Can Collaboration Kill Your Company?
I'm sure you have heard the old saying, "No man is an island." Much of us today are taught that building partnership, collaborations, and relationships professionally are the way to go if we want to increase our reach and audience. However, what do you do when those you are collaborating with burn you, don't hold up to their promises, or take advantage of the partnership you were hoping to create?
I know I'm not the only one here who has been let down by a professional partnership. Can you think of a time that you exuded tons of energy to make something happen and the other person or company just bailed or didn't put the work in that you had initially agreed upon?
So what do you do? Do you just give up on collaborating with others and do everything on your own?
The short answer is absolutely not!!!
I've been in your shoes and have been let down by other men and women who I thought were coming from a place of honesty and integrity. I've worked with empowering coaches who have gone against their word, companies who have lied about the work we did together and much more! Although it was hard, it taught me a lot. In general, the key isn't too close off and shut down from other great partners, but to create a vetting system that ensures you flock towards the right companies and people.
Here are some things to look for when trying to leverage your business the right and constructive way!
Always connect outside of email. Ideally, you want to meet the partner in person first, video conference calls second if in person isn't possible, and a phone call last if the first two just aren't possible. Feeling their energy and understanding who they are personally as well as professionally is crucial to ensuring your potential partners are in alignment with your company and vice versa!
Make sure expectations for both parties is clear verbally and in writing. Let your partner know what you are looking for and what you can give back to them that's benefiting. Do not leave it up to your partner to decide otherwise you will be sadly disappointed. Sit down with yourself and make a list of can's and cant's, want's and do not want's so that you can pass this on to any potential partners.
Don't be afraid to say no to someone if it doesn't feel right or if you are compromising more than you're comfortable with. It's better to build snail slow with the right type of partners who are in alignment with you then to build super fast with a ton of partners who aren't loyal to you and your company!
Every successful individual knows that his or her achievement depends on a community of persons working together.