“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.
Money is often associated with greed, and corruption (Thanks Financial Crisis of 2008 and the $7.7 TRILLION bank bailout) but it’s simply a tool that we can use to gain freedoms and choices. Consider a brick. You can use it to build a house, or throw it, and break a window. As creative entrepreneurs, we need to adopt a more positive relationship with money so that we don’t sabotage our own success by our sheer aversion to it. This leads to weakness is pricing our products and services, under-education on money management, and even guilt for being paid for our goods and services. Evilization of money will cripple you in business. If it helps, think of all the good things that money does in the world. Check out the world-changing work of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for a start. Prepare to feel good about money!
Money Isn’t The Best Way To Get Rich
Have you known someone with lots of money, but little joy? Me too! Being an entrepreneur since age 19, I’ve had times with plenty of money, and I’ve had less than zero money after one of my businesses failed. Having a negative amount of money was painful, but it opened my eyes to what was really valuable in my life. It wasn’t a single possession. In fact, I sold quite a few possessions in order to pay my bills. At that time, I had nothing in the bank, but I realized I was very, very rich. The things that I value the most are my husband, my friends, my family, my health, my podcast, my improv troupe, and my burning desire to build businesses. Everything else is gravy.
This article from RichDad.com points out that many people who make a lot of money are not monetarily rich because they spend too much on living expenses and taxes. They often spend what they earn, and then some. This is worth a read. Just because someone drives a nice car, and lives in a big house does not mean they are rich in any way.
Time Is Worth More Than Money
We always here that time is money, but that isn’t exactly correct. Time is infinitely more valuable than money. You can always make more money which is one reason I don’t stress too much about it. I do stress out about time. Once you realize time is a non-renewable finite resource, you will guard it, value it, and cut out a lot of life’s bullsh*t. We start each day with the same 24 hours as everyone else. It’s empowering to know that we can take that even playing field and crush it by the end of each day. Here is a great post from Success.com on why time is more important than money. It turns out that people who value their time over money are much happier. And that is science, folks!
Money Should Work For YOU
How can we get money working for us, and stop our daily scramble to pay our bills and get ahead? Good news, JellyVisionaries, there are lots of things you can do!
Pay yourself first. When money comes in, set aside 10% and put it in an interest savings account. We all waste at least 10% of our money, so trust me, you will still pay your bills, but you may go out to eat less. Once you save a thousand dollars, consider moving it our of a low interest savings account into a higher return investment. Here are some smart ways to invest $1,000 in 2016.
Use affiliate marketing to make passive income. Affiliate marketing is the process of earning a commission by promoting other businesses’ products. Establish yourself as an affiliate with your favorite businesses, and start promoting them to your audiences with your affiliate code or link which will typically give your audience a discount and earn you a commission. Consult this article from ProBlogger on the ins and outs of Affiliate Marketing.
Sell products online. Your business can earn income while you sleep when you sell products online. Your store is never closed and is open to people all over the world. You just have to help them find you. Here is my post 10 Minutes To Selling Your Art Online but that method does take more monitoring than an online shop like etsy or having a shop live on your website. Here is an article on how to set up a store on your website. It’s not as hard as you think!
I hope you enjoyed this blog post about money, JellyVisionaries! I wish you all the money you need to have the lifestyle and freedoms you desire. You are worth every penny!
I don’t know exactly when I started giving myself 30 day challenges, but I’ve been a big fan of the 3DC for a long time. Thirty days is imaginable–I can picture my future thirty days out, and anything seems doable for thirty days. I am not always successful. I made it 21 days on my 30 Days Of Green Smoothies challenge. I only made it 11 days on my 30 Days of Running Challenge. That one was simply foolish–my body was a wreck. It took weeks for my knees to forgive me. I don’t know what I was thinking. I lasted a whole 3 days of the 30 Days Without T.V. challenge, but that was really just bad timing as it coincided with the season premier of The Walking Dead.
I’ve been successful with these challenges too. I’ve gone 30 days without drinking. I’ve done 30 sit-ups a day for 30 days. I completed 30 days as a vegetarian. I went 30 days without cursing. I’ve ditched sugar for 30 days. None of these were fun, and I figured that was the point–it was supposed to be hard and I was supposed to be miserable.
Looking back, these previous challenges were about deprivation and punishment. They had little to do with personal growth, self-care, or education. The thrill I got when I completed one was temporary, and I had little to show when they were done. I was blind to their futility until I did this 30 Days of Blogging Challenge.
30 Day Challenge Redux
I get a thrill out of challenging myself, and a bigger thrill when I’ve completed a 30 day challenge. My current challenge of writing 30 blogs in thirty days is a lot different than all my previous challenges.
This challenge isn’t about depriving myself of something or experiencing some short-term torture without a clear reason, or long-term goal. This challenge is about creating and becoming a writer. This challenge is pushing me to develop a long-term writing habit so I can get in the groove to write a book. This challenge feels like a gift rather than a punishment. It’s forced me to rethink my entire approach to my 30 day challenges. From here on out they will be about transformation, personal growth, business development, creating, and learning.
The Next 30 Day Challenge
This will be my 25th blog post in 25 days. I am in the home stretch of this thirty day blogging challenge, and I’m already looking forward to my next 30DC. I’ve been thinking about a few ideas that I’m happy to share. I’m really hoping that some of you will jump in and we can help encourage each other every step of the way.
Ideas for the next 30DC:
Pick a topic related to my business and study it for 30 minutes every day for 30 days.
Memorize a short poem every day for 30 days.
Cook a new recipe every day for 30 days.
Create one personal quote a day for 30 days.
Contact one potential client a day for 30 days.
Ok, JellyVisionaries! Who else wants to join me in a 30 Day Challenge? I’d love to experience this transformative process with you!