A long time ago I spoke about collaborations and how they can be extremely beneficial to your business. I have been working on collaborating with a few people and I wanted to share my thoughts on how to make collaborations work.
Honesty and transparency is required. You need to be completely upfront with one another when it comes to expectations, tasks, responsibilities, and most importantly revenue. Talk about all of this BEFORE you get started. If the person you are collaborating with is not being honest or transparent about everything you ask, walk away because it will fail.
You have to work. Every collaboration requires each individual to put in their share of work. If you are thinking that you will reap the rewards with minimal effort, think again. The others will notice and tension will occur. Once that happens, your collaboration will fail.
You need to be patient. Collaborations take time to form. Collaboration projects come in many shapes and sizes. Most of them are squeezed into the daily grind of running your business. So don’t expect everyone to step up and put everything aside for the collaboration. If there is a deadline or window of opportunity then this leads me into the last point.
Communicate often and openly. No collaboration will be successful without open dialogue. If you do not talk to one another with updates, thoughts, deadlines, etc. How do you think your collaboration will turn out?
The collaborations I am currently involved with have taken time to form. We had to learn to trust one another. We needed to get to know one another personally. We had to adapt to a new way of doing work while relinquishing control of some areas. For me that was the most difficult part – relinquishing control. I have been doing everything on my own for so long it was hard to let someone else take over parts of a project. You worry about quality and execution. I am sure that my collaborator felt the same way. We have both been burned in the past.
Those uncomfortable moments are good to have. It’s a welcome change from the normalities of your profession. Letting them happen has opened up some amazing results. Results that have blown my mind as well as the clients.
I know for a fact that these strategic collaborations I am involved with will elevate each other’s quality of work, turn heads and secure revenue streams I wouldn’t have thought possible doing it on my own.
Creating a collaboration takes time and requires you to think outside the box. They work. They are profitable and I also think that they are the new future of business. You will see solopreneurs come together to tackle projects that people once thought only the big guys with 3 floors of staff could handle. We know how to sell it. We know how to execute. Now we have to go get it.
There is strength in numbers. Go get yours.