Believing in Competition or Collaboration

Bill Bradfield reminds us to find the team of professional advisors we can rely on, because no one does it alone.  (I’ve Got Your Six!)  Not even solopreuners.  We’ve got to find people to collaborate with to do whatever it is we do.

I love the irony that it is the experience of competition in the marketplace – provocatively imagined as combat in this article – that awakens the need to find our collaborative team. Why is that?

We can see corporations as collections of people who have aligned their interests to watch out for each other.  Bill suggests that solopreuners can do that by identifying the team of paid professional advisors who will watch out for them.

And Biznik itself is premised on the idea that solopreuners can rely on each other.  The taglines “Collaboration Beats Competition” and “Going it Alone, Together” demonstrate joint reliance.

What’s radical about this idea is that the individuals in the Biznik community are not directly aligned together in their economic interest. They’re not doing it because they’re all employees of the same corporation.  They’re not doing it because they are paying each other (though those relationships do form, and they hope they do).

They’re doing it because they hold different beliefs in abundance and collaboration.  For many, these have supplanted the beliefs in scarcity and competition that served so well in the corporate world.

When we see competition, scarcity, collaboration and abundance as beliefs, we can then choose when to hold them, and when to drop them.  We then see we have the opportunity to extend our belief in collaboration beyond our co-employees and beyond our small circle of advisors.  When we realize that we don’t have to see a direct economic link to believe in the value of collaboration, we can extend our belief in collaboration to include other solopreuners.

But why stop there?

Imagine going a step further: extending our belief in collaboration even to include people who once were our “competitors.”

And why stop there?

Can we see extending our  belief in collaboration even to include people with whom we disagree?

Having some trouble seeing that? A little bit harder maybe? Drop me a line or give me a call.  Let’s talk about it.

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