Stop. Collaborate. Listen.

I am asked the “favorite” question quite a bit.

And I am so. over. it.

“What’s your favorite beer?”

“What’s your favorite brewery?”

“What’s your favorite restaurant?”

“What’s your favorite food?”

“Who’s your favorite child?”

I mean… really.

What’s the point of this bullshit?!

Stop.

This one-upping, dick-flinging, my-beer-is-better-than-yours is not what I am about. It’s not what the community I am proud to be a part of is about.

Why? Because your favorite and my favorite and his favorite and her favorite doesn’t matter. They are all subjective. Everyone is different… and that’s what makes this world so damn awesome!

Collaborate.

When I think about Grand Rapids. Beer City. The vote that we did compete against other amazing cities to win? We collaborated. We bonded together as a community and thrived. We recognized, and did not deny the fact that the other cities had many incredible things to offer! We discussed visiting and celebrating these cities together!

The gratitude and growth that spawned out of this collaborative environment and continues to thrive makes me smile.

Listen.

This concept goes WAY beyond beer.

Why do we feel the need to have favorites? Or worse — compete to be ‘the best‘ of everything?

What the hell is “the best“?

Why is there a numbered list of anything anymore?

Comparison is the thief of joy!!

Can’t we just enjoy what we enjoy, and appreciate the fact the people worked really hard to create it? Listen to each other and respect that everyone’s palette is unique?

I look around at the one-uppers, ya know, the competitors. That one person that may not be contributing, but wants to take sole credit instead of collaborating… and it frustrates me beyond belief.

I’ve learned, instead of fighting egos, which can be the equivalent of beating your head against a brick wall… ignore them, and turn to the helpers. Ask what you can do to contribute and enjoy the collaboration process with people that also want to work together to share the load.

And get this — most people want to help and work together!!

Sure, we all have moments of wanting to work solitarily… but most work is easier, and even more fun when the load is lightened with many hands.

The lame sing-song “I don’t know how she does it?!” crap comes to mind. Look, I know people think they’re being kind when they say it, but… ugh. I’ve done the single parent thing in [relatively small] weeklong bursts once/month for a few years recently — and while it opened my eyes to a fraction of what single parents go through, and they now sit on a virtual rockstar throne in my head — it SUCKS and validates the fact that everyone needs help on some level. So, I do know how she does it. Whether it’s from a friend, family, hired help, a wicked ass schedule, screaming, crying, putting a little alcohol on it, etc. No judgment here! Life is complicated. We all need help, whether we’re willing to ask for it or not.

Delegation isn’t always easy… but when it’s effectively assigned to the appropriate people — your success and happiness rate can go through the roof!

Even in the case of awards — where someone supposedly wins “the best of” something or another, you don’t see very many people accepting these things without shouting out a “thank you” to SOMEONE outside of themselves. Yes, even Kanye has a posse to thank. Crazy, huh?! Beck wrote his whole damn album himself and still thanked a long list of folks… but I digress.

Call it your village, your tribe, your community, friendship, family…

Listen up, yo!

Screw the favorites or the best of lists!
Collaboration is the key to success.

Shaddup… I never claimed to be a rapper.

How about I end this with an Amy Poehler quote instead…

 quote-as-you-navigate-through-the-rest-of-your-life-be-open-to-collaboration-other-people-and-other-amy-poehler-146841

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2 Comments

  1. Carla
    Posted March 18, 2015 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

    Love this! I’ll be over for drinks & nonjudgmental honesty while my husband works shifts this summer…

    Ok.. You can be judgmental, but only to my face 🙂

    • Posted March 18, 2015 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

      Ha! You’re welcome anytime! I’d love to have a beer with ya!!

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