Co.LAB started out of a desire to make great things happen.
We (Eleonora, Özlem and I) started as collaborators for The Big Creative Adventure summit in 2016 and continued discussing about our plans and dreams for our businesses. With both Eleonora and Özlem going through my clarity sessions, I realized  the commonality of our ideas and we began to explore how we can expand on Özlem’s desire to build a peer-to-peer membership program and our longing to provide trainings and workshops for creative entrepreneurs. After days of going back and forth on our ideas, we decided to form Co.LAB, a community for creative entrepreneurs to learn, grow and thrive together.

At first glance, it might seem to others that we had our “ducks in a row” so to speak. The branding genius of Eleonora has helped us define what our brand is and we have taken in the motto of “starting even before we were ready!”. For the most part of the first quarter of this year we used design thinking principles of “Testing and Validating” our ideas.

We were sure of one thing: we wanted to serve creative entrepreneurs. We just weren’t sure HOW.

So we pilot tested the peer-to-peer model and created systems that can help our Action Catayst members to grow in their business. We developed the 6R model as a framework on how to help creatives get clear with their vision, set goals, establish their systems, revisit their brands and build on their connections. We knew that the content we are producing are helpful. But we also knew that the business model we are testing was not working.

What also became evident was the missions that we set out for the three of us were not in alignment.

This is where the biggest question of “do we pivot or do we persevere?” came into play.

The past few weeks have been intense for us in Co.LAB. Not only because of the intensity of the Kickstarter campaign for The 90 Day Action Planner but also because we had to make serious decisions on how to move forward.

After a few discussions and deliberations, Eleonora and I decided to focus on building an online learning platform for creative entrepreneurs under the name Co.LAB, and we developed the upgraded version of The 90 Day Action Planner (now on sale on Kickstarter!) as a way to support our target clients and get the word out about what we are creating whereas Özlem will be moving forward with her idea for the peer-to-peer program under a different brand.

From the time we started end of January till now we have gone through a big learning curve. We have learned along the way and we are grateful not only for the support we have gotten from our family but also from our peers who are gracious with their feedbacks and their help.

What have we learned when it comes to collaboration?

Here are our top 3 tips:

1. Find collaborators who are in alignment with your vision, mission, values and needs.

Moving forward with your ideas are easy when you have a clear WHY and HOW and are connected deeply to your internal motivators. Share these with people, talk to them about your life purpose (3Ps: potential, passion and perseverance), get them into conversations of what is important for them. People who are in alignment to your vision and mission will gravitate towards you. You just have to keep on opening the doors for these discussions.

2. Work along the strengths and address weaknesses.

Collaborators bring in their superpowers in the collaboration. Knowing one’s strengths help in understanding how to make win-win collaborations. Be acknowledging of weaknesses can help you address hiccups in the collaborations. It also gives you opportunity to assess if the collaboration is working or not. Use a SWOT analysis to really delve on this deeper. Download here our version of a SWOT analysis (that we named “Your Power”) that you can use for this exercise. This section is taken from The 90 Day Action Planner.

In The 90 Day Action Planner you will explore more on your power. Get your copy now!

3. Know what skills or talents you are looking for that can expand your business.

Be clear on what you need and the support you are looking for. This also gives you a chance to evaluate how you can distribute tasks among your chosen collaborators. It’s important to know that each one contributes to the business to the best that they can and it gives a feeling of mutual effort.

To know more about this topic, you can join us in our Facebook Group and watch our video on #DAY2LaunchInsights.

Stay tuned for more Tuesday Stories and to know more about our method!

Written by Lana Jelenjev