I had three rules for dating:
He couldn’t be an artist.
He couldn’t be a co-worker.
He couldn’t be a janitor/plumber/AC repairman/etc.
Then I met my partner and broke all three of my rules when I asked him out. He was a fellow art student working at the same museum I was in the position of janitor. The first year of our relationship, I had all of these fears concerning him and my artwork.
I feared dating another artist because I’m so competitive. I didn’t want to find myself turning everything into a contest. If he ended up drawing better than me, I’d hold it against him and nurse a grudge. It wasn’t that I wanted to be the best artist in this relationship, I simply didn’t want to have to fear a competitor. I know that sounds ridiculous but I think many of you will understand. We all want to feel a little bit special because of our talents. Thankfully, I saw my partner’s Drawing 101 homework one day and learned why he was a photographer. Hehe.
So after that fear of competition was gone, I turned my mind to collaboration.
I wanted the two of us to become one of those ‘power couples’ in the art world and the only way to do that was to ask each other for help.
- I needed help with my product photography. Yes, I’m all right at it but having a professional photographer with a full lighting studio and the latest and greatest editing software (not to mention the ability to figure out all the buttons and settings of the camera AND the software) is ten times better!
- He needed help with his copy. I was also an English major and grammar is my best friend so I continue to be the chief proofreader in our apartment.
- I needed help with my design. I can work on a business card design for 2 hours and it will look like a first-grader made it. Then I give up, pass it to my partner, and 10 minutes later (I kid you not) I will have it back looking more beautiful than I ever imagined it could be.
- He needed help writing pitches. I’m the fake extrovert in our relationship so I’m the one who writes up all the pitches, collaboration requests, and dinner date emails for the two of us.
We all suffer to some extent with the solopreneur syndrome. We feel that we have to do everything ourselves. Every. Single. Thing. Even if we aren’t that good at something. However, my business has been able to grow and become more and more professional thanks to asking for help. I don’t have to spend hours on website design because I ask my partner for help. In return, I line up workshops for him. In the end, we both come out on top and it takes less time because we’re working to our strengths.
What can you ask your friends and family for help with?
- Sharing your work with friends
- Web design
- Packaging orders