Putting yourself last?
Starting my own business was always last place, in between my full time jobs, the awards, commitments to friends and family, and just regular life admin, there is always something or someone else that I could put first.
Even in terms of email, I tended to put responding to the requests of others before sending out requests on my own behalf.
It wasn’t working for me.
A pleasure shared is a pleasure doubled
In starting the awards, I’m not afraid to say that working with my co-founders added an extra layer of responsibility. Knowing that they were working hard alongside me meant that I couldn’t let them down.
For my health, collaboration with my trainer and having a dog was essential. I woke up every morning and got myself to the park because of two reasons: I knew that I had to go out anyway to walk the dog, and 2 I had my trainer waiting in the park for me. He could be in bed himself, or working with other clients where he could see the results of his work.
BBBAwards Research Team Breakfast
Getting my butt into gear
So instead of beating myself up for it, I decided to flip the script and make it work for me.I got myself an accountability partner, which grew into an accountability/mastermind group(s).
Our responsibility was to keep each other focused on the end game and the goals that we had set for our own lives and businesses. This may seem like an extra layer of administration, but if done well and built relationships of trust and caring, it can be a powerful reminder of what is important to you.
And this science is not new, if you look at weight loss groups, the powerful incentive to action is the fact that you are going to weekly group meetings and getting weighed with others.
You don’t have to do and be everything
Everyone is under pressure to do more and be more, and stressing about how much we have to do and how little time we have, but you don’t have to do it all. Why not collaborate with someone so that we all can do our bit? There is more than enough for all.
Like an orchestra, once you have a shared goal, collaboration is key in accelerating your progress, and the victory is so much sweeter when you can celebrate it with someone else.
6 Keys to effective collaboration
Know what you bring to the table, what you want to get out of the collaboration, what you want to achieve, your highlights and your lowlights, things that piss you off and things that make you smile… write it down and better yet, have an exchange session with your partner(s)
Partner with your opposite
Diverse teams bring diverse perspectives to the table and so when we are coming up with solutions to business problems, we can approach them from different angles and cover all of the bases
Partner with people who have the same values
This may seem like a contradiction to the last point, but its not. My business partners and I all bring different things to the table, that’s what makes us a complete team. However in terms of values, principles and ethics, we share the same values of integrity, authenticity, discipline, hard work, excellence and kindness. These are the threads that have kept us together when things get tough, and they underpin all of the work we do together
Respect the expert, (Slay in your lane)
Collaboration works when you know your lane and respect your partner’s lane. If you are entrepreneurs than there is a good chance that you will eventually have to end up putting your hand to everything form the finances to the legal agreements to the marketing, however you clearly have areas of weakness and expertise, and hopefully your partner has complimentary (aka opposite) areas to maximize the advantage of collaboration by trusting your partners to do what they know best.
Communicate, consistently, openly, immediately. Don’t hold things in your heart, you know very well that if you are thinking the bad thought, its probably showing in your face if not in your attitude and spirit. Fix it with them and move on.
I am not an easy person to work with on the worst of days, so I’m thankful that when I show my ass, my people are still willing to work with me. And importantly, show the gratitude, not just by being present, but by saying the words ‘thank you’ consistently, for as long as your partnership exists.
Thank the universe at night for him or her to remind yourself that every moment and person in your life is gift.