In one of my first posts this year, I wrote that the number 1 success factor is association. That fact has not changed at all. One must therefore have collaborators participating in their life and business.
Even though I find it very easy to connect with people and attract collaborators, I have always been a loner. I enjoy been alone; reading a book, writing something, thinking and just being in my own company. My best moments have always been those times I spent with Kingsley (that’s me…lol!). But I let that get in my way for a long time. I got independent too early and in my adult days, too often. I had very few collaborators.
When I began to ask myself why I was not as successful as I knew I should be, I got the answer. I had outgrown most of my friends and interaction with them had drastically reduced to only social reasons. It was clear that I need new people in my life who can be collaborators in the different things I do. Making that discovery alone changed my life in an amazing way. That is a story for another day.
Having people to participate in your life, business, ideas, projects is a blessing one cannot quantify in dollars. Sean Parker turned things around at Facebook because Mark Zuckerberg brought him in. In the same way, whatever project you may be pushing today will get better results and make greater impact if collaborators are involved.
Therefore, identifying, courting, attracting and sustaining relationship with collaborators in your life, career and business is one of the best quest of life.
How to Attract Collaborators
1. Assess your life
One must do a proper life and business assessment before deciding the kind of collaborators they need to become more successful in business and life. So, if you have many things you need to achieve almost simultaneously, write them all down and list the kind of help you will require to successfully drive them. In that way, you will not be confused about who to court and attract to become one of your collaborators.
2. Identify potential collaborators
After a thorough assessment, the next step is to identify who you are going to be collaborators with. Sometimes these persons are available within your immediate environment or network. But your need might require that you go for someone outside your network. This is usually the scary part. But there is no need for that. Don’t forget that at this stage, all you are doing is identification of potential collaborators.
3. Develop Yourself
It is important for you to develop yourself in such a way that you have enviable personality similarities with whoever it is you want to attract to your life and business. Like will always attract like. For instance, if you are interested in attracting someone who loves playing golf, you too may have to learn to play the game. You don’t have to be a pro but having an understanding of the rules will help.
4. Brand Yourself
The importance of this cannot be overemphasized. You have to make yourself attractive if you want to attract collaborators for life and business. The kind of development you need is both internal and external. There are various ways you can develop yourself internally. Reading the right materials, acquiring a new skills and so on are examples of internal development. External development has to do with what you are doing with your physical appearance. Having your own website might be the kind of branding you need. Find out what you need.
5. Define the kind of relationship to develop with them
This is the tricky one. A lot of people miss it at this point. Do not start a collaborative relationship with someone until you have decided what kind of relationship you want to develop with them. There are different relationships you can decide to have with the collaborators you want to attract to your life and business. Do you want a mentoring, friendship, partnership coaching or an advisorial relationship with them? Define this from the very beginning and let that guide your approach, timing and interaction. I have seen ladies who got pregnant for men they ought to have a mentoring-mentee relationship with.
6. Court them
At this stage, you have already developed yourself in an area of the prospective collaborator’s interest. And you have also branded yourself in such a way that the collaborator can find you attractive enough to want to have anything to do with you. It is now time to start consciously looking for opportunities for you and the person to get to meet each other. It is time to court them. The art of courting prospective collaborators can be done in various ways. You can do it using various approaches. I will be writing more details on the approaches you can employ in courting soon. Watch out.
Factors that destroy collaborative relationships
Now that you want to actively start courting collaborators, you will need to know that there are certain things that can destroy your relationship with them. You must identify such and avoid them. The most dangerous of them is money. Whether it is money you are asking for as investment in your business or as charity, the talk of money must be avoided at the beginning of the relationship. Remember that I stated above that it is very important to identify why you are going into a relationship with collaborators before you even start. If money is your focus, the relationship might not last.
What if I need collaborators for money?
If that is the case, lets consider what the money is meant for. If the money is meant for personal charity (for yourself), stop right here. I do not have advice for you. One of the things that destroy collaborative relationships faster than anything else is to seem desperate for money.
If the money is for investment in a business idea you are developing, you need to approach this strategically. Do not ask for money. Be friends with the collaborator and every now and then, tell them about the business. You will know if they are open to invest in the long run. Again, instead of asking them outright to come and invest their money, ask for their advice for attracting funds to the business idea instead. Try not to seem desperate.
Finally, I’d like to hear from you. What kind of collaborative relationship have you built in the past few months? Did you encounter any challenges? Do you have any questions? Leave them in the comment section below. Thanks!