We have all heard the phrase ‘two heads are better than one’, and it’s so true! Collaboration is such an important part of business and success as an entrepreneur; yet, it can also be difficult for many of us.
When I speak of collaboration, I’m not talking about referral networks. I’m talking about long term, nitty-gritty business planning, strategy sessions, and implementation discussions.
In order to benefit from collaboration, you must be honest with yourself and others about your failures, fears, and weaknesses. It requires you to share what you’ve done well, what you’re unhappy with, and where you need help. This is why you need to choose a partner, group, or mentor whom you can trust and respect. You need to have confidence that the trust and respect is reciprocated.
You need to trust that you can share your thoughts and opinions freely, without judgment, or at least without lasting negative judgment.
You need to respect the opinions and expertise of the people you are requesting advice of; otherwise you are not likely to act on the advice given.
Like any relationship, effective collaboration also requires genuine interest in helping each other and some form of reciprocation.
Collaboration can come from many places; networking groups, mastermind groups, professional partners, friends, family, and mentors. The important thing is to find people whom you trust and respect; those who have your best interest in mind, and will help keep you accountable. This will help you grow both professionally and personally.
If you do not already have a collaborative relationship, you should be actively searching for one or building one.
Recently I took the initiative to create and build my group of collaborators. I had met a handful of powerful women over the past year, with various backgrounds and strengths; all who are very dedicated to building their businesses. Since I had such great conversations with them on an individual level, I decided to try getting them together as a group. Our first meeting was a very successful ‘get to know you’ session, and my hope is that this group will help each of us grow and meet our 2013 business goals.