I used to think that competition was healthy. I thought that by competing to be the best, I’d be more successful, people would like me more, and life would be easy and awesome. Instead, each time I “won” and achieved what I wanted by competing, there was another dangling carrot that required my competitive spirit.
The problem was that I never really cared about the dangling carrot, but only the things I thought I would achieve as a result of getting there first; I’d be more successful, people would like me more and life would be easy and awesome.
If I am being really honest with myself, while I was typically in fierce competition mode at work, it seeped into my personal life as well.
I competed with …
- friends in hopes of my life and relationships measuring up with what they had.
- family in hopes that my life choices would make me as happy as their choices made them.
- people I didn’t even know who wore better clothes than I did in advertisements.
I didn’t do any of this with malice or even complete awareness, just out of habit. First, fast, and best sometimes came before developing meaningful relationships and identifying what would truly make me more successful, well liked and my life easy and awesome.
Like other parts of my life, that has all changed and today I choose collaboration over competition for better business and relationships.
I write about simplicity. So do other writers, bloggers and artists. In many other fields, we would be competitors, but instead we are collaborators.
We chose collaboration over competition for better business and relationships.
- Tammy Strobel and I got to know each other on Twitter and then we scheduled a Skype call to say hi. Today, we partner on lovely courses and have become friends for life.
- Laura Dossena translated my ebook, Living in the Land of Enough to the Italian Dall’abbondanza all’abbastanza. International collaborations are awesome!
- Joshua Becker invited me to guest post on his site, Becoming Minimalist helping me to grow my blog and share my message of simplicity. We spoke together this year about minimalism and entrepreneurship and I am hopeful that we will collaborate on other projects moving forward.
- Leo Babauta taught me the ins and outs of blogging. He showed me how to drink and enjoy tea and we wrote a book and course together. If he is ever in Salt Lake City and needs a ski instructor or hiking guide, I’ll be there!
- Valentina Thörner da Cruz created the Spanish version of my Dress with Less course and our relationship started with a simple Skype chat.
- I spoke with Joshua Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus in Austin Texas at SXSW and I am still trying to figure out how to send them Chipotle burritos on a regular basis.
While I am so grateful for the work we have done together, I am much more interested in the relationships we have developed. They became my friends and add tremendous value to my life.
I can’t wait to go to Portand, OR in July to meet world changers like Joel Zaslofsky and Victoria Smith. I’m excited to work with artists, bloggers and entrepreneurs to lift them up and help them put their hearts in front of their goals. I look forward to sharing more stories of simplicity in action and guest posts from people dressing with less.
Collaboration over competition encourages:
- meaningful relationships. When you are curious about another person’s life and work, a relationship begins. When you help and contribute, the relationship flourishes.
- creativity. Two brains are better than one and once you start brainstorming and sharing ideas with like-minded people, the sky is the limit in terms of creative ideas.
- vulnerability. Putting yourself out there and exposing your work or heart for criticism and rejection is hard, but you can’t enjoy love, praise and joy without risking the bad stuff. Collaborating with others makes that risk easier because you know someone will be there to celebrate or catch you when you fall.
Stop measuring up, climbing the ladder and tearing down others to build yourself up. It’s time to connect and collaborate, to support and strive for better relationships in life and business.
I want to hear about your work and get to know you better too, because there is more lifting to be done.