Today I want to have a little chat over business thoughts. There is a lot of buzz around the Rising Tide Society’s coined phrase, “Community over Competition.” Some think it is coo coo bananas, and some misunderstand the term thinking it means we all give away everything to everyone and sing kumbaya. I can tell you it isn’t the latter, but it is really so so good. It feels like home when you embrace it for what it can mean for your business. Especially those of us who are always behind the screen, head tucked down, and just doing the best we can to build something meaningful. If you’re like me, you may be running a predominantly online business and that comes with a hefty list of #allthethings that you need to do manage it and sell it well.
Social Media (that is a whole ball game in itself!)
Having professional graphics and visuals
Watching the Books
Using all the internet tools (Calendars, Project Management Software, CRMs, oh my!)
EMAILS (need I say more? #struggleisREAL)
Having back-ups upon back-ups upon back-ups of EVERYTHING
Investing in Education
And you know… the actual work that you are supposed to be producing 😉
and a whole lot more!
That list is just scratching the surface of juggling an online biz these days, but you get the picture (because you know it so well!). There are SO many things that fill our to-do buckets day in and day out, but I want to pause on one major thing that I think, no I know, is the key to making all this hard work succeed. Can you guess?
That’s right friend. I’m not going to talk to you about the latest fancy Facebook Ad trick or the perfect SEO equation. Nope. I want to drive home the importance of spending your valuable time outside of the online walls of your precious baby (I mean business) and in the act of building relationships.
And since y’all know I love a good story, I figured now is as good a time as any to share one that has had a huge impact on my business.
If you follow me on Insta (hey friend!) you may have read this story I shared yesterday, but in case you aren’t or that pesky algorithm struck again, I wanted to share it here with you. BUT even if you did read that part of the story, I am going to dig a litttttle further to prove what I mean about relationships.
Yesterday I launched a major collaboration project with one of my all time favorite online businesses: The SC Stockshop. Here is the run down of how it came to be from my Insta thoughts:
Just a couple months ago I shared an idea I had right here on Instagram Stories about how I envisioned more options in thestyled stock photography genre (the one my friend Shay Cochrane literally created!) that brought our favorite flat lay view to life. What would that office really look like? What would that desktop owner wear? How would she welcome her customers for consultations and sessions that would reflect her care and intention in the client experience?These are all pivotal touch points I craved for my visual marketing needs and just casually mentioned it to you all. And almost immediately my good friend Laura Foote replied to that story raising her hand to photograph this if I indeed made it happen, and within minutes… we decided we would!
But as you may know, I am a long time loyal customer of Shay’s stock shop and struggled big time with the idea of creating something of our own within this niche. So we took a leap and emailed Shay to tell her our idea and how we promised that we wouldn’t be trying to re-create her signature product, hoping she would give us her blessing and feedback on the idea.
And we got a whole lot more than that! Shay surprised us by inviting us to bring this concept to life FOR the SC Stockshop. I can tell you now that I was equal parts extremely excited and terrified. Would I be able to create something of her stunning quality? Could I even make a project of this scale happen? Thankfully, Laura was confident in us together and so encouraging, so we said yes, and now I can’t quite tell you how it feels to see our really hard work live alongside the highest quality commercial stock photography we all love in the SC Stockshop! I’m really just grateful. 💗
I could just stop the story there, but there is a key element that I want to share with you that I just didn’t have room to do in the square world of Instagram.
This relationship and collaboration didn’t just start with my vision for a new style of stock imagery.
It started about four years ago. It started when I purchased my first stock Brand Builder set from Shay’s new shop and continued to be a loyal paying and cheering customer for the next four years. Let me tell you… Four years ago (heck even 2 years + ago!) my business was NOT what it is today. My brand was a mess. I was making things up every minute. There was no way I would have been in a place to contribute to a collaboration of this scale well.
It was put into motion last year. When I met Laura. Laura and I crossed paths while speaking at a conference and just hit it off with our deep thoughts on all of this creative entrepreneurship stuff. We pretty much instantly formed a mastermind group with a few other ladies we look up to and have been pouring into each other’s lives and businesses for almost a year.
And it really kicked into gear just a couple short months ago when Laura and I sent a vulnerable email instead of just plowing ahead with our idea on our own because we could. To be honest, while our hope was that Shay would give us her blessing to do so, we had a very real feeling that if she didn’t, we would probably NOT make this idea happen.
We have this thing with people over profit at the end of the day.
But thankfully the story went a way I never would have expected. A way that has reminded me all month of the power of community and putting in your time to build relationships past a simple hello email and a request to get something. It has reminded me of the value of supporting each other with not only our encouraging words, but our time and investments as well.
And as Shay pointed out yesterday from her perspective, it is also a huge reminder to not view everyone else as just competition. Sometimes you have customer needs that you can’t meet alone. Whether those needs aren’t in your wheelhouse or you just don’t have the capacity to produce, those needs are still important. Inviting other people into your business bubble can be extremely powerful for expansion. Scary, yes. But real growth can be on the other side!
So today I want to challenge you to lean into Community over Competition. Give building relationships a very important role in your business. Get off the screen and get on a phone call or in person together over coffee (or wine or whatever you fancy!). And don’t ever doubt that it isn’t worth it.
Who knows, maybe four years later you’ll step into the biggest collaboration for your business yet!