Community Over Competition
"A creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others" - Ayn Rand
There is power in collaboration - YEG is all over it. Since arriving here just over 2 years ago, one thing was certain - the essence of small businesses leveraging creativity, experience, and resources through collaboration was tangible, whether over a cup of coffee and a chat or through product launches and photo shoots, I could feel this community. This is totally a win-win situation where like-minded entrepreneurs join forces and rise together. As an entrepreneur of a one-manned-show, it is easy to feel isolated if you don't put yourself out there to connect with other businesses in your community.
This collaboration with Local Laundry, the Caramia Caramel Girls and Allure Beauty By Chelsea, was a pure example of community over competition at its finest - pooling resources, advice, expertise and connecting.
Although competition can be good for business, as they say, I believe community is even better. As a right-brained thinker, where creativity and artistry dominate, I find myself drawn to those who are left-brain dominate - the logical, business brained thinkers. They have something I don't have, but together, magic. With a 'community over competition' mindset, local businesses become enriched by these strong relationships. The benefits of ditching the competition for community are many; here are some to highlight:
1) Educating and advising each other - this is obvious, we all have our strengths and we all have our weaknesses, so instead of asking Google, ask a local expert!
2) Simple Inspiration - just chatting over a cup of coffee with like-minded individuals can create an avalanche of exciting new business ideas.
3) It's resourceful - pooling resources for an event or when needed is always beneficial and cost saving. Plus it feels good to share!
4) It feels good to connect and grow a network - whether you are an introvert or an extrovert, it is human nature to want to connect with others - to have someone to vent to, hash things and ideas over with and to be understood is grounding and healthy.
5) Cross promotion - simply put, promoting others is heart-warming and grows the gratitude of the universe. Heavenly.
How to begin growing your community? Join a group the meets regularly, join a virtual community on Facebook or Instagram, invite your Instagram business crush for a coffee or pay if forward by offering your resources to help another local business. You can only win.
"If you send out goodness from yourself, or if you share that which is happy or good within you, it will all come back to you multiplied ten thousand times. In the kingdom of love there is no competition; there is no possessiveness or control. The more love you give away, the more love you will have. - John O'Donohue, Anam Cara: A Book Of Celtic Wisdom