Growing up we're often taught that hard work brings success. And while that may be true, success is also achieved by working smarter and more strategically. As individuals we often feel like we have to go it alone in order to accomplish our goals. But honestly, have you ever met anyone who has succeeded or achieved their full potential by soldiering on alone? While that might work at the outset, it's not sustainable long-term.
Over and over again I've seen how the power of coming together in the name of a shared goal can achieve results far greater then one individual. Here are two of my most favorite and recent examples of this power in action.
The inspiring Yoga teachers behind Virginia Yoga Week, June 12 - 19, are a perfect example. Economically, the dollars and cents of being a yoga teacher or yoga studio can be challenging. Spiritually, many teachers struggle with charging for something that has historically been passed down from guru to student without any associated financial obligation. However, many yoga teachers feel a deep desire to share the multi-faceted benefits of a yoga practice but lack the resources to make the desired impact.
So leaders in the Virginia yoga community came together to leverage their collective power to engage community, promote wellness, and unite all. Over 20 studios throughout the state have come together to promote the mind, body and spiritual benefits of yoga with free or discounted classes while also raising money for charity (karma yoga). The participating studios/teachers pay a small fee in return for being included in traditional public relations efforts and social media outreach including a website & Twitter handle (@vayogaweek), a press release and more. All things many of them wouldn't have the time or ability to engage in themselves. There's also a significant press angle to this collective - one studio offering free yoga classes probably won't generate a lot of attention in the press. Now 20, that's a different story. They also have embraced the opportunity to create unique and attention getting events, like their closing event at an outdoor park, to increase their chances of attracting the eye of the press and the public, while also appealing to a variety of audiences.
Ellen & Todd Gray - Long recognized as DC's hospitality powerhouse couple, Ellen & Todd continue to lead the way in powerful partnerships that build a brand built on a passion for serving their community. Creators of one of DC's most talked about events of the year, they created Sugar & Champagne as a way to leverage their collective power in the culinary community to raise awareness and money for the Washington Humane Society. The city's top pastry chefs share sugary treats and are associated with this leading event, while the WHS is able to get out their message, showcase pets up for adoption to a very receptive crowd, and raise much needed funds. To date the event has raised over $300,000, found homes for countless furry friends, and has been named one of the top charity events in DC.
When opening their newest restaurant, Todd Gray's Watershed, they immediately looked to the Oyster Recovery Project, to make a difference where they live and eat. Through various efforts, their goal is to increase the number of restaurants participating in the program and educate the culinary community about the ecological benefits of recycling oyster shells.
How has the power of the collective made a difference in your business? I'd love to hear your stories.