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Episode 184: The Power of Collaboration with Megan Porta

In episode 184 Megan talks about the power of building relationships with other entrepreneurs so you can lift one another up and each find success but not get stuck in the comparison trap in the process.

We cover information about the value of Clubhouse, how to be a useful person and reach out to others, supporting one another and the value of conferences and summits and mastermind groups.

Listen on the player below or on iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, or your favorite podcast player. Or scroll down to read a full transcript.

Takeaways

  • Food blogging does not have to drain you, overwhelm you and make you feel like you are the only one in the world working your BUTT off to achieve some seemingly unattainable freedom.
  • The “sea” doesn’t judge.
  • Comparison will distract and sink.
  • Focusing on the ways a captain can best run his ship lends to a successful journey.
  • When vessels band together, great things can happen.
  • We need to take care of our boats.
  • Manage our tools and resources. Take care of the structure.
  • Weather the storms that come our way. Do our very best.
  • Most importantly, we need to take care of ourselves so we remain healthy, efficient sea captains.
  • Allies are good to have when you’re manning a boat in the middle of the ocean. And the more, the merrier.

Transcript

Click for full text.

Hey food bloggers! It’s just you and me today and in this solo episode I am going to talk about collaboration over competition. 

Food blogging does not have to be disastrous! It does not have to drain you, overwhelm you and make you feel like you are the only one in the world working your BUTT off to achieve some seemingly unattainable freedom. You deserve to value yourself and reap the rewards of doing that. You deserve to have a clear next step, to work less and earn more.

Join us inside the totally revamped EBT membership to go from:

Lonely to deeply connected

Overwhelmed to having clarity

Not knowing which information to consume to having clear next steps

Disorganized to planned and prepared

Lacking confidence to having bold confidence and valuing yourself

Everyone has a different definition of “freedom,” but we all want it. FREEDOM is the reason most food bloggers decide to dig in and find success. The focus of the EBT membership is to provide motivated food bloggers with resources and support to help meet their financial and freedom goals.

If this perks up your ears, head to EBT.com to become a member today!

Collaboration over competition

We’ve all heard the phrase “A rising tide lifts all ships,” right? I actually prefer “A rising tide lifts all sea vessels” because not every vessel floating on the water is a ship. We see everything from worn-out dinghies to luxurious cruise ships and everything in between. At any rate, I’ve been running this phrase (and the power behind it) through my head a lot lately. 

WHAT is so cool about this simple concept..

It is a law of nature. If two sea vessels are floating in the same sea, they HAVE to rise together. It is not possible for the sea to lift one up and not the other. This is a fact. 

The sea doesn’t judge. It doesn’t lift up the shiny yacht and refuse to lift up the beat-up raft with patched holes. ALL vessels are lifted when the sea swells.

Comparison will distract and sink. A person in one vessel peering obsessively at what people in another vessel are doing (and what the others have that they don’t) will stop taking care of their own vessel! They become prone to sinking, falling overboard and drowning.

Focusing on the ways a captain can best run his ship lends to a successful journey. People tending to their own vessels will continue to rise with the sea, alongside other vessels.

When vessels band together, great things can happen. Five sea vessels tied together contain more collective supplies, resources and knowledge than a sole vessel floating in the sea.

What does all of this teach us..

First of all, what is the analogy? Obviously WE are the captains of our vessels, but what do our vessels represent? Our vessels represent our businesses. 

We need to take care of our boats. Manage our tools and resources. Take care of the structure. Weather the storms that come our way. Do our very best. Most importantly, we need to take care of ourselves so we remain healthy, efficient sea captains.

Look around at the other vessels in the sea. If you see a vessel far in the distance that is on the very top of a large wave, know that the wave will soon reach you. Cheer that vessel on. They’re on top of the sea.. just as you soon will be.

Notice which vessels you’d like to float alongside. Maybe you see a captain nearby who is super friendly, waving at every other captain she sees with a smile. Or we see a different captain who generously hands out supplies to other vessels as needed. Steer your vessel so you can be close in proximity to these vessels.

ALSO.. be the vessel who offers value to the other vessels! Offer encouragement during storms. Provide fishing supplies to hungry fisher-people. Be an encourager because the sea is bound to get rough eventually.

Don’t compare vessels! It really does not matter if the vessel near yours is a way newer model than yours. You are both floating in the same sea and enjoying the same journey (from different perspectives, of course).

As a vessel in the sea, it is YOUR responsibility to MAKE THE DECISION to enjoy the journey, to support other vessels and to choose who you float alongside. The words “make the decision” was the most important part of the previous sentence, by the way. We ALL have the power to make better decisions in any given situation.

The food blogging space is saturated with people of all experience levels. It is easy to get caught up in the idea that we will never be as good as “those other” bloggers. Their big wins, when they are on top of the big sea swells.. those will never come our way.

