“It is the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.” – Charles Darwin
I used to be a lone ranger, wanting to do things all by myself. My mule-like independence, and lack of trust in other people, kept me from exploring a lot of creative ideas. Sound familiar? Eventually, I got smarter, and learned to appreciate the benefits of creative partnerships. I credit Tim Trueheart with my ability to collaborate–he was my first creative partner, and together we’ve tackled a lot of creative projects over the past seven years.
Partnerships can be tricky though–especially if you partner with the wrong person or if YOU are the wrong person.
But, if we can learn to recognize good creative partners, and take care to foster these relationships, we will be able to launch new endeavours to help us with our creative and entrepreneurial success.
What Makes An Ideal Creative Partner?
Someone who is as enthusiastic about your vision as you are.
A person with complementary skills.
Someone with a track record. Have they created or produced anything before? Do you have any evidence of follow through?
A business or organization that could benefit from a creative partnership with you or your business. The pARTnership Movement is an organization that believes in this type of collaboration and plenty of success stories to get you inspired with the possibilities.
How To Find Creative Partners
Get outside your house as much as possible for authentic, human interaction and engage in good conversation. Meet a variety of people.
Actively and constantly look for ways you can help people.
Make networking a game. Can you make five people smile today? Get comfortable being uncomfortable.
Nervous about talking to strangers? Don’t be afraid of reading self-help books for tips on starting a conversation. I recommend the self-help How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie.
How To Foster A Creative Partnership
Be honest and use good communication.
Show and expect mutual respect.
Talk is cheap. Make sure good conversation is punctuated by action.
Pay attention to signs of bad character. Do words match actions?
Have clear, written expectations of roles, responsibilities, and deadlines. Use a service like Slack to track communication and documents.
Why Do You Want to Form These Relationships in Your Community?
You can meet your heroes! If you are an artist of any kind, you can attend shows and events within your community and be in the same location as people in your world that have influence. This gives you the opportunity to make a face to face connection.
Collaboration! Creativity thrives on collaboration. Develop partnerships with people you admire that will benefit them. It will lead to more work, and build your reputation.
Partnerships grow your core network and introduce more people to what you do.
Remember this, JellyVisionaries:
“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.“
F*ck The Machine. This was our motto and our original logo we used at The Soundry, and I often turn to it as a personal theme. It reminds me that it is important to buck trends and be original. If you are in need of an original idea, turn to the usual and make it unusual. Go against the accepted standard.
I remember when The Soundry first opened, it was time to put on our first art show. I wanted to do something different to get our unique, co-working space for the creative class some much needed attention. I decided I wanted to put on an art show of 2×3 inch (exactly) miniature masterpieces. At the time, people told me I was nuts. Although I had never put on an art show before, and I had no idea what I was doing, my gut told me this was going to be a special show. To make a long story short, I was right! It was our most successful show that allowed indie artists entre’ into art shows, and more experienced artist a way to introduce their work to new buyers at an approachable price. And, we sold tons of art because not only did they have prices that didn’t intimidate people, buyers didn’t have to think about if these tiny treasure were going to for above the sofa. The show turned many people into art buyers.
I’m bragging, because to this day, I am so happy with myself that I didn’t back away from my unusual idea. Baby Canvases is still happening, now at an amazing indie art space called Olly Olly that is run by the Uber-Talented, Jessica Kalista. If you are anywhere near Fairfax, VA on Nov. 26th, 2016, I hope you will attend the next baby Canvases Art Show and pick up some amazing art.
So, JellyVisionaries–I want you to F*ck The Machine. But whatever you do, don’t Google it.
“Some 80% of your life is spent working. You want to have fun at home; why shouldn’t you have fun at work?” – Richard Branson, Virgin Group Founder
A 2014 Gallup Poll found that 70% of U.S. employees were not engaged in their jobs. In other words, they were not enthusiastic about their work, or committed to their place of employment. A vast majority of people hate their jobs. As Richard Branson points out in his quote above, a lot of us are spending 80% of our lives miserable.
