Thursday, October 20, 2011

Power of Partnership: Leveraging the help of others to succeed

In Western society (particularly in the U.S.), being a lone hero is somehow encouraged and respected. We often feel that we have to do everything ourselves, saying “Yes, Yes, Yes” and multitasking several jobs at once. No one’s ever surprised when we finally break down or get sick, because it’s just not humanly possible to do it all!  
To be successful, there is strength in numbers. “Group think” is highly synergistic. This means that it’s better to have several people working with you, than just you working.
Finding partnerships is a catalyst for elevating you to the next level. These are some ways you can apply the group approach to help your business:
1. Join a Cooperative or Association: There is power in community! These groups are designed to pool resources together to help their members. There may be business associations, chambers of commerce and other such organizations in your city that are available for you to join. Also take advantage of communities online, such as, which provide each member with benefits such as an online portfolio and search databases.
2. Create a “Master Mind” Group: A Master Mind is essentially a small group of 5 or 6 like-minded and successful peers that meet once or twice a month. You share ideas, frustrations, concerns, advice and requests with the group. You brainstorm together, benefiting from the experience and knowledge of others, plus they provide third-party unbiased objective views. Make sure that everyone in the group wants to succeed and they are more positive than negative. The last thing you need is a pessimistic “Debbie Downer” contradicting or bashing all your ideas. Another option is to join a group coaching program that functions in the same way, but is led by a professional (in this case, me).  
3. Find an Accountability Partner: If you can’t find a whole group, just one other friend or trusted professional such as a Coach can serve to keep you focused on and accountable for your goals. Similarly to the group, this person can provide valuable insight and advice on a consistent basis. If it's your friend, you can cross-mentor each other. The advantage of having just one other person is the flexibility and attention to strategize your issues more intimately.
4. Find a Mentor: Sometimes you do need to seek out others you admire who are where you want to be. A mentor can be a former boss, professor or some other highly respected person you meet with regularly, or anytime you need advice. Another option is to ask someone you don’t know personally but respect, such as the CEO of a company you greatly admire. Depending on their availability, you can ask just to chat on the phone or treat them to lunch. They may be highly flattered for the request and want to help you because successful people like to give back! Take advantage of these situations to ask for advice and feedback.
5. Assemble your “Dream Team”: You excel at what you do best. Find other people that excel at all the jobs that take away valuable time from your creative process. Search online for concierge services that can hire a part-time assistant or intern so you delegate all the administrative work, social media or marketing that are time and energy zappers. Seek experts who are holding workshops or informational sessions in areas you need help in. Perhaps you need professional consultants such as accountants and attorneys. Ask your local SCORE or arts and business council if they recommend affordable professional resources. For example, in Miami there is a group called LegalArt that provides affordable or pro-bono legal services to artists. Even if you think you can’t or shouldn’t spend money on hiring these folks, remember that what you’re not delegating out may be costing you a fortune!
Sometimes all we need are little nudges along our path to success. Leveraging the help of others will help you tremendously, if nothing else to free your time and energy so you can continue to do what you do best. 

*If you need additional help on your road to success, check out some additional resources: my new book Sculpt Your Life From Sketch to Masterpiece(TM), join me in Individual or Group Coaching, check out an upcoming webinar or workshop.

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