(OFF TOPIC: It’s feeling great to be back here writing – I’ve felt guilty for not continuing to blog weekly over the last few months, but I feel I really needed the time to focus creatively on my business and new home – and it has definitely paid off so I thank you for your continued support and encouragement to get back here and share my journey with you all!)
I can confidently say that I love the internet, and more specifically, social media. I do understand that it’s always going to be one of those love/hate relationships – but without it, I wouldn’t be here today. I wouldn’t be sitting in my beautiful office looking at the stack of orders I have to pack for today, sketching up a design for my exciting moon calendar collab, arranging supplies and photo shoots and all that stuff I love doing on a day to day basis.
In recent times, I’ve had to draw a bit of a line in the sand with regards to my social media usage and found myself ‘consuming’ far too much and procrastinating a a lot more. Consciously, I’ve had to pull back from internet relationships (yep, I have a lot of them!) and personal usage of social media and have honed my focus more on it just being mainly used for business and business networking.
I’ve had some fall outs, some crossing of boundaries and draining online experiences, but on the whole – I’ve also managed to find a lot of really meaningful, beautiful working relationships in the ‘real world’ (which have also turned into friendships, too).
How have I done this? Like any relationship, it takes time. It takes nurturing – but it also takes real connection. The highlight reels that people put out into their online spaces doesn’t always reflect who they are in person (which is totally understandable, particularly if you are in business but also want to keep your private life private) – so the key things I’ve found in developing great relationships with the people I network with online, are this:
1. CONNECT – Initially, you find each other because they are to be apart of your tribe. Be it 5 minutes or 5 years (or 5 lifetimes) – it’s all the same. You connect because this person or businesses profile ‘speaks’ to you – I like to think of it as a bit of a spiritual connection of sorts – we are all very tuned into energy, even when online – so if you find someone and you can just feel that you are meant to have this person in your life in some capacity, then honour that and get to know their space and feel out what it is they can offer you, and you can offer them. Sometimes it will hit you instantly – like it did for me + Jo from The Darling Tree, but for others – it takes time until you are both in the right space in time for things to fall into place – like it did for me and KV from Aquarius Nation.
2. RESPECT – I find that I can quickly ‘feel out’ those who I want to work with, purely because I feel a level of respect for their work in this world. They mirror something to me that perhaps I feel I am missing or neglecting in my own life – therefore feel like they act as a bit of a beacon of light on my path – which then helps me to respect them more, but also respect my own worth and work, too. There is this feeling of like a mutual love for each other – no competitiveness, no hidden agenda or clear hierarchy between both parties – if you reach out, and they mirror the same respect back – then this begins to take the relationship to another phase entirely. Don’t get me wrong, you can be a total ‘fan girl’ (I’m fan girling all the time!) but if you approach them and their response doesn’t make you feel respected back, then this may not become the relationship you envisioned – which is totally cool too, but something to always remember when choosing to collaborate with people you don’t know in person (yet). Timing is everything, and it could simply mean that a) it’s not meant to be or b) it’s not the right time yet. Don’t get too attached to the outcome, or the idea. I think in our truest of truths, this can be pretty easy to see, all ego aside so it’s key to trust the universe on this one.
3. FIRST DATE – Yep, you heard! If there is someone you admire/respect that you have connected with online and would love to create some magic together – then there has to be a first date! In the past, I’ve done phone calls, Skype meetings and in person meetings – depending on where you are in the world to each other. I feel this is a really crucial part to the process – without truly connecting in person, seeing them in full animation, hearing their voice, connecting in conversation candidly, then I feel this can be a missing piece to the process for some and can allow for things to turn south more easily. It just kind of ‘seals the deal’ for me in knowing that that person has now connected with me in person and online, and that I still feel that same respect and connection. This is also a great time to notice any red flags before you commit to working together, too.
