What Can an Introvert Entrepreneur Learn from Collaborating?

If you are an entrepreneur it’s likely you have either tried or are considering collaborating at some level. Online some of the common ways to do this are: guest blogging, affiliate programs, cross-promotion, product reviews, bonus contribution, co-authoring articles and eBooks, and co-producing teleclasses.

This month, my Canadian joint venture partner (a higher level collaboration) and I have been asking successful entrepreneurs:

“What is your top lesson learned from collaborating, to consider future collaborations?”

Would you be interested in learning from these lessons? I thought so! After all even introverts don’t need to have all lessons be first-hand experience.

Business Strategist, Dale Little, has this to offer from her experience:

    The top lesson I’ve learned from collaborating is that you must communicate openly and clearly from the beginning of the relationship. Initially, communication will revolve around goals, expectations, and strategic planning. As the relationship develops so will the communication. Effective communication will begin to focus on review and evaluation of methods and processes as well as continued planning, often with plan revisions. Communication must be courteous and respectful. There will be times when constructive criticism may be required, but partners must always remember to be constructive and professional. There is no room for emotional outbursts or destructive language in a professional alliance. Partners must be clear when communicating their plans, ideas, and concerns. These offerings should be accepted with questions and discussions that will not only provide additional insight, but also further develop the initial thoughts. As a strategic relationship grows, it may seem there are fewer opportunities for communication. Schedule specific times to discuss the business and/or projects that you share. This prevents glitches from becoming catastrophes. Never underestimate the power of face-to-face conversations. Email, texting, phone calls, and FAXing are fine for the transfer of much business information, but they can never replace the insight and intuitive benefits of face-to-face communication. Keeping the lines of communication open will ensure a productive and positive collaboration for all involved.

Does anything jump out to you as an introvert that you can feel comfortable in doing?

Here are two key things that struck me:

How about – goals, expectations, and strategic planning? This is in your head kind of work. Do you like this? You bet. Can you do this? Pretty easily and it’s enjoyable.

Then Dale said,

“Partners must be clear when communicating their plans, ideas, and concerns.” How do you communicate? If you are like me, it’s after listening and contemplating. By then, things are pretty darn clear.

What jumps out for you that would make you consider more collaborative efforts?

And if you can’t wait until the next collaboration discussion, or maybe you are ready for a joint venture experience, sign up now and receive the webinar recording, Joint Venture Matchmaking. Monique and I are pretty excited about helping you build your entrepreneurial empire.

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  1. Bonnie Dubrow says

    Pat, this post was rich with valuable tips for introverts and extroverts alike. You know I always chime in as the voice of the extrovert as I am one. While people have been collaborating to survive since we came to be on this planet, in receint years we’ve become isolated. “The Rugged Individual” “The Lone Ranger” For anyone who’s a solo-preneur, that strategy just isn’t working any more. Too much to do, too many places to be and people to meet. So now it’s time to sharpen the edge of our collaboration sword. As David Coleman, “The Collaboration Maven” says, “We need to make the Collaboration Shift.” We need to learn the skills and how to leverage the technologies that help us connect and work together in meaningful, fulfilling, and productive ways… and that means introverts and extroverts together!
    ~ The Energizer Bonnie

  2. That is so true that people have been collaborating to survive since we cam to be on this planet – I love that! While the internet can spring the trap for an introvert to go into more isolation, I’m usually networking for my opposite extrovert to collaborate to maintain that balance. Thanks for your comments!

  3. Bonnie Dubrow says

    After I posted my first comment this morning, I was talking with Speed (my BFF.) I was talking about “The Collaborative Shift” and said part of the shift is moving from isolation into collaboration. He liked that so much he wrote it down, so I’m passing it on again here.

    The Internet can be used by anyone, introvert or extrovert, to isolate or to reach out and touch someone.

    Most people I know are hungry for meaningful, fulfilling interaction with others. One big shift I see just starting to happen on the Internet is the shift from “The List” to online communities. You and I are in one together, Pat (http://communityandbusiness.groupsite.com.)
    We’ve got some thought leaders in this very field, and look how long it’s taking us to implement the great theories we’ve shared.

    We’re not broken. We’re moving into another stage of human evolution. Coming together as a community we once did geographically. That meant people hung out with people in their immediate surroundings ~ whether they were like-minded or not.

    Today, we can pick and choose. We can congregate around and share ideas, start and join movements, and more… This is a powerful shift, one I’m grateful for.

    How about YOU?

  4. Pat,
    This has lot if information is a small package. I agree with yours and Bonnie’s comments. What jumped out for me was: “Never underestimate the power of face-to-face conversations.” And the associated: never overestimate the power of e-communication.

    However e-Humor is going strong:

    **A broken keyboard walks into a bar and says, “Can someone call AAA, I lost my keys”#pun

    **What did one angry computer program say to the other? Byte ME!#pun

  5. Face-to-face and telephone, are certainly underestimated in today’s 140 character communication.

    Thanks for the comment Jim.

  6. Bonnie Dubrow says

    Jim’s been using this word “blended.” I like it, Jim. Now that we have all these new technologies, some think that’s all we need.

    We’re discovering that’s not true. Something gets lost.

    I’m seeing the same thing happening in teleclasses. For the sake of ‘the recording’ people are doing monologues. That’s great for delivering information (well, maybe it is. I take lots of notes… and the notes sit. I’m grateful I integrate so much on the fly…)

    To really integrate, to be touched, to transform takes more than more information or listening to a talking head (unless you’re just about to tip and you just need a touch.)

    So pick up the phone, go out to coffee, reach out and touch someone.

    The Energizer Bonnie
    If it’s got to get done, I can help you make it fun!

  7. Bonnie thanks SO much for this post. I thought I WAS having a nightmare: I too noticed people carrying on teleclasses like a talking head.

  8. Bonnie Dubrow says

    Pat, you’re welcome. Interaction is where it’s at for me… Which is one reason I love BlitzTime. http://ow.ly/1z1cz You know I’m co-hosting a show there called “Become an Authority in YOUR Niche,” right? I had a ball yesterday. Everyone on the call participated and I didn’t have to pull teeth at all.

    So maybe another reason is just because they’ve got expertise to share doesn’t mean they know how to facilitate discussion / interaction. Or they’re afraid they’re going to loose control of the group.

    Whatever it is, I’m learning alot from the free calls and hungry for meaningful connecting.

    It’s also why I’m starting to do my own classes like on BT. Interestingly enough, the calls are quiet. People are really engaged and learning to control their own mute buttons and environments. Imagine… people being adults – responsible for themselves and caring enough about other people that they take good care.

    Back to you guys and we’d all love to hear from others reading this.


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