Have you ever attempted to come up with fresh ideas on your own, whether for a personal project or your business? Unless you are truly creative, it can be a challenge!
Many of us, myself included, do better when we brainstorm with others. The shared energy and shared ideas all feed off each other to create something new. Let's create an imaginary scenario here of the creation of a business logo.
Most of us have a community of some sort, whether business associates, employees, friends who understand our work, or like-minded network members. Gather everyone together, in person or by phone.
Present the topic of discussion ("I'd like your input on a new company logo. I want it to ________. I do not want it to _______. Let's discuss!") You may want to make it clear that all opinions are welcome without judgment.
You'll get a variety of opinions, some voiced more assertively than others - make note of all the ideas. One person's comment may seem off base, but an idea generated from it by someone else in the room works well for you. That's the value of brainstorming!
When the topic seems to have been sufficiently gone over, I always recommend stepping away from the project for a day or two. With fresh eyes, go back over your notes, and see what ideas jump out at you. Sometimes the right answer seems obvious after this exercise, and sometimes more discussion will help.
Don't go it alone - brainstorm the answers!
Working on a major book launch recently, I was reminded how important it is to share resources with like-minded folks. Every time you have an event of major impact to your business, it's important to recruit as many partners as you can to share the load!
Think about emails or social media posts you've seen, where a group of people come together to share their gifts if you take some sort of action: buy a book, join a workshop or teleseminar. Not only is this incredibly valuable to you as a reader or guest to the event, it's incredibly valuable to the joint venture partners as well!
Let's say you have an important new product launch...for example, a series of online workshops. Whether you have a large or a small mailing list, you know you want to attract more people to the series than you can reach alone. This is prime real estate for joint partners!
In exchange for the opportunity to market their "bonus gifts" on your workshop website and to share the workshop announcements with their followers (and thus increase their marketing reach), you will be including their gifts in your own marketing for the series, and the gifts add greatly to the perceived value of your workshop series (simultaneously increasing your marketing reach). There are many ways to structure such a joint venture - read more about it online. But remember, you don't have to do it alone! Reach out to appropriate partners and share the rewards!
We're all in business to serve our clients as well as ourselves. But we must keep the balance between the two. I was recently approached by someone seeking my service who, upon first contact, did not feel like a right-fit client. Although there may have been a few things I could do for her, it would not serve me to do so, as the energy did not feel right between us.
Occasionally I am contacted by those who are not fully committed to their work and want to delegate everything, or those who believe they need help but are not willing to let go of control. I've also worked with people who misunderstand my role as an entrepreneur and treat me like an employee.
The ideal match for me is the person who is committed to her own success, knows her own strengths and the areas in which she wants support, and has a plan to achieve her goals.
So, that said, think about your own work. Who do you ideally want to work with? Get a picture of your ideal client and what your ideal work would be. Do you "settle" by contracting with people who don't quite fit? Or do you stand true to your vision and skills, and create boundaries about your work?
The true joy comes in the match, when you attract the right fit client, for whom you are also a perfect fit.
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