4. TERMS – There has to be a clear guideline between all collaborative parties. If the other person doesn’t really know what it is you want from them, and that your roles/jobs are not clearly outlined before moving forward – then this can make for a rocky relationship. Key is to truly ‘collaborate’: listen to each other, nurture each others strengths, value each others opinions and compromise on everything – it can’t be just all about what you want – so keep an open mind and just trust the process and let go of your rigid expectations. Collaboration isn’t for everyone – it takes a level of letting go which a lot of business folk find hard to do. When money is involved – it’s always good to hash that out in the beginning, working out exactly who does what and gets paid what and in what manor – set fee, commission, affiliate fees and lead times on this etc. It’s a business transaction at the end of the day – energy for energy – so don’t ever expect people that you mutually respect to do anything for free or heavily discounted. There is a difference between collaboration + standard business transactions too, so get clear on what it is you want from the get go.
5. SUPPORT – Again, like any friendship or relationship – you need to support each other on this collaborative journey. Check in with each other, be honest and share your highs and lows on this experience. If things start to take another direction with the collaboration that you didn’t anticipate, work together to come up with a new plan on getting through it together. This means regular interpersonal catch ups – in person, Skype or phone to keep the connection flowing. It’s great to fall back onto the internet relationship for the day to day stuff, email and social media – but I still think it’s super important to stay in touch in person so you are both held accountable, can relate to one another and feel each others vibration throughout. Seeing this collaboration through to the end in the same steam you started with is also something that can be easily forgotten, but have noticed how important it is to make it a true success. Like the old tortoise teaches us – slow and steady wins the race. It’s easy to get caught up in the concept, but there also needs to be consideration for the process and carrying out of the task ahead.
The internet truly does open us all up to boundless opportunities in life and business, so I feel in this day in age – it’s something to be embraced, nurtured and those who adopt new ways of networking, marketing and building their brand are those who are the pioneers of new types of online business.
A perfect example of I have learnt about this process would be that of my collaboration between amazingly talented artist + graphic designer Jo Klima from The Darling Tree. I found her through Instagram around a year ago and ever since her and I have supported and followed each other in life and biz. I instantly felt the urge of “I have to work with this girl!” the minute I saw her work and we had many chats via email and Skype as to how this may pan out. The initial collaborative ideas we had didn’t eventuate (that old timing thing I mentioned!) and turns out it was all just pushing us towards our current amazing collaboration.
Then there was KV. A classic fan girl turned business collaboration example, I first found here work on a private facebook group for moon women (which my lovely readers told me about!) and I first was a customer of hers, purchasing readings and my birth chart book. For months, I followed KV and her ridiculously accurate, jaw-to-the-floor astrology based insights and just thought to myself, man, I need to work with her and learn from her. We quickly discovered that we are also very similar souls, to the point she calls me little sister and she is my big sister, from the other side of the globe! So anyway. It all came together when Jo + I decided to birth our calendar project and we asked KV to come on board as our secret astrology weapon – to which we are ever so grateful for. It’s been a learning experience for us all, but I feel we have all really let go of the reigns on our own business styles and allowed this collaboration to really take on a life of it’s own in a really organic way, and we are all blown away with the results and the reception of it so far!
I’m so pleased to announce we have birthed our collaborative baby together, under the name “The Cosmic Collective” – a 2015 Moon Energy Calendar that includes 12 amazing full-colour mixed-media artworks by myself and Jo, guided by KV’s moon energy and astrological insights. Available for pre-sale here.
Oh, and enjoy some behind-the-scenes + promotional piccies below of our beautiful creation!
I might also add that we have combined our powers and created the “COSMIC BUNDLE” giveaway which includes: ‘The Beginning’ Art print from Jo, A ‘gratitude’ mandala ring from my collection + the awesome ‘The way of the moon journey’ research journal + book from KV – A special gift from us all to say thank you for supporting our vision! (To enter the giveaway, you just have pre-order before the 14th Nov and you go automatically into the draw to win this bundle!).
To wilder collaborative adventures,