Friday, April 6, 2012

The Positive Benefits of Collaboration

I am re-reading Eckhart Tolle's "A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose" and found a quote that fits with this week's theme -- collaboration.
"Enlightened collectives will fulfill an important function in the arising of the new consciousness. Just as egoic collectives pull you into unconsciousness and suffering, the enlightened collective can be a vortex for consciousness that will accelerate the planetary shift."
The above passage packs a wallop. In my newly launched LinkedIn group and blog, Organic & Authentic, the topic of collaboration was brought up this morning -- thanks, George Butters. Speaking of collaboration, Organic & Authentic would not have been possible without my co-creator and fellow copywriter, Vanessa Nix Anthony.

I shared with my LinkedIn group that I feel there is a shift happening in the way we do business in 2012. There is a higher consciousness happening, and I see colleagues and business professionals turning their creative ideas into amazing collaborative partnerships. The way we did business ten years ago isn't necessarily working anymore, especially in our ever-changing digital world. There are more opportunities for genuine and beneficial collaborations.

As I thought more about the topic of collaboration, I realize how MUCH I have benefited from collaborations over the years. As a non-profit fundraiser and special events director, I was always collaborating with other people. As a fundraiser, my main job was to forge relationships and partnerships with corporations and businesses. As I reflect upon my non-profit career, team work always came into play whether it was working with fellow staff, volunteers or committees. There is no way I could have been as successful with my campaigns and events if it hadn't been for other people's helping hands.

As a solopreneur running my own business, I took that "collaborative" mindset and put it into play as a copywriter and marketing consultant. I currently work with an amazing hospitality marketing agency in Texas, Adapt Marketing & Design, as their contracted copywriter/content manager. My role has expanded with the agency and I'm going into my third year with them. Adapt is a good example of how collaboration has helped me grow as a professional entrepreneur. I have learned how to work effectively within an agency structure, and have been treated like a partner and not just a "copywriter". The owner and I have established a cohesive working relationship, and we mutually respect each other's talents and skills.

I use the term "partner" because that's how I approach my collaborations. I don't see them as a competitive race to the top filled with jealousy and trying to "outsmart" each other. It's about working together as a team, playing off each other strengths. We all bring skills and ideas to the tables so why reinvent the wheel?

Not every collaboration will mesh, but that's part of the ebb and flow of doing business in the 21st century and working with diverse personalities. Egos get in the way; people aren't flexible and they let their own fears and insecurities trip them up. It's up to us to test the waters and decide what works and doesn't work for us. If a collaboration fizzles, dust yourself off, learn from the experience, and then move forward.

Whether you are a solopreneur or lead a team of 500 employees, you sometimes need a helping hand. Some of the greatest leaders and innovators didn't rise to success by themselves. Sometimes "two heads are better than one"...or three...or four!


  1. This post is so critical to me - and others should sit up and listen. So many of the people I've gotten myself involved with over the last few years have shown themselves to be sucking vampires. ICK! Unfortunately, you only realize much of this after you have poured your life, heart, and soul into a project or group or friendship. I much prefer your mantra, Therese, that we should all work together, with others. Not look for a 'way up and over' others. It's so much better when we work together! I recently wrote a blog post about all the people who have helped me, given advice, shown me the light! I could not thank them all, but what I can do is help others.

  2. Thanks so much for your feedback, Karen. I know we see "eye-to-eye" on this topic as we have collaborated together (and I see more collaborations in our future!) People can talk the talk, but it's all about walking that talk. It's when the ego and fear gets in the way that collaborations become counter-productive. It's time to work with each other, and not against each other. There is a shift in the way we do business, and the days of "Mad Men" are long gone (well, maybe not entirely gone...but we don't have to stay stuck in that cut-throat mentality of how to conduct business).


Therese Pope, Copywriter/Content Developer & Digital Buzz-icist

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