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Discussions on The Magic of Connections

~ with Alan W & Candice R

Alan, will you kick this off with some clarity, what is COLLABORATION FOR THE CE ALL ABOUT anyway, in the business sense?

Alan W:

It’s not just about sales. It improves how entrepreneurs and businesses solve challenges. This leads to things like more innovation, efficient processes, increased success, improved communication, adaptability and even sharing skills. I’d say it’s also a growth hack via network effects, everybody knows someone that knows someone! .can be with team members OR other business owners. Through listening to and learning from team members, one can help each other reach your goals.


Candice R:

To be a successful CE it’s all about collaboration. This means from peers, to investors, to partners, to stakeholders to employees to the vendors you work with, actually all people that come into contact with your business can become part of your value creation. We spoke in a previous podcast episode about entrepreneur loneliness and collaboration is also how we alleviate that. Importantly, WHO we collaborate with (be it an investor, employee or vendor) is the most important, and we should be looking for like-minded individuals who understand us as an entrepreneur and understand our business vision. For me personally, that means connecting with fellow CE’s, hence DNA’s ecosystem.

How did you come across this topic of COLLABORATION FOR CE’S, what’s the backstory to you and COLLABORATION?

Alan W:

Quite simple actually, increased sales and QUALIFIED leads. Also, from a non sales perspective I’d say: I don’t have all the answers to my questions and I am not qualified to do EVERYTHING so i realised a better way is to find business partners so that we can help each other. Think about it in this way: the accountants doing the books for our business, the website designer building the website, the copy writer helping with content, all those people are specialists and we collaborate with them, even if we pay them.


Candice R:

In business we have always been involved in some form of collaboration. And I think when you understand what bad collaboration looks like, then you become really good at becoming clear on who good collaborators are for you personally. For me, I struggle to collaborate with traditional corporate businesses, we are off in our vision, we work at a completely different pace, we struggle with rigid versus flexible solutions, it is a case of where opposites just don’t work in a good and conducive way. Again, this is why DNA ecosystem exists, as the more we were in conversation with CE’s, the more like mindedness unfolded and the ideas, conversations, connections, flourished. And I want to pass that on, DNA helps us do that.


Is COLLABORATION AS YOU DESCRIBE IT something that CE’s should seriously be considering?

Candice R:

I believe as a CE we all have a why, and we all have a story as to why we are doing what we are doing. I mean we do not have the safety net of a 9-5 guaranteed salary each month, there is a lot of instability and risk and hardship, yet we chose this path. What binds us together is this deep belief in what we do, that we will sacrifice so much to keep it. Why wouldn’t you want to have CE’s all around you, from your partners, to your vendors (especially your vendors as they are co-creating with you), to your investors and even employees (yes employees can be CE’s too and they will make phenomenal assets to your business).


Alan W:

Even in our personal lives we collaborate, we ask a friend where is the best place to buy a new TV, what TV they’re using,, where is the best place to get a pizza. And so on,. Why not apply those collaboration methods to business? It is a natural human thing and we shouldn’t feel threatened to reach out to others.


What are the benefits of COLLABORATING FOR THE CE?

Candice R:

Again this is about value creation and each person that plays a part in that. I personally like to have a similar mindset to mine but welcome a difference in viewpoints and perspectives and domains so that we continue to enlighten and push one another, so we all grow in the process - and I get that in collaborating with CE’s - this a huge benefit when your growth and a CE is propelled through simply collaborating.


What are the questions I should be asking myself, if this is something I should pursue for my business?

Alan W:

Look at all business areas and identify the challenges, areas where things can improve (from sales to creating the product/service) and ask whether it can be beneficial to collaborate rather than trying to go it alone.


Candice R:

Go back to your vision, and your backstory. As a CE we expect others to believe in us, should we not also believe and support fellow CEs? No to mention the character traits of CE’s that will inevitably match yours: creativity, innovation, flexibility, co-creators, fuelled by passion. Couldn’t you be unstoppable when you find a match like this?


Final pearls of wisdom to share on this topic?

Candice R:

It's funny how things tend to go full circle. Supporting CE’s gives back tenfold. Why? Because CE’s know CE’s and our networks are our strength, this is how the business world works, and when we all support one another, business comes full circle and word of mouth brings you business, and collaborating increases value creation. Why wouldn’t you collaborate with fellow CE’s?


Alan W:

We’re social animals and those principles can be applied to business too. The concept of inner circles or trusted circles, like clans in the very old days, have been tried, tested and proven. We shouldn’t lose those skills. In fact, being able to collaborate successfully and in a meaningful way, takes time and effort and practice. Just start! And give it time.


~ From the podcast, "THE MAGIC OF CONNECTIONS FOR THE CREATIVE ENTREPRENEUR", take a listen over here


Work with Alan W


Work with Candice R

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