Looking at the author’s name on the cover of a book, it’s easy to assume they did it all on their own. But when you turn to the last page and find the acknowledgements, you discover just how wrong you were.
In a recent article, I wrote about the unfair truth behind the success of some of the most creative icons in history — authors, painters, and musicians whose work still endures today. The cornerstone of the piece was this:
Without a network, creative work does not endure.
If you think you can tackle your craft alone and hope for sustainable success, then you’re kidding yourself. Be it writing, music, or business, you need people to reach people.
This week on The Portfolio Life, Andy and I talk about how networks magnify the work of their members, and why some places become hubs of art, entrepreneurship, and innovation, and why others do not.
Listen in as we discuss how networking is the foundation of these hubs and why it’s in your best interest to start building one today.
Listen to the podcast
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Bring your own oar
Years ago, I went on a high school canoe trip in Wisconsin. After paddling hard for what felt like hours, we hit a calmer section of the river and linked up with the other canoes in a makeshift floating caravan. It provided a safe environment to enjoy our surroundings and to navigate the waters around the bend.
Looking back, this exemplifies networking pretty well. On your creative journey, there are white-knuckle rapids and calm, soothing stretches. What helps you stay afloat are the people in your canoe and the others around you.
A strong network and a skilled team are the keys to reaching your goals. But how do you find a network? How do you convince someone to let you in their “canoe?” The best place to start is to bring your own oar (talent, skill, knowledge).
All right. That's enough with the canoeing analogy.
Here's the bottom line: There's no such thing as a free ride to success. You must be good at something before you jump into an industry and get noticed. Networking is more than who or what you know, it’s who you help. Generosity gets you on the river, community keeps you in the boat.
In this episode, we discuss:
- The natural progression of working relationships
- Questions to consider before you build a team
- Different levels of collaboration
- What the greatest creatives in history knew about networking
- How to create an environment with an excess of intellectual capital
- Why places like New York City, Nashville, and Paris become hubs for an abundance of art, culture, and innovation
- When to start thinking about building a team
- Where to find sojourners who are on the same path as you
- A secret to successful collaboration
Quotes and takeaways
- People are more powerful when they are united over a common idea.
- To become a successful creative professional you have to network.
- Community is within our grasp more than ever before.
- When you get enough people together you create an abundance, an economic spillover.
- You have to be good at something before you jump in to help someone.
- If you want to reach people, you need people.
- Don’t rob someone of the chance to be generous.
- The Unfair Truth About How Creative People Succeed
- Good to Great by Jim Collins
Where are you at in the stage of building your business, platform, or art? Share in the comments