When I think about sports, I think about football. Just after the dog-days-of-summer breaks its fever, the NFL’s pre-season begins. By the time crisp autumn days arrive, I have a sense of how the Vikings will do. They’re the team that has my allegiance.
Which teams have yours?
Purple (Vikings) and green (Packers) jerseys fill southeastern Minnesota bars on any given Sunday from September through January. Sure, there’s the occasional anomaly. People do move here from elsewhere. Back when I waitressed on Sundays, I wore gray. I wanted to be neutral, like Switzerland so I could make money like their banks.
On any given Sunday…
“On any given Sunday, any team in the NFL can beat any other team,” are Bert Bell’s famous words. He’s a former NFL Commissioner (1946 – 1959). You can’t win if you don’t play the game, but you can’t lose either. When it comes to real competition in life, I’m steadfast in my shoulder shrugging. Couldn’t we all just collaborate?
My love for playing volleyball, basketball, and softball faded in junior high. It was replaced by music, theater, and writing. The want to win left town, but the desire to succeed stayed on. As I build my business, will collaboration do the job?
Collaboration in the Marketplace
Collaboration amongst a team is a no-brainer. In the marketplace, competition seems to be the norm. Yet, collaboration amongst businesses does happen. Remember the real Santa Claus in Miracle on 34th Street telling frantic holiday shoppers where they could purchase an item if Macy’s didn’t have it in stock?
In the lifestyle, fashion, and fitness blogosphere, bloggers often follow one another’s work, are inspired by each other, and sometimes even develop content together.
Samantha Erickson of Everyday Mae / Mae & Company and I have collaborated with stores together. Maybe our audience overlaps, maybe it doesn’t. Regardless, it’s fun to work together and what harm could there possibly be in someone seeing benefit in both of our blogs? Amy Anderson writes a Musings on the lake blog for her Lloyd’s Landing website. We get together most Mondays to write, chat, and have company as we blog at Caribou Coffee. It’s fun talking shop with Amanda Leightner, creator of Rochester Rising during Collider Coworking Happy Hours at Bleu Duck Kitchen. I’ve signed up for newsletters from Blogging 4 Keeps and A Cup of Jo. All of the connections and information enrich my life and my work.
It’s all fun and games until…
I learned the saying, “It’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt, then it’s a sport,” while playing tackle frisbee outside of the Rochester Civic Theatre when I was 15. My finger jammed during the game. Carl said it. He was one of those adults who had a playful, youthful mindset and was just a good influence to be around. I’m not sure what he did for a living, or where he is now.
For competition to exist, there has to be winners and losers. I love watching football and admire the determination, grit, and skill of the players. When it comes to doing my work and living my life, there’s no real space for it. I’m too busy collaborating.
Do you prefer to compete or collaborate? I’d love to know. Please email me your thoughts at email@example.com.
This post is part of a series inspired by Eat Pray Love.