I have been working Solo, in a team as an external partner, as well as, deep inside the corporations, as an employee in advertising agencies. I can tell you just one thing: There is nothing that will boost your productivity and your enthusiasm more than being part of a vibrant creative team. Really.
You’ve got to get out there, find people, socialize and create brilliant work together. So, in this article, I am going to give you 5 reasons for why it is important to work within a team, 5 ideas on how to set up your creative-inspirational team even if you work from home and 3 alternatives that can support your family needs and be a professional team player at the same time. I will also give you 5 tips on how to make sure you are a great team player.
“For where two or three have gathered together in my name, I am there in their midst.”
That’s the law of “multiplying the creative energy.” Do you think it is only a religious phrase? No, it’s not, it’s a universal law. So, here is what I have found. You might be as good in your field as you possibly can, but when you work within a team, your ideas, creativity, and productivity don’t just double, they multiply.
Five reasons why you should always try to work within a team:
- Your productivity rises ten times higher than working alone. This happens because the energy pushes you to move forward. The team energy is real, and it exists, and I have witnessed personally that when I am part of a vibrant team, I get to finish tasks, works, and creative projects at lightning speed. Something that feels impossible when working alone.
- Your creativity and ideas are boosted and expanded. It is the energy, yes, but it is also something more: other people see things differently than you. They have other kinds of perspectives. When you truly respect their view, your perspective and creativity get Also, being with people who have the same interests and goals as you bring conversations that are focused on the projects you need to produce. Conversations raise the interest, they lead you to more research, and they guide you to ideas that would never have appeared otherwise.
- You get support both practical and sentimental from people who understand you and feel you. A team is like a secret sisterhood/brotherhood. It is a unique Fellowship. I don’t need to say more on this, if you have been working within a real team you know it yourself. You might adore your kids, your hubby or wife, your friends and relatives, but… you can’t get REAL support on your business issues, unless they are part of it.
- If you luck of some specific skills your team members will backup for you. Like a living organization. What the foot does cannot be done by the hand, and vice versa, right? You might have a great spectrum of skills, knowledge and abilities, but there must be some things that you are better at, and that you thrive when you are focused on just those. Within a team, you can enjoy that, which, when you work alone is nothing but a “lalaland” luxury.
- You progress. Within a team, you progress as a human being. That might sound a little woo-woo, but isn’t everyone’s real-life goal to progress? To become a better human being, to bring up their talents, to be more patient, to gain communication skills, to raise their empathy and their sensitivity towards the world? Well, can you do this alone? Nope. Can you do this with “easy” situations? Nope. You can do this only within a team that will force you to overcome your limiting beliefs and limitations, to raise your team spirit above your egocentric self, and to respects and appreciate people whom you would never choose as friends.
5 ideas on how to set up your own inspirational team
- Create a bonded team from within the social media. Start a group, or follow groups that look good to you. If you work from home, that should be the first thing to do. Make sure you do not over-socialize though. Once you find a couple of people that you truly like, personal message them and ask if you could meet them in person, through zoom or live messenger. Build real relationships and arrange Accountability-meetings regularly, every week.
- Keep contact with former colleagues and friends from the university. Even if you don’t work together anymore, you still have many in commons that you cannot discuss with anyone else but them. Try to meet them regularly, for a drink or lunch. You should have those meetings without the participation of the rest of the family, because you will not be able to discuss the business matters that interest you. You may reunion with those people through LinkedIn, if you have lost contact.
- Find out people who are complimentary skilled with you and invite them to be part of your team. The projects you are working from home might need a broad variety of skills. Why would you have to know everything yourself? This doesn’t mean they will be working for you. They will get their share when the entire job is done, and when the client pays. But beware; if you lead the project, you HAVE to pay them in the end. If you are not skilled well in communicating with the client, receiving a decent deposit and concluding properly with the job, then in case your clients skips away without paying, you will have to find the money to pay the people who worked in your team for you.
- Meet-ups and Networking events: I know. Most people hate them, because they approach them in a very distorted way. They think that if they go and have a glass of drink hanging around, they should find new clients. Many new clients. Well, networking events don’t work this way. In most cases, the people who go there are not clients who yearn to give away their money, but professionals who most probably are desperate for new clients. So, when you are there, what do you do? Go to meet new friends! Just like that. Find people who are just like you, who have the same interests, who love doing the same or complimentary things, who would appreciate a supportive friendship. Networking events are great for meeting people like you. Go and find who will be your next professional team buddies.
