Brand: “a person’s gut feeling about your organisation, service or product”.

This week’s blog is born out of two very powerful insights I have recently been given that have truly freed me to be the designer I know I can be. I want to pass this on to you so can enjoy the same freedom I have found. The more I have dwelt on these truths, the more I have realised that Collaboration is one of the most powerful tools I have in being able to influence people’s gut feelings towards me and my business.

Here’s the first insight: Freedom!

Why is it that, when it comes to my business, I ignore the fact I’m not good at certain things and plough on regardless, getting more and more frustrated until I either give up or (through sheer stubbornness) chance upon success?

I was spending more and more time on these areas of the business, knowing I was stealing design and personal development time. I know I was born to be a creative soul, a designer and I was spending huge chunks of time in admin and it was a soul-destroying exercise. So I did something about it. I asked for help.

And suddenly my time was freed and I could spend time feeding my creativity and seeing the impact that had on the work I was doing for my clients.

I’ve come to realise that it’s no sign of weakness to either ask someone for help or buy that help in. And in doing so, I am released to do what I do best and allow others to operate within their gifts and skill-sets. By collaborating with others in helping me run my business I can grow my business along the lines I want to. Their help and advice (some of bought-in and some it given) continues to be invaluable and I am seeing Audacious grow from strength to strength.

Here’s the second insight: deep insight come from deep experience.

I read recently that ‘deep insight come from deep experience’ and it is so true. When I work in collaboration with others – to help me grow and develop skills and my business – I learn, gain insight and I truly grow. As we chat about where we’re at with our businesses, I am always on the look out for a nugget of advice that will take me to another level.

But more than that, I am enabled to offer far more than I can on my own.  Here’s a great example of what I mean. I was recently contacted by a local school to design and source the print for a new prospectus. That’s part of everyday work life. But I had recently made some great contacts with a fabulous photographer and a gifted copywriter so I was able to bring their gifts into the equation and offer the school a package that sourced images and copy as well as design and print.

It’s also worth noting that as I was able to source the images and copy, the school staff were freed up to do what they do best – inspire kids to be the best they can be.

As a result of that work, more projects have come our way. Because I was willing to work in collaboration with others, I’m not just seen as a one-man-band. I can bring in a team of excellent professionals to help my clients grow their organisations.

As a direct result of collaboration people’s gut feeling towards me and the service I provide has been very positively influenced. So the ultimate lesson for us is this: if we try to do everything ourselves and work on our own, we end up harming our brand.

Next week we’ll be taking a look at the last C – Cohesiveness. Until then, have a good one.