One of the biggest learnings I have had in this year so far is that collaboration is key. None of us can do something in isolation or usually alone. It takes a village to raise a child and it takes a team to bring projects to life. Working together and all pulling together weight.
I recently put together my first UDEMY course with such a collaboration. I met my collaborator through a mutual friend and we have each brought our skills to create my first online course. My collaborator Philipp has done it successfully before. I am really pleased with the result. It is also something I can offer my future clients and people interested in my work.
This year has been a big year for collaboration. Whether through voluntary organisations like Toastmasters and my church or through professional agreements and associations I am pleased that my world, network and opportunities are growing. I would encourage you to do the same.
The old way of having some business cards is still relevant. Many dismiss this because of social media but I think in many places, like Vienna, it still is accepted and even preferred. The other way I have always found to work, is to simply ask for a coffee. I have obtained several jobs and established collaborations, based on just writing an email or making a phone call about having a coffee.
When I was heavily into cycling, I found Bikewise, who offered me some part time work in Australia. My current collaboration with MHC, now three years on, began with a coffee (of course I took my resume) and before long had a job. Recently, I established my collaboration with Die Schule des Sprechen here in Vienna, by dropping off my business cards and kindly requesting to connect with Tatjana Lackner. It paid off. This level of confidence in your abilities and strength and determination to ask is what pays off. Some people admire it, but many are willing to hear your story and offer you some time.
I admit when I first arrived here, I thought the collaborators would run to me, but it doesn't work that way. Especially in singing. I thought it would be easy to pick up where I left off in Australia and just get some work. But it hasn't. Yet. I have to make the change, ask and be bold.
So be bold and ask as you never know where it might lead. It doesn't cost you anything and also allows you to feel like you are ready to connect, be open and curious. Of course, be smart about your potential collaborations, know what you can offer and take a chance to have a chance as my father-in-law always says. It will pay off eventually and I can say now after nearly four years in Austria I am see cross connections. That is, people who know people and are in different fields of my life. Just last night someone at my Toastmasters club had seen me sing at a church friends farewell concert. Collaborations take connection and connection takes communication. Communication therefore is key. This starts with you.
David Corcoran is a Personal Development Trainer who specialises in Voice and a professional Opera Singer. This Blog contains his regular musings, thoughts and ideas. He is based in Vienna, Austria.