Hey investors!  Let’s talk collaboration.  What does it mean exactly?  It’s defined as:  “the action of working with someone to produce or create something.”  I’ve had some amazing collaborations this week that were completely unexpected.  They came out of being open to the ideas of others and sharing a vision of what we’re trying to accomplish.  It’s going to be an interesting couple of months as we’re collaborating on a couple of major projects to bring about an acceleration on the acquisition and sale of properties, as well as some education opportunities to provide to investors in all different facets of the industry.  Stay tuned, because there are some exciting things happening.

My collaborations are not the point of this post though.  The point is that you can accelerate your results if you’re open to collaborating with others.  I’ve seen where people get greedy and don’t want to keep the entire pie for themselves.  This is small thinking.  We’ve been able to grow our business significantly over the last couple of years specifically because of collaboration.  It could be ideas, money, systems, sales, or a host of other areas that can help your business get to the next level.  If you want to shrink the time it takes you to achieve success; collaborate and do so often. Imagine just trying to think of all ideas on your own.  Apple would’ve never been what it is today without Steve Jobs collaborating with Steve Wozniak.

How does one choose a partner for collaboration?  Well, it definitely requires certain things.  It requires first and foremost, trust.  It also requires mutual respect and an openness to ideas.    There needs to be a dynamic to the relationship that doesn’t exist elsewhere.  There needs to be a shared vision.  Both parties need to bring value to the relationship and it needs to be fair.  Give, give, give and give some more.  However, if you find that you’re putting in 90% of the effort and only getting half of the result, it might be time to talk with your collaborator about the relationship.  It might be most helpful to begin describing the ideal characteristics of a great collaborator.  What would they need to bring that you don’t have expertise in?  What kind of network do they have?  What kind of vision do they have?  How do they think?  What kind of action do they take?  It can be a lot like dating actually.

So the question is, what could you accomplish with a great collaboration?