What makes this a special and exciting trip for me is that Pam and I discovered each other in a teleclass we were both taking, almost a year ago. Since our first phone conversation, I have felt a special kinship with her personally, as well as with her professional aspirations - she helps corporate prisoners escape their Dilbert cubicles to become thriving entrepreneurs. And I help physicians escape their claustrophobic exam rooms to do the same.
On the surface, it is pure coincidence that we both have as part of our mantras the concept of "Thrive", but at heart, we are both dreamers on behalf of our clients and readers.
What has finally gotten us together in person is a formal collaboration effort - we are designing and creating a coaching program for StartUpNation - a premier business providing an extensive array of online and radio support and resources for entrepreneurs.
Our task is create a 12-week program to provide the "human inspiration" and live coaching for their comprehensive 10 Steps to Open for Business program. Our intention is to bring alive in class the wealth of materials and tools that reside on the website, so that any aspiring entrepreneur who engages in the program can develop a systematic and thorough approach to starting a new business.
What makes this collaboration with Pam feel so powerful?
- Mutual delight. Our phone and e-mail conversations have been peppered with personal stories of triumph and challenge, and we both enjoy celebrating each other's wins and commiserating on the (fortunately few) losses.
- Trust. Right from the start, we discovered that we shared the values of business integrity and respect. This has created a sense of great ease around collaborating when there is money involved.
- Equality. I am in awe of Pam's talents and accomplishments, and I sense the response is mutual. This makes competitiveness an unlikely intruder into our working relationship.
- Diversity. We have yet to put this to the test, but from our prior conversations and our initial business discussions with the folks at StartUp Nation, Pam and I offer the project different viewpoints, a variety of on-the-job and life experiences, and complementary skill sets.
- Enthusiasm. There was no mistaking the excitement in our "pre-working day chat" this evening - this is going to be a fun project filled with learning for both of us - from each other and from the experienced people at StartUp Nation.
- Efficiency. The sum is greater than the individual parts. Together, we can combine our minds, divide up the tasks and test what works with two different groups, and report back on what needs tweaking and what is doing well. This means that we will be leveraging our time well - invaluable for two busy professional women with young children.
So ........ Imagine identifying your next joint venture or business partner.
Who will that person be, and what will he or she embody?
What strengths do you need him or her to bring to the collaboration?
What do you have to offer? How deep are you willing to dig?
I look forward to a long productive alliance, and to reporting, many years from now, on our testy spats of the kind that comfortable old married couples and longstanding friends have!