I recently had a conversation with Mattie James, about the lack of collaboration in blogging and business.
It’s a conversation that I’ve had often over the years and one, that is becoming increasingly important given the changing dynamic of today’s workforce.
I’ve always believed that we all hold a key piece to another person’s puzzle or have a particular expertise or skill set that could benefit someone else. A few years ago, I even created a mini experiment based on that theory with a handpicked group of 6 people on different career paths. I brought all of us together and asked How can I support you? and How can we support one another?
The plan was simple: we would keep each other in the loop about projects or events we were working on and if we had any resources that might help we shared them freely or we just showed up, physically if it was an actual event and digitally if the work lived online.
For a short while, it worked out brilliantly and helped each of us enhance or amplify the work that we were doing. But eventually the excitement wore off and the experiment fizzled out. I reflected on this after my call with James and started thinking of all of the
excuses reasons we give for not collaborating more:
“This other person isn’t contributing or pulling their weight.”
“Someone might steal my idea.”
“I’m only in it for the money.”
“I’ll never get credit for all of my hard work.”
“S/he is my competition, I can’t work with them.”
“I don’t like him/her.”
“I don’t have the time.”
“How does this benefit me?”
“I’ve been burned on a group project before and I won’t let it happen again.”
“I’m nobody. They probably won’t work with me.”
We can continue to make and believe these excuses and deprive ourselves of opportunities that could expand our work, net worth and network. Or, we can take our chances and collaborate more.
Who knows? Next time, we might get lucky.
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