Collaboration. Over. Competition. We are hearing and seeing these words a lot lately. I frequently use this as a way to describe my business model. Though what does this quip mean at it's core, it's truest essence? In a culture where we search for something and are inundated with ads related to that same search for weeks to come, we've become leery of marketing ploys. Our distrust in businesses is only accentuated by this invasion of our sacred mental space. I'm guilty of resorting to the question "What is this person, experience, video, etc...trying to sell me now?" "What's the ploy here?" This a true consequence of our minds attempting to process all that is thrown at us in these waking moments. Distill it all down and figure out what is really going on. Although, bare with me here, because I've been working on rewiring my mind lately, and I'm loving the ripple effect this is creating in my life.
Money is a powerful tool in our world. It allows us the freedom to navigate this existence with ease and grace. In beginning to see money as a tool, a benefit, an asset, I'm now understanding that every marketing "ploy" isn't a scheme. It's not intended to take advantage of me. In fact, it's intended to expand the reach of whatever business is showing me their ads, and I'm ok with that. Does it mean I should buy everything? Nope. Does it mean I need to agree with all of the ads? Definitely not. Although, I can respect their hustle, maybe even learn something from it and process as the educated human that I know myself to be.
In this most recent shift I've undergone, I now see fellow businesses on every strata as an ally. Aster Earth can build with this business, learn from this business, or grow with this business, because that's what we do. I don't need to reinvent the wheel, as the popular saying goes, if something works for you in your business, maybe I should implement a version of that into my practices. If you offer a product that I could use in my business or personal life, I'm going to support someone in my local sphere before I branch outward. And let's not even get started on bartering...love me some barter!!!
Saddle up! The modern day business person is creating a new climate in our world. One where we look to each other for support and grow intertwined like a forest of Mangrove Trees (want to know why this analogy is appropriate click here to learn a bit about Mangrove Forests). This fresh approach means we all live in a place of abundance. We are beyond capable of creating the lives that we wish to live and doing so while helping our fellow entrepreneurs develop and grow right along with us! Truly a cowboy culture where we build with our core group, yet we all work together and can be found having coffee (maybe not over a campfire because...hello...coffee shops) at any given time with any of our fellow builders.
Collaboration over competition. Want to see what this looks like in practice for me on the daily? Soap making is actually a very competitive business. There are thousands of people in my local vicinity who make soap and have body care lines. When I first began my Aster Earth journey five years ago, (YES friends, we've made it to year 5!!!) I saw each and every one of these individuals as my "competition." I would sometimes feel intimidated by their knowledge and experience when they'd come into my booth. As I found my purpose in this business, and began to differentiate myself with confidence, I found a common thread. We all have this admiration for someone doing what we do in a different way. It doesn't mean that my way is better or your way is better, just different, and that is ok. Some people will prefer the products of one way vs. another, but again when we live in abundance there are plenty of people on this planet to buy and love my products and yours as well. I live in an "and" world not an "either/or".
Here's another example of how this mindset works for me. Recently, an acquaintance/business contact lost her job. I've known this person for about five years, though not in a close bond just through mutual contacts and occasionally our paths intersecting. This person was present for the launch of Aster Earth and has seen the phenomenal growth I've experienced through hard work and dedication to sharing high quality, natural products with every body. She recently decided to launch a soap line and I came across it on the global social media network. I'm a soap nerd. We poke around on soapers' pages all the time just to see what they're doing. It's real. We geek out on this stuff. I checked out her line and instead of feeling as though someone was edging in on my space, my territory, I checked all that low-vibing energy and sent her blessings of abundance in her new venture. Her creations will not be the same as mine and therefore her reach is a different clientele. Let's face it...we all need/use soap...so this world is ripe with opportunity. I'm excited for her venture and she inspired me to begin teaching workshops, because making soap is super fun and therapeutic!
This new week is a perfect time to begin to shift your mindset. If you aren't already practicing collaboration over competition, I challenge you to incorporate into your life and feel the difference that takes place. Instead of seeing anybody as competition, welcome them into your sphere. Allow your ideas and theirs to flow together in a way that can create a completely unique perspective. Let's begin to discuss how we can build together, work together, achieve goals together. Side by side and step by step. Together we are capable of so much more than any one of us could achieve alone. Here's to that Cowboy/Cowgirl Business Boss Life! Raise it up, friends!