing. Determined to make sure, I dug out an old workshop (create a business you love), brought it up to date, and took my own course while I turned it into a new online course. Yep – it was confirmed I still loved what I did – phew.
Here’s a run though of what you get in my course – Plan your non-fiction book
As the team became excited about how we would support each other, I found myself wanting to make sure I wasn’t going to let anyone down. I needed to contribute something that they would be proud to support as I would be of their offerings.
After completing my first new course in a long while – create a business you love – I had my vision. Next, I re-edited my book (Plan your non-fiction book in a weekend) and gave it a new cover, with that came a new workbook and business planner. Next, I updated and refreshed the course I was contributing and did the same with another course.
Now I felt like a valuable contributor and I was getting clarity around the vision I had created.
These are some of the things that I witnessed as we worked together and what I consider contributed towards a successful collaboration.
How to get the best from collaboration with business partners
Have a common cause
By having a common cause all of the team were able to understand what role they would play in the mission of the bundle. That is to support others to be able to navigate their businesses to success. Hence the name – Navigate.
As a group, we found that as we needed support and direction all we had to do was ask and the group rallied around to offer valuable guidance.
It is easy to get carried away with the excitement around the event, and having clear expectations meant that we had agreed on parameters to work to. Expectations included we want your best product valued at least £xxx so that our customers will be delighted with the value that they get. They must be able to access it easily and feel that they have made a purchase which they will love.
Leverage team strengths
As the bundle was put together and rolled out different members of the team stepped up to provide support in their area of expertise. Let’s face it why have a team of experts and not utilise their skills?
We were asked questions and polls to find out what the team thought about ways to for example launch or market the product. That way everyone got a chance to say what they wanted, to discuss and jointly decide on a way forward. Although when you are working with marketing experts, they usually have pretty hot ideas based on their incredible
Willingness to help and be helped
It is never easy to ask for help when you think you are strong and capable. But when you are with a team who show up and support you no matter what, you want to do the same for them.
Honour ideas and requests
When the team put forward ideas and requests these wherever possible were honoured. Which meant that our team felt that we were valued. The net result was that we pulled together to deliver the kind of value that we believed our combined customers would expects. Which means that all of our businesses grow and our relationships deepen.
Imagine having a team of super brains all willing you on to success? Good ideas can come from anywhere and what makes this work is that everyone wants to give the rest of the team great solutions to things that are niggling them.
Recognise, reward and celebrate
We have all worked hard to share and sell the Navigate bundle supporting the teams marketing efforts. As a team, we have celebrated and recognised each person’s hard work in getting this in front of as many people as possible and even if we aren’t at the top of the leaderboard we have all celebrated together.
Trust each other
You cannot have collaboration without trust. The Arrows are great leaders who I know we all trust (and love). Because of their direction, there is no question that we all trust each other and that means that we support each other without fear.
Finally, I have worked in many organisations and have been saddened by the amount of politics, ego, lack of trust and single-minded ambition which has contributed to the detriment of the overall organisation. This has not happened here. What a breath of fresh air.
Collaboration is a powerful way of working for entrepreneurs regardless of the industry or type of business they are in. Forming connections in a trusted environment means that you have access to years of experience to ensure that you can take your business to new levels.
The bottom line is that without this team led by the Arrows, the wonderful team members and this initiative for collaboration I could well have still be wondering how do I get back on track.
When in the future you see a team of people putting together a collaborative webinar or bundle consider what each of the entrepreneur’s stories is and how this collaboration might mean more than money.
This experience has restored my faith in collaboration, has helped me to heal and get back on track and that is invaluable.