I get it. Kinda. I’ve never had a “real job” and really never found it that difficult to start a business. And trust me, it’s not because I am any smarter than you. If you can stomach the torture of the nail-biting interview process, I’m pretty sure you can handle getting an EIN number, and a business license.
Not everyone should to quit their jobs today, and start a business, but a lot of you really need to consider it. If you love your job–stay. If you don’t like your job, but your financial/health/family situation is precarious–stay for now, but start a side business and start planning your exit. The rest of you, listen up!
5 Reasons To Quit Your Job Today
You Don’t Have Kids or A Mortgage: If you don’t have the burden of a lot of huge responsibilities, take advantage of it. I started my first business when I was 19. I was single, shared an apartment with three other people, and I owned very little. It was the perfect time to take a risk on a business idea because I had little to lose. By the way, I started that business with $75, and it later became a million dollar company.
Take stock of what you have to lose. If you are still living at home rent-free, and going to a job that you hate, I just don’t get it. Make the most of that kind of privilege while you still can. Take control of your destiny now. And get out of your parent’s house as soon as possible. Independence is a keystone of any entrepreneur.
You Already Have A Business But Your Job Is Your Security Blanket: The truth is, the job you hate, is hurting the business that you love. How screwed up is that scenario? How can you grow your business to the point it needs to be to sustain you when you are giving your good stuff to your employer ? Keep in mind, you are also actively assisting in making someone else wealthy, so let’s get jiggy with it, and do that for ourselves. What say you?
You Are Being Verbally Abused, Bullied, Or Harrassed: A paycheck, or anything else for that matter, is not acceptable tender for abuse. Get the f*ck out. If you are reading this at work, and this is happening to you, I want you to stand up, pick up your things, get your sandwich out of the fridge, and walk out. If you are reading this blog, I trust that you already want to, or have started a creative business. If you need help getting a business started, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You Spend Your Workday Dreaming Up Business Ideas: You are an entrepreneur trapped in an employee’s world. If only there was a portal to the entrepreneurial world where you belong.. Oh yeah, it’s called a door. And if you also happen to have an emergency savings account, you should run, not walk, through it.
You Care More About The Company Than The Owner: I know who you are. You are the employee that shows up early, stays late, notices company problems and tries to fix them. You are constantly trying to instigate change. Screech! Pump the brakes. Your boss doesn’t want you to improve the company, he wants you to do your job, and not rock his gravy boat.
What you do for them, you can do for your own business. Make yourself rich by removing the salary ceiling. There is no salary ceiling in entrepreneurship. Work hard for yourself, and see your dreams come true, not someone else’s.
Hey JellyVisionaries! Need help with business ideas, strategy, planning? I do creative business consulting! Contact me at email@example.com.
If you are looking for that unique, meaningful, sappy, gift for your family, I think The Edinburgh Casting Company pretty much nails it. The results are freaky amazing, and most of the kits are well under $100.
Something You Have To See:
I ordered this on Amazon this week, and I can’t wait for it to arrive so I can start cooking. “The Artists’ and Writers’ Cookbookis a collection of personal, food-related stories with recipes from 76 contemporary artists and writers.” I am looking forward to making recipes like Joyce Carol Oates’ Recipe In Defiance Of Grief.
A Shiny New App:
Do you have what it takes to use The Most Dangerous Writing App? This writing app is impressive in its simplicity. You choose the length of time you wish to write and start the timer. Here’s the catch: If you stop typing all your words will be erase forever. This is a great pressure tool for those that need to get out of their heads and write. Go ahead, write dangerously!
An Awesome Business Article For Artists:
Hey JellyVisionaries! I’ve consulted with plenty of artists on how to sell their work,and I find it can be uncomfortable for an artist to do the selling because it is so personal. I was so happy to come across this article this week because it sells art to any potential buyer by listing 13 convincing reasons to buy original art for your home. Let these reasons reinforce your confidence when selling your art. Look at what your art does for people! It improves their daily happiness, increases conversations, and it even keeps their brains active! YOUR ART HAS EXTREME VALUE. Keep this article handy. 🙂