Why the spirit of collaboration is key to success in all industries, and getting out of your own way is the single biggest gift you can give yourself.
Too many of us make the mistake of thinking we can do every task needed to succeed. In any realm, really.
Think of your home. Changing lightbulbs, painting walls, even switching out a faucet or door handle are tasks most of us can easily complete.
But what about when the electrical wiring goes haywire? The plumbing clogs or pipes rot inside the walls? What if roof shingles chip and wear away under the stress of winter weather? Can you fix all of those problems? And better yet, would you want to?
It’s natural, easy, and frankly, advisable, to call a plumber or an electrician. To have someone else climb up to your roof and pay them handsomely for the risk and danger – and expertise! – of fortifying your home.
The same is true in our intellectual capacities, and in our businesses.
For 13 years, the Your People team has supported clients in the tasks and strategies of public relations, communications, and marketing. For many of those years, we’ve had clients stick around because they’re pleased with the support we provide and the success they enjoy when they let the activities build to their logical impact of increasing business.
But what brought them to us in the first place? When should an expert be brought in?
Ask yourself: is there a missing skill set or area of weakness in your organization? While you could try to raise your team’s functioning knowledge to a higher level, the time and cost of doing so could outweigh that of contracting the work to an outside expert.
Would you want to pour your energies into a steep learning curve at the cost of productivity? Hiring somebody with a specialized skill set can bring results faster and allows your team the time to gain experience from the expert.
Maybe you’ve decided you have the skillset to oversee the function well enough, but as your business grows, managing several functions at once becomes unwieldy. Hiring a contractor to take on certain functions can increase your firm’s capacity. Because capacity can be cyclical, hiring a freelancer or agency can provide flexibility and agility at times of ramping up, as well as down.
And what about just having an outsider perspective? Sometimes it can be tough to hear, but it’s necessary.
Spending so much time and energy growing a successful business can often make a business owner blind to the truth of the business. Knowing what you do well – and what you don’t – is powerful information!
And it’s no weakness to know when you need to outsource a task or two. A consultant can provide objective recommendations while at the same time become an integral part of your team.
We all have our strengths, our areas of expertise. We train and study, learn and develop, so we can contribute unique skills and talents to the world. We KNOW we can’t possibly do everything and do it all well. And really, deep down, we don’t want to be responsible for EVERYTHING.
The ability to recognize where we are strong and understanding where we need supplemental help and collaboration is important for success.
The challenge with intellectual work is that it doesn’t seem as apparently specialized as, say, replacing roof tiles or rewiring your electrical system. We can SEE that those tasks are hard and require special knowledge and skill. We don’t want to risk electrocuting ourselves or plunging to our deaths from the rooftop.
Intellectual work is hard, too, and takes a different kind of creative process – a mental shift – that requires time and reflection to produce quality work. Some people are much better at delving deep and finding words, creating images, or devising processes than others, and they can often do it more efficiently with less effort. Thus saving you time and money – and improving your bottom line and your efficiencies.
As a matter of fact, this article asserts that experts such as writers, IT specialists, project managers, web developers, researchers, account managers, and marketers are the most valuable freelance positions business owners can (and should) hire.
There is exquisite strength in knowing what you do well and letting go of what is not your skill. Inviting in someone who can relieve you of your burden. Gifting another with the partnership and collaboration that is, truly, necessary to succeed in this world.
The Indian author Amit Ray said, “Collaboration is the essence of life. The wind, bees and flowers work together, to spread the pollen. Mindfulness gives us the opportunity to work with the cosmic collaboration.”
We are an integral part of a very big picture, one that is beautiful, colorful, and full of energy. Filling our unique corner with the vibrance we bring is our only essence, our only responsibility. Allowing others to shine where they are brightest is the biggest gift we can give ourselves, and the world.