As some of you may know, I am such a huge supporter of my fellow queens. I can’t tell you how much time I spent in the past disliking other girls and vice versa because of how they looked, or how they looked at me and my friends, who they hung with…the list went on and on! But it was ALL for nothing. Now, I am obsessed with uniting with other women who are in the same circles as me and beyond. In my opinion, there is enough room for us all to win and stand side by side as we do.
I am very fortunate enough to have a very ambitious squad. From writers, photographers, to directors, to fashion designers, and musicians, I am lucky to constantly be surrounded with such talented people every day. This motivates me to push myself and my brand even harder because I believe in the mission, and having these connections allow me to collaborate and cross promote. I can’t reveal too much, but I am currently working on a promo video. This is something completely out of my element, but if I can pull it off the way I know I can, it is going to be epic for me, Black Eden Publications, and everyone involved. I will be the first to admit that I know nothing about creating a video and all that goes into it, but that’s why I called on a few subject matter experts to utilize their expertise. From models and stylists, to a videographer, everything is being taken care of.
I am a true believer that you must have your own business in order first before you can reach out to anyone else. But once you get your shit together, all bets are off. People now have begun to see the increasing value of allowing others to have a voice in what they do. Collaboration is key!
But let’s be honest…we all have fears with collaboration. You might tell me that you’re afraid your idea might be stolen or that by collaborating with others, you’ll use up your creativity helping them. Maybe you think that if you allow someone else to speak into your project, they’ll create more work for you. The truth is, all of these things could happen, but I strongly believe in collaboration because I think 4 important things happen when we do:
- Collaboration naturally creates accountability. Once you’ve shared what you’re doing with someone else, you can be certain that next time you see or talk to them, they’re going to ask you about it. They want to see it succeed because they’ve invested in it too, and you then feel a deeper responsibility to make it happen.
- Collaboration helps us define the non-negotiables. Sometimes, we get so tied to the way we’ve done things in the past that we can’t imagine doing it any other way. Collaborating helps to invite someone else into the conversation to see the world from their viewpoint, to help recognize what is negotiable and what is not.
- Collaboration shows how much you value others. Whether you’re speaking into someone else’s work or they’re speaking into yours, it creates an incredible opportunity to value the other party, their creativity, and opinions.
- Collaboration increases other’s participation in your story. When other voices are valued around the table, those involved feel they have a significant role in what you’re doing and will become your biggest advocates. If people do not think they are needed, they won’t be involved. You create your biggest fans when you invite them to be a part of the process and contribute to your brand.
This is why I absolutely love being a part of Pretty Entrepreneur. It’s so inspiring to see the different women that have come together for this project. We all come from different walks of life and we all do something different, but together we are unstoppable. #IamMySista. #QueensSupportQueens
With all that being said, there are definitely boundaries that also have to be put in place when collaborating. There has to be a trust that has been built so that the opinions spoken can be heard and respected, and it’s nice if before you ask someone to collaborate with you, you have already established your credibility in your industry. This makes for a stronger collaboration.
What have been some positive collaborative experiences you have had? What keeps you from collaborating with others? What is something you’re working on right now that could use the input of another mind?
For more tips on collaboration, check out Shade Built My Empire: From Shade to Paid – How to Take Your Brand to the Top by Stevie Boi . Also mark your calendars for the release of The Dope Grammar Guide available August 15th available on Amazon and BlackEdenpublications.com
The Do It All Pretty AKA Sasha Ravae is the author of the Counterfeit Dreams series, the Ski Mask Divas series, Dying for Change, Trap Goddess, What Bae Don’t Know, and co-collaborator of Boy Toy and City Nights. She is also the founder and CEO of the Black Eden Publications . Sasha Ravae began her professional writing and editing career back in 2012 after receiving her Professional Editing Certificate from UC Berkeley. She also currently runs her own blog: xoxo Sasha Ravae – Blog Talk where she gives tips and tricks to upcoming authors as well as keep readers updated on everything Black Eden Publications. You can read her books and follow her blog on Blackedenpublications.com .