by Janette Searle
I've been working as a freelancer or on my own for years now. There are aspects of it that I really love. The freedom I get in my work life. I don't have to wait for anyone else to make a decision, I just do it. I don't have to fight with anyone for the last choccie biscuit in the tea room.
However, there are quite a few downsides of working on your own. One of the major downsides, apart from having no one other than your laptop to talk to, is that all the ideas have to come from you and you are solely responsible for nurturing them into existence. This has the potential to work brilliantly of course, but my experience has shown ideas shared, mixed and nurtured with others tend to turn out a whole lot better.
Ideas that are allowed to have sex tend to create a richer more vibrant reality.
I've become a firm believer in the importance of being open in actively sharing ideas. This is in contrast to more creative professionals that I care to know who hold their ideas close to their chest. i can't help think they are missing out. I've based this philosophy on the knowledge that if someone 'steals' my idea, then I'm going to have another one soon anyway, and maybe they will be better than me at making that idea reality anyway.
When you share ideas with others you generally get ideas shared back. You generally get comments and feedback that help shape your idea into something amazing. For those ideas that don't have legs anyway, you're able to realise it way before you attempt to give birth to it in any real sense, and save time and energy for those good ideas.
By openly sharing and working together on the good ideas the potential for growth (both the ideas and your own) is immense. I listened to a Ted Talk by Matt Ridley (where ironically I stole the idea for the name of this blog .... but i'm sure Matt will be fine with it). He talked about the power of the collective mind and how history is full of proof that the collective mind and sharing of ideas is infinitely more powerful than keeping ideas to yourself or a small group.
So how do you partner up your ideas so they can have sex too?
You listen. Listen to those around you and consider what they're doing, how they're doing it and whether they're interest, focus and way of being will fit well with you and your ideas.
You talk. Chat with people about you're doing and what you're thinking. You'll be surprised at what you find. When it fits with them people tend to blossom. The light in their eyes switches on and you're away.
Put yourself out there. Actively seek opportunities to mix with those people that resonate with you and your idea.
But most of all be open. Be open to the idea of sharing and worry not about your idea being stolen. Be open to hear both the great additions to your idea and the negative ones too. Both sides will help shape your idea and help determine what is realistic and what needs some adjustments or maybe just binning.
My big focus for this year and potentially a significant part of the future is collaboration and partnership. I'm actively looking for ways I can share my ideas with other like minded individuals and what ideas of theirs I can contribute to. Its exciting and fun and I can see a whole bunch of 'good times' ahead for my ideas. I intend for them to become right slappers!
Posted: Thursday 12 August 2010