Sometimes being on a team can feel like a hindrance. Perhaps you feel a team member is holding the team back or that one team member is bringing the whole group down, but when you work with a team that shares your vision for success, then that’s when truly magical things can start to happen in your collaboration with others.
Recently, my sister Laurel gave up her full time job, packed her life into a pod, and relocated to Denver where she began freelancing. She had given up the security of regular pay checks and colleagues, and was now truly on her own to establish herself as an independent graphic designer. I should also mention she moved to Denver not knowing a soul there, had no job prospects there, and had never stepped foot in Denver before.
When she arrived in Denver with nothing but two suitcases, this was truly what most would call “starting over.” She needed to build a whole new life for herself from roommates to friends to clients. Luckily, she didn’t forget the team in her life that always had her back, no matter where she was.
She packed her life into a pod that started driving across the country with the remainder of her possessions she hadn’t left behind in West Virginia as she boarded a plane and began her own travels to see friends and family on her way to her new home in Denver. During her stay in Portland en route to Denver, she met with a friend who was expanding their life coaching business. They spoke and connected on their shared interest of wanting to grow this friend’s business, and so by the end of my sister’s trip to Portland she was on her way to Denver with her first client.
Laurel began working on websites, webinars, and social media marketing for her friend’s business as their newest team member. Since Laurel wanted to personally know her friend’s material and also because Laurel had broken off a relationship of her own upon moving to Denver, she watched her friend’s webinar on relationship coaching. The webinar had a lot of great advice that hit home for her, but one of the ideas that stuck with her most was reminding all those who came to watch the webinar to take time to celebrate the fact they were taking steps towards their greater happiness and empowering themselves. CELEBRATE!
Laurel took her friend’s concept of celebration and applied it to all of their work together. After watching that webinar, for their next virtual work meeting together, the first item on the agenda Laurel created for their meeting was CELEBRATE! Logged into Skype, Laurel poured bubbly into a glass, virtually cheers’ed her friend’s hard work and success across the screen, and made a toast to everything her friend had recently accomplished for her business. A small tear formed and fell from her friend’s eye. She had forgotten to take her own advice, and this celebration meant so much — especially as they had been working so hard together recently to accomplish all of her friend’s goals for her business. It truly was a time to celebrate!
Sometimes we need others around to keep us in check in following our own great advice that we’ve given but have forgotten to follow. Now at the top of every agenda for Laurel and her business meetings with that friend is CELEBRATE, during which they bring to attention positive things that occurred or they accomplished that week.
Laurel is one of my greatest heroes. While I am her big sister and taught her a lot of “important” life lessons over the years, from where mom hides the candy stash to how people will always want to work with people they enjoy working with over those who even might be more talented but they wouldn’t enjoy working with, she’s now the one who teaches me. But more importantly she is on my TEAM. No matter what it is I want to do or what I want or need her help on; she has my back 100% and is there to support me. She’e even now the editor for all the marketing pieces for my own architecture business. Having team members who unequivocally have your back like that, and share your vision for success, can make you and your team an unstoppable force in achieving your goals in life.
This article is my love letter to my sister. Whoever is on her team is very, very lucky. I wish for all reading this that they strive to seek out the right people for their team like her who will always have their best interests in their heart and a shared vision towards their collective success.
(If you’re looking for a great freelance graphic designer to support your team, check out her work at www.laurelgreengraphics.com and look forward to celebrating together!)