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The Value of Alliances

I have had numerous people congratulate me on my recent statement, “Stop reaching only up to the big boys – they don’t need it.”

It is amazing how many people out there say that they simply want a fair go, that they have a product, an idea, a vision to share but lack the traction and or audience. They clearly are saying they want to be heard, as they too have something significant to say or offer; to be recognised and acknowledged.

Do we have an obligation or not?

Based on feedback, in short, it seems the case that most budding entrepreneurs feel they have a significance that isn’t accepted nor appreciated by the current players, even though they can bring worth and value to the table; they’re asking for a break, an opportunity.

I recently spoke to a new author and up and coming speaker. She said, “Current successful operators in the entrepreneur’s space, more see new-comers as potential customers, rather than peers.”

I believe we have a responsibility to take moments every now and again to consider all ideas, opportunities and company. The Fire Department offers us a wonderful fresh example: “It is the duty of all fire officers to invest in the development of all firefighters; until the day the firefighter exceeds their teacher and becomes a fire officer themselves.”

Winds and wings of change.

Change is inevitable. Lao Tzu said, “Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them – that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”

Could it be that Lao Tzu the father of Taoism, ancient philosopher and writer, was referring to change being not just about ‘what’ and ‘how’ we do it in the future, but also ‘who’ we do it with? Business leaders, academics and researchers who study entrepreneurship have identified collaboration, appropriate joint ventures and information sharing, as important as the more obvious skills such as opportunity, recognition and determination.

The trail of faith. 

I have over the past six months opened up my world to new people and innovative opportunities. This has required me to remain objective, approachable and open-minded, and it has since paid dividends. Remembering that I have got to where I am today, not by being conservative and not by suppressing the courage or enthusiasm required to make robust, smart, unique choices.

If you think the future is based only on ‘how’ you do it tomorrow, and ‘what’ you do; think again. It should also consider ‘who’ you do it with.

To remain relevant, you must think beyond your current space, at times you must have faith; what if an amazing future has been under your nose the whole time, via a family member, a friend or a colleague? By default, if you’re not relevant, you become irrelevant.

“Anything can happen, anything. With anyone, at any time. Or nothing. You always have the choice.” – Dean Hawkins.

Where we are, shapes who we are. 

Where we are today has taken effort, skill, patience and a willingness to think outside of the square. While your current work might mean everything to you in this moment, in the grand scheme of your business, your life, and the cosmos itself, it’s just another thing that will someday fade away; it’s inevitable.

You only get to choose if the fade is tomorrow, next week, a month from now or well into the future; you get to decide via today’s and tomorrow’s company, ideas, actions and effort.

What if you could be part of something bigger than what you intended for today and tomorrow? What if the future, your future is yet to walk through the door via someone else? What if they may/could/might reshape your future?

“Unity is strength … When there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved.” – Mattie Stepanek.

The 7 mainstays of collaboration: 

  • Find people who have ideas, original thoughts and are original thinkers.
  • Avoid people who try to belittle your ambitions.
  • Find people who challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life.
  • Find a way to make collaboration part of your planning and future.
  • Commit to the concept of ‘coopetition’.
  • Understand that collaboration isn’t just imperative, it is as importantas the idea itself.
  • Just like your investments don’t only invest in one area, concept, person or business.

The final thought.

According to a recent report by McKenzie, “As our business skills develop and we gain experience, the strongest entrepreneurs also embrace collaboration as a way to seek out and include diverse views.”

Collaboration is no longer just a tactic; it is the key concept to long-term industry success and effectiveness. Businesses and entrepreneurs that realise this sooner rather than later will be the ones who win the game and succeed in the new era. 2020 will bring a wonderful freshness, be ready.

“Other people and other people’s ideas are often better than your defined thoughts, the collective of everyone’s ideas outweighs the individuals.” –  Dean Hawkins.

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