But as I just talked through, it is literally a law of nature that you WILL experience the top of the sea swell, too, if you remain in your vessel and do what you’re supposed to do (stay in your boat, take care of our boat, take care of yourself, help others, weather the storms, do your very best, etc).

I don’t know about you, but THAT speaks to me.. it’s not something that wavers. It is guaranteed!

Because this is such a saturated space, we can so easily start comparing ourselves to others: 

  • Blogger X is doing THAT, so I should do it, too.. AND I should do it in the exact same way they’ve done it.
  • We see how many followers other bloggers have, or how much traffic they get or money they make and we want that, too. Pronto. And then we’re immediately disappointed that we don’t have it.
  • Social platforms can be deceiving, as well, and can easily fill us with envy or jealousy. 

The thing about all of this is that competition stems from a scarcity mindset. If you think you don’t have enough (fill in the blank) and that others do, you are coming from a place of LACK. And when you come from a place of lack, you will always lack.

I recently listened to the book “Who Not How” on Audible by Dan Sullivan and wrote down a line from it that I love and that fits in really well here: “Useful vibes vs competitive vibes” Isn’t that great? Be USEFUL, not competitive.

Going back to my sea vessel analogy, if you’re seeing all of the other boats as competitors then you likely want nothing to do with them. Ostracizing yourself from their circles is going to ensure that you don’t get the resources and information you need. You won’t make friends. You will limit access to supplies that don’t exist on your own boat. You’ll generally be less happy because you’ll be braving the sea ALONE, which is a big task in itself.

On the flip side, if you make yourself useful and collaborate with your fellow sea captains, you make friends! Allies are good to have when you’re manning a boat in the middle of the ocean. And the more, the merrier. If you need to patch your boat or need food or sunscreen, your friends will happily help you when they know you are always so willing to share your drinking water with them when they are thirsty. 

I would love to encourage you to find ways to collaborate with your peers because we (food bloggers) need each other. We cannot grow, much less survive without each other. Here are a few ideas about how you can collaborate with the many peers that surround you:

  1. Reach out to a blogger you’ve never met before. Whether it is a new blogger who you feel needs a friend or a blogger who’s been around for over a decade, do this regularly. I promise it will be well-received and it’s such a simple way to figuratively extend an oar over to another person’s boat, just letting them know you’re here. You see them. They are valuable. You’re here if they need anything. You love the work they create.
  2. Get on Clubhouse! The food blogger camaraderie has been so massively impactful on this platform. It is SUCH a cool new way for bloggers to share knowledge, learn from each other and grow in so many ways. In the 2 months I’ve been on CH, I’ve met tons of new food bloggers and I’ve been able to connect in really deep ways. 
  3. Reach out to a blogger you trust and ask them to start a project with you! Working alongside some of my favorite bloggers has helped to grow my brand hugely and it has given me so much fresh insight. If this seems intimidating, start with a small project such as a collaborative ebook.
  4. Start a mastermind group! It is extremely important to collaborate with like-minded entrepreneurs and starting a mastermind is a really easy way to connect, learn and speed up the growth process.
  5. Get involved in Facebook groups or other discussion forums (EBT forum) where food bloggers spend time. Make a commitment to spend 5-10 minutes/day answering questions, providing feedback to other people’s questions and just being generally supportive and positive.
  6. Attend virtual (and in-person, when this is a thing again) conferences and summits. Honestly, there is no better way than this to get to know your fellow bloggers. NOTHING trumps in-person, face-to-face gatherings, but virtual events are super valuable, as well. 

No matter where you are collaborating with other bloggers, remember to be QUESK! Provide Quality information. Be Uplifting and Encouraging. Share your Smart ideas. And be Kind.

Food bloggers. Our sea is a saturated one. Look around at your fellow sea captains. Find opportunities to add value and to be useful. Don’t compare yourself or your boat to anyone or anything else out there. You are unique, your work is unique and there is not a single other YOU out there. 

Go collaborate cheerfully and I promise success will find you MUCH more quickly than if you fall into the traps of comparison.


💥 Join the EBT community, where you will gain confidence and clarity as a food blogger so you don’t feel so overwhelmed by ALL THE THINGS!

📩 Sign up for FLODESK, the email service provider with intuitive, gorgeous templates and a FLAT MONTHLY RATE (no more rate increases when you acquire subscribers!).

Read this post about why I switched from Convertkit to Flodesk!

pinterest image for the power of collaboration

Questions or comments on this episode?

Head over to the Eat Blog Talk forum post about episode #184 to leave any questions or comments. We’d love to hear from you!

Megan
Megan

Megan started her food blog Pip and Ebby in 2010 and food blogging has been her full-time career since 2013. Her passion for blogging has grown into an intense desire to help fellow food bloggers find the information, insight, and community they need in order to find success.

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