This article originally appeared in the digital magazine – Smart Healthy Women – view the magazine here

I am done with competition. I am replacing it with collaboration. Because I truly believe there is enough work for everyone. I also think we get so hung up on trying to beat others. Comparing ourselves to their highlight reels. We lose focus on us. Our business, our families and ourselves.
It is possible to retrain our brains and change our thinking. When I think competition – I change that to ask – how can I collaborate with that business? Do we have complimentary skills? Do we share the same target market? Are their synergies?

If I see potential, I reach out and invite a conversation. Simply explaining what I do, how I work and maybe an invite for a program I am working on. At worse – I get no thanks. There is nothing lost, other than potential. But, both sides need to see the opportunities, especially if the collaboration is really going to work in the long run.

Collaborative working is the essence of abundance, in a work setting. Believing there is enough for everyone. Believing that more is achieved together than alone. Able to bring your collective ideas and thoughts into the same place. Delivering your message two-fold, with the power of others.

I love working in my business, being the creator of my own world. Yet, when you invite others in, you open your mind to their thinking. You see your world from a different perspective. You make choices to improve your world, your way of doing things. You fine tune your messaging and your offerings to your clients. You become more powerful, not only in you but in the world, you show up in.

Collaboration must be two-way, and often it is. When a collaboration breaks down it is often because one person has grown – after all in business we are always learning and growing. It is the greatest personal development tool available. Creating collaborations for defined projects rather than forever is a terrific way to ensure success.

Being clear from the outset on your expectations of each party in a collaboration is important. Setting it down in writing is helpful, if somewhat formal. However, we all get busy and having expectations in writing makes it easier to come back to and remind yourself what needs to happen and by who.
If you do need to end a collaboration, do it with an open heart. Be careful of burning bridges – acknowledge that at this time it is just not working, you can always come back to it later. In an abundant mindset there is always more….

With so many solo and micro businesses operating, often within a cluttered marketplace. I strongly believe that to deliver our important messages clearly and succinctly we need to work together. I have been rebuilding my business with this value at its core. I am excited for the future of this iteration of the business. Not only for me, my family and clients, but for those like-businesses who choose to walk the path too.

What collaborations can you seek or create in your world?