COLLABORATE {WELL}

5 tips on collaborating

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collaborating

Do you look around at what other people are doing and wonder, “how in the world did they get to collaborate with those people?” I have been there. I have done that. I have been told “no”. I have been told “yes” – I have said “no” and I have said “yes”.

Reflecting lately on the process of curating our Dreamer + Doer devotional, I am humbled and overwhelmed when I look at how the Lord wove all the pieces together. And I say that honestly, He has been weaving for 13 years. That is what I want you to know….the project, although was physically produced in 5 short months, was the culmination of 13 years of God weaving opportunities, relationships and gifts.

In a time where social media is a powerful tool to growing business, collaboration seems to be the thing to do. But how do we collaborate {well}, celebrate the gifts and experiences of others, and do it biblically?

1. PRAY – It may seem cliche or simple, but the truth is everything we do should be covered in prayer. Prayer can open doors and it can also close doors, protecting you from opportunities that aren’t the right timing or the right alignment. Prayer gives clarity on what should be added to your list of things to do. Just because it is a good opportunity doesn’t always mean it’s a God opportunity.little-bird Prayer prepares your heart for the answer you will receive if you ask someone to collaborate with you. Prayer keeps your eyes on the one who has ordered our days and what opportunities are best for you and your business.

In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps. – Proverbs 16:9

2. SERVE – How much time have you spent celebrating and serving those around you, those in your own industry, those in other industries. In your own business have you been willing to put others first or do you spend more time fearing the cost or more time searching for opportunity? Are you giving to get or giving to bless? little-bird This is one of the simplest of biblical truths but one that so often gets lost when building our business. I heard Marshawn Evans Daniels say in her Speak for Pay class ::

Sow deposits in people so you have a right to ask. – Marshawn Evans Daniels little-bird

God finds us and prepares us in the times of serving. Oh friends, I confess over the last several years of keeping my head down, working hard and serving where I felt led, I have lifted my head at times and looked around. Looked around to compare, looked around to see if anyone was inviting me to “their party”, looked around for my opportunities. Praise God for those moments that He gently lifts my head up an says “keep looking at me, keep using your gifts {well} and keep serving those around you.”

And he sat down and called the twelve. And he said to them, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.” Mark 9:35

3. NETWORK – This word may scare some of you. Let me encourage you, I am an introvert. I get it – too much networking wears me out. Some of you LOVE networking and could do it all day long. Over the last several years I have put in the hours, exchanged the business cards and shook the hands. When networking, be a good listener, ask questions about their business and how you can help them. Serving them with referrals is a blessing to their business. I am also a conference junkie so many of my relationships have been birthed at conferences. I have invested the time (and the money). I try to make an effort to sit at a new table where I don’t know people. This is how I met Givingtons, the company handling ALL of our book sale transactions and making it possible to give back to non-profits and our contributors. They have been the biggest blessing to us.

Making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; – Proverbs 2:2

4. LOOK AROUND – Look at the relationships already around you. Seek and embrace diversity among your relationships. Over the last 13 years, the Lord has blessed me with dear friendships and business relationships in the most random (divine) ways…some have even been birthed in seasons of trial and hardship. When considering collaborating with someone ask yourself if the collaboration makes sense for them too? Is it a win win for both of you? In fact, dare to even ask “is it more a win for them than it is for me?”

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! -Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

5. ASK – After all the above you still have to be bold and ask. Don’t get me wrong. I have asked to collaborate with others and have not done all of steps 1-4 and still received a “yes”, but it still required me to be bold and brave. I have had others ask to collaborate with me and have had to say “no” because of timing, schedule, or it just didn’t make sense. There is always the chance you will get a “no”, and if you do, be appreciative of their time for considering your request. When we asked women to join us on this book project, we asked that they “prayerfully consider our proposal” because the truth is, I only wanted them to say “yes” if they Lord wanted them to say “yes”. We had people say “no” to our project and with every “no” I knew the Lord had already written the story and He was revealing one-by-one the characters. We chose to get excited to see it unfold instead of getting discouraged when someone said no.

Collaborating is a beautiful way to bring together the body of Christ and see the gifts he has uniquely given each of us create something greater than we could ever create by ourselves!

I love these words from Christine Caine from IF:Gathering 2015::

Unless you’re willing to serve, you won’t be ready. Service is what prepares you. Embrace your place. If He’s assigned you He will find you. little-bird

And always, choose grace and show grace to others.

4 Comments on 5 tips on collaborating

  1. Debra Powell
    February 19, 2015 at 2:46 pm (3 years ago)

    Listening to Marshawn’s interview and reading this post today have been a true blessing. I love {well}! + Thankful for all that God does through you!

    Reply
  2. Maggielola
    February 19, 2015 at 12:03 am (3 years ago)

    I love this…this is oh so timely! #2 is something that I have been paying attention to lately. I am glad to see you expand on it and add more emphasis with the scripture! 🙂

    Reply
  3. Ashley Landry
    February 11, 2015 at 5:23 pm (3 years ago)

    These are great tips and perfect timing for what is happening in my life! Thanks for the great reminders!

    Reply
  4. Dana Vaudrin
    February 11, 2015 at 2:23 pm (3 years ago)

    Jenn,
    This is so helpful and timely. I’ve been brainstorming collaborative projects a lot lately. And I really appreciate your insight here!

    Reply

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