In Good Company Blog

4 Essential Business Lessons Not Just Learned But Incorporated: Lesson 2 – Collaborate

Evi Abeler Whip and Click In Good Company community collaboration

The learning curve for all entrepreneurs is a steep one that never quite flattens or slows. While it’s great to learn a lot, the pace and intensity makes it hard to absorb, never mind implement, the lessons learned. Kind of like when you used to cram for an exam. You knew the information really, really well for about a day before it became lost in the deep recesses of your brain. That’s why, at the end of the year, it’s really important to reflect on what you’ve already learned before you outline what else you want to accomplish. This is especially important when you are a very small business as you probably don’t have the resources to learn expensive lessons over and over again.

I asked a few entrepreneurs to share their best business lesson of 2012 as well as how they’ve changed their business. The lessons are nothing new. We’ve all learned them – probably several times over. But what’s really compelling is how these entrepreneurs incorporated these lessons into their business practice. They spent time digesting before reaching for more. As a result, their businesses have evolved and improved considerably. Use their example as motivation to do the same!

Lesson 2: Collaborate

Evi Abeler, Evi Abeler Photography
Commercial food and product photographer 

Evi is a talented product photographer with a broad array of experience both in-house and freelance. When she finally decided to go out on her own 100% she knew that she’d have to spend a fair amount of time on marketing herself and her services. She also knew that due to the visual nature of her work a blog and a strong social media presence would be important. The trouble was that her blogging attempts felt random and sporadic. Like many of us, she struggled to create good content that was not just efficient but also fun and buzz-worthy. Frustrated, she felt like another needle in the haystack. After all, what’s the point of spending loads of time on a blog that no one reads?

However, after a good friend, pastry chef Albane Sharrard, asked her to photograph her latest pastry collection for some promotional materials, Evi got an idea. What if they regularly collaborated to feature both of their work? They had worked together in the past and always enjoyed the creative collaboration. And so their gorgeous joint blog, Whip+Click, was born. They share in the planning, content creation and operations in addition to the promotion. And while it’s certainly more fun to do it together, it’s also easier – as the very act of partnering creates a good amount of focus and accountability for them. The benfits have been far beyond what they imagined. They were initially looking to lighten their workload, but they’ve actually ended up creating something big, beautiful, and wonderful in its own right. It’s half the work, twice the fun, and significantly more than that in terms of return. In addition to significantly strengthening her online presence and brand, the blog has garnered a lot of interest and directly created several important relationships too. It’s truly a 1+1 = 3 kind of thing.

Catch up on Lesson 1 (Focus) from yesterday and stay tuned for Lesson 3 and 4 this week. Or, if you just can’t wait, check out the full version on Forbes.


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