“I wanna help! How can I help you?”
For most people that statement is probably a God-send. So many people, when they are facing a big project, are eager to have a team behind them that can take care of the little things, share in the work and make the load a little bit lighter.
I, however, am not most people. When I hear those words from people offering a helping hand, my typical reaction is one of hesitation.
A million thoughts swim through my head, but the one that usually comes up most dominantly is “I have a vision, and I know where I want to take it..you might mess it up.”
You may be thinking, “Well, that’s awfully unfair.”
And you’re right. While I have had some poor experiences working with teams and therefore prefer to work alone, the pre-judgment is unfair not only to the person offering to help but also to…me.
I appreciate order. I appreciate efficiency. I appreciate tidiness.I know that when I work, I am all three of those things. Throw another person (or 10) into the mix and there’s chaos. Did you do this yet? Did you want me to do that? Are you going to show up on time? Do you need any other direction from me? Why didn’t you do it the way I told you the first time? And most importantly, who took my favorite set of markers? ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND?!
I’m confident in the projects I do, and I know that the end product is always superb. A lot of times I’ve felt like if I want something done right, I have to do it myself.
BUT I feel like in several of my creative ventures and goals, the tide is changing…or should I say…RISING?
I’ve recently gotten involved with a movement called The Rising Society that holds the mantra of “community over competition.” Its members support and uplift one another, believing that when they work together, they grow together and the creative community is better off for it. Need tips on how to best market your small business? Check with the Rising Tide. Wondering if anyone can write the perfect story to accompany your recent photo adventure? The Rising Tide can offer you the perfect wordsmith. The concept intrigued me, and the more people I’ve come to meet from this group, the more I’ve adopted the belief that maybe collaboration is a good thing, not something to hinder me. And it got me to thinking, “What was it about this group that was so appealing? Why didn’t I think that they would ruin my work?”
I’ve started to notice that these people weren’t just about bringing in big bucks and recognition for themselves. They cared about the services they were providing to their clients, and they cared about their crafts. Sure, they protect their businesses with common sense, but whether it’s videography or photography, they just wanted to put out a beautiful product for their clients. They are passionate not about fame and accolades but about creative talent–even if it wasn’t their own.
I’ve learned that yes, it’s ok to work solo from time to time, but inviting others to work with me doesn’t have to be a bad thing. We’ve all run into people who we don’t work well with, people who we’re afraid will ruin our vision, people who prove themselves to be unreliable. We have to make the decisions of who we can and cannot work with, but by shutting everyone out, we miss out on the opportunity to learn from someone else, and as leaders we also miss out on the opportunity to be a mentor to someone else.
That’s why the rising tide is different. It says “It’s not just about me. It’s about the art and nurturing a community that cultivates the minds creating it.”