It’s no secret that my favorite word happens to be collaboration. I love watching my members with a variety of diverse backgrounds, interests, and experiences come together to share ideas, build businesses, or even create friendships.
I also find great delight in the uncanny collaborations that take place, seeing partnerships between drastically different people continuously inspires me to think outside of the box. Creative collaborations are fascinating which is why I was so excited to see that Sheryl Sandberg and Beyonce Knowles have partnered together start the ban the word bossy campaign.
These two women, while both moguls, are as different as it gets. Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook, author, speaker, LeanIn kickstarter and Beyonce Knowles, Grammy Award winning powerhouse, singer, actress and performer. While there is definitely a dichotomy, there is also a unique synergy between them. These two women took something they were both passionate about and started a movement, one that I too support.
Seeing these two sheroes partner together inspired me to write a piece about creative collaboration, in the hopes that you will find someone unique and different to partner/work with. The creative collaborations that I have made have inspired me to try something new, approach work in a different way, and of course, think bigger. When you partner with the same people, you get the same perspective, and the same outcome. Partnering with people that have a unique skill-set (one that you don’t have) or that that think differently than you, lets you approach business from a whole new perspective. Helping you to see a new angle, make stronger choices, and impact a larger audience (possibly one that you couldn’t reach before).
Here are three questions you should ask yourself when looking for a new and uncanny creative collaborative partner.
1. What are your weaknesses?
I know, I know, no one wants to start a blog posts by listing “what’s wrong” with them but in this context it’s meant as a means of empowerment. What do you struggle with? Is it process? Is it brainstorming? Is it building relationships and networking? It is impossible for anyone to be perfect and I believe our flaws are by design so that we are forced into collaboration with one another. Find your weakness, your pain-point, the one word that makes you cringe. Have it? Great! Now find someone that handles your pain-points with finesse. Someone that LOVES processes and feels energized by order or networking; the very thing that you struggle the most with. Your partnership will enable you to approach work from a fresh perspective and will allow you to be a more skilled and well-rounded visionary.
2. What’s your vision?
I am very clear about my direction towards the future. My five year goal is to support over 20,000 women in the launch and growth of their businesses by franchising 200 Hera Hub locations. Every woman on my team and advisory board finds great value in this vision and most importantly it resonates deep within them. They believe in the big picture, it inspires them, and most importantly makes them feel like they are part of something larger, they are part of a movement. Your collaborative partner, should be someone that believes in your vision, so much so that they are already taking similar steps to create the same impact. The women who sit on my advisory board believe in a world filled with collaborative female entrepreneurs and their individual work supports this goal. Finding someone that is/has already done work towards your vision, is crucial, as it will not support your collective visions but will also inspire the work you do separately.
3. What is your definition of success?
I recently did a video post about business partnerships and how more often that not, they fail due to different expectations. Some business partners hope to spend only 20 hours a week on a business while the other plans on burning the midnight oil every day/evening. Some businesses split because one partner dreams of creating multiple locations and the other partner just wanted to focus on one. A collaborative partner should have the same definition of success as you. If you do partner on a project, your definitions of success mean you share the same end goal (to create a movement, to open a specific number of locations, to hire a specific number of employees, to sell the business, etc.). A shared destination also sets a clear path of what you must accomplish to see your dreams come to fruition.
Creative collaboration has spurred some of the most original ideas, businesses, and movements. Collaborations like Sheryl Sandberg & Beyonce Knowles, Jimmy Fallon & Justin Timberlake ( I have to admit, I am a big fan of their history of hip-hop performances), William Procter and James Gamble, have sparked new conversations, products, and paradigm shifts. You and your collaborative partner can work on a project together or simply use each other as a mastermind resource to share ideas and get feedback. This special person while different in talent, expertise, history, or interests should share your values, vision and definition of success. Rather you want to ban the word “bossy” or franchise 200 locations, you need brilliant people, with diverse talents to help you think bigger, work smarter, and accomplish more.
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