This past fall I was talking with my friend, Byron, about some of the struggles I was having with Chapter Be – specifically that I have become tired of working on everything by myself – and he said to me, “If you want to do something for people, you have to do it with people.” It stuck, and I have been repeating this line to myself ever since.
Chapter Be started out as a way for me to both share authentic stories of BEing as well as explore my own Chapter Be. When everything was new, I relished in the challenges and was learning so much. But, I have reached a point where I am craving being able to work with other people – to step outside my own head and collaborate with others. So much of Chapter Be is me independently working on my own, and it is very isolating. I have interviewed enough people to know that this is a common feeling that entrepreneurs and creatives have – and that it can be a pivotal factor in the decision to end the work/business. Not wanting this to be the demise of Chapter Be – it’s time for some collaboration!
Through some reflection, I have come to better understand that letting go of some of the control of Chapter Be is rather scary for me. Yet, I’ve come to see that in order for it to grow, it needs other people besides me. Even more importantly – it will make the process more FUN! So – there is both a need and desire there, which made me realize that being collaborative had to be a focus for 2017.
I have begun to use “Be Collaborative” as a lens in which I make decisions for Chapter Be. I am trying to prioritize it in a way that I have not in the past – always asking myself, “Does this allow me the opportunity to work with someone else?” So far in 2017 I have been able to accomplish the following by putting Be Collaborative in the center of what I do:
- As of Monday, February 2oth, I will be one of the Rebel Instructors for The Creative Rebel Academy – offering a course on how you can create your own BE Mantra. Make sure to check it out, as there is so much being offered through the Academy – my course is just the start of it all!
- I am a part of a Networking & Mindfulness group – 10 women who meet once a month to discuss their creative endeavors and how we can help one another along the way. Each meeting starts off with a meditation, which has made me realize that is how everyone should start every meeting! The group was created by my friends Melissa Markle of Melissa Markle Photography and Lauren DeFilippo of Cognoscenti Creative.
- I did a day long intensive strategy course with John Zentgraf and Danny Ballard of The Thrive Group Inc., which gave me helpful feedback and was extremely useful to hear my thoughts reflected back to me.
- And…I am in the beginning stages of working with Mollie Kinsman on hosting a Chapter Be Conversate dinner in Denver in April.
I tell you all of this, because my hope is that it displays that when you choose a BE Mantra to focus on, it can help center you around what is most important. I know that there are so many more ways than I want to – and need to – collaborate moving forward, but the trick is to just get started!
And – I feel that it is important to note that I chose BE Mantras that could also be applied to my personal life. We are so much more than our work, and when you are creating your own business it can be hard to remember that sometimes! I have always prided myself on being fiercely independent – to the point that I have never truly prioritized being in a relationship. It has always been something that I have pushed to the side, telling myself that I will worry about that later. Well…in the same way that I have come to realize the need for other people in Chapter Be, I am seeing the same thing in my personal life. Chapter Be has helped me see that “later” is NOW. It is a matter of making room for it and seeing a partner as a life collaborator. It’s extremely uncomfortable for me to write about this, but I feel that it is essential to put it out there. I want to be honest, vulnerable, and transparent that my BE Mantras are being applied outside of just my work on Chapter Be!
The core of it all is about reaching out to other people and finding ways to expand my life and work outside of my own personal sphere of knowledge and being. To open my mind and heart to what others have to offer and think about what I have to offer them. To be okay if that collaboration does not work out or even produce anything. (For example – I emailed 12 people about a project idea I had and did not hear back from one of them. Instead of seeing this as a reason to not collaborate, I am choosing to see it as an opportunity to learn and build from when I reach out to someone in the future. Reminding myself that a bruised ego never killed anyone!). Not all collaborations will work out, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t at least try. Because…”If you want to do something for people, you have to do it with people.”