Find Someone To Do It With
Creating something - whether it's a business, a baby, or a brainstorm - is always better when you do it with someone else. I wrote about why collaboration is better than competition last year, and I was reminded of how great something can become when we work together after reading this piece about how Kanye West created his new, critically-acclaimed album (thanks to kottke.org for the find). Songwriters create in tandem all the time. Those that I know here in Nashville are always writing with someone. When I overhear one in conversation at a coffee shop, the first question asked is always, "Who are you writing with?" and never "What have you written lately?"
Books have editors. Films have directors, cinematographers, and actors. Companies with co-founders, like Google and Apple, can soar towards remarkability. I've co-founded two companies (Cool People Care and Proof), and I've never had a problem typing the "co-" in front of my title.
In fact, I'll never try to go at something alone. It's too hard, it's too lonely, and it's too inferior.
Of course, painters don't ever work on a simultaneous canvas. Were Picasso and Monet to team up and co-paint, I'm afraid what would result would never hang on gallery walls. The painting artist may be the only venture where going at it alone improves the end product. Everything else gets better with teamwork.
This is why 95% of all sermons suck. Pastors write homilies alone. Churches rarely work together. This is one of the reasons I no longer attend one - too much territorialism and controversy about being the one, the only, the proper, or the absolute.
You need to team up with someone, whether it's a partner, a mentor, an editor, or an equal. Get input. Toss your ideas out into the open, where they can be critiqued and molded into something that's much closer to perfection than you're able to create all by yourself. Swallow the pride and stop believing the myths that people are self-made millionaires. There are no overnight successes and there are no true solo acts.
I'd love to hear from you on this one. In the comments, share a link to something you created with someone else. Tell me how partnering and teaming up with others made your project better. I'll feature the best stories in a future post, so don't be shy. This is your chance to brag about how great your team is.