- Go and reach out directly professionals you admire! Oh, that’s a big one, and it feels really scary, I know. But it shouldn’t be. Let me tell you about my own experience on that. When I was building my book coaching business, there were in my radar some well known bestselling authors I admired. I was not somebody famous (and still I am not) so, I thought that they would not even read a message from me. But I wanted to set up some cool video interviews, and I had to dare move forward and talk to them. To make a long story short, I built some really valuable friendships through this video-interviews project, and I realized that the “top-in their field-people” are not arrogant, and they are impressively approachable. You only have to try… after all, what have you got to lose?
These are ideas that you can follow if you work from home. But what if you are open in other forms of cooperation as well? I used to work strictly from home during the time that my kids were very young and they needed me 24/7. But now my kids are grown up. I have more flexibility, and I can welcome more business opportunities that can be based in other places than just my home. If you are in this position as well…
Follow me along and for 3 more alternative team-building opportunities:
- Get a job! I know, you wouldn’t expect to read this in a post written by the “work from home Diva”, right? But why not? Having a job is a great thing when it fulfills ALL your needs, personal, sentimental, creative and economic as well. Working in a really professional environment, in a big corporation which represents ideals and ethics can be bliss for someone who is creative and yearns for being a part of a supportive, vibrant and ambitious team. I used to prefer working from home because my kids were young, and I didn’t want to leave them in daycare. But now they are grown up. I can’t keep on working in my pajamas… it’s boring and many times unproductive.
- Work as an external partner and participate in the brainstorming meetings. I used to do this a lot in the past. As a graphic designer, stuck in my bed because of health complications, I kept contact with advertising company owners, and I was working from home. When my health got better, I could go to the Agency Building, attend meetings and brainstorming events, and then go back home to do my work. That was enough for me to get the team support I needed.
- Teach your Expertise in your Local University or College. I’ve done that too, and I can tell you, there is nothing more fulfilling than teaching. You can find many Local Colleges and universities that are looking for part-time Tutors. Most tutors and professors are working part-time. You can write a beautiful Resume for your qualifications, and a couple of briefs on seminar proposals. Find who is responsible for hiring professors and introduce yourself. You might get a class for a couple of hours a week, or even more, opportunities to teach. What is great with teaching is that within this process you expand as a person and as a professional as well. You learn so many things you would never believe existed, and you become part of a beautiful fellowship, the one which consists of other Professors Colleagues and the one which is within your classes, that consists of you and your students. I have kept contact with students of mine who were studying in my classes 18 years ago. And they still call me “Teacher.”
To conclude, Working from home is for many people a great opportunity to raise their family – their kids while expressing their creativity and earning a good living at the same time. But it is not easy if you do not belong in a vibrant creative and supportive team. There are many ways to build this team, and those where the ways that were discussed in this article. I need to say one more thing though. Teams consist of humans, and in many cases, humans bring within the team bring their ego, their fears, their limiting beliefs and their arrogance. Working within a team can be bliss, but it is also difficult if you are not armored with confidence and self-respect. It is essential that the head of the team is a real leader and that you also support his/her work as much as you can.
Here are just a few suggestions on how to support your team:
- Do not act egocentrically. The team consists of many people, not just you.
- Antagonism is the biggest team killer. Do not antagonize, and if you find other people acting this way, just let them be the way they want. Don’t play their game. Do what you have to do, support whoever needs your support, and do not be afraid. Soon they will feel safe, and they will be more friendly and supportive as well.
- Listen, listen, and then listen a little more. Your ideas are much appreciated, but if you express them without knowing exactly what is needed to be done, you won’t go far. Nore you, not your team either.
- Give credits. Say where you found information, congratulate the team members on the good ideas. You won’t turn them into arrogant beasts; you will only give them more reasons to work harder and cleverer next time. And this will bond the team and turn it into a fellowship.
- Work your own personal issues outside the professional-creative team. Obviously, you can say that your kid is not well today, or that you are not ok because you had a fight with your hubby. We are all humans and things happen. But you need to understand that everyone carries some issues, and a professional creative team is created for this specific purpose, to be creative and to raise your productivity, not to act as a group therapy. Most people don’t want to invest their energy in your own personal problems, and even though it sounds hard, you need to respect it, because you wouldn’t want to go to work and have to put up with everyone else’s issues either.