Collaboration Stew – Your Recipe for Success

collaborationYour Recipe for Success.

“As you navigate through the rest of your life, be open to collaboration. Other people and other people’s ideas are often better than your own. Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life.” – Amy Poehler

Absolutely amazing things can happen when two creative minds get together. A great current example comes from Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon. Together they play, sing, act and create MAGIC. #ViralMagic.

So I wonder what we can learn from their success.  #GreatExample! Sometimes collaboration begins with a simple conversation, an idea communicated among friends, even a story shared by an author to a crowd. For instance, I had a “date” with sportswriter/author Mitch Album (who penned many books including “Tuesdays with Morrie” and the latest novel “A Phone Call from Heaven”). You can read about that “date” here -> #MyTuesdaywithMitch. Although I listened more than I talked, it was a collaboration of sorts. I learned from a mentor, which in turn reignited my passion for writing and creativity.

We can all inspire each other through collaboration. For instance the Collaboration Definition from Merriam Webster: 1:  to work jointly with others or together especially in an intellectual endeavor — speaks volumes to the entertainment industry. So why not use it more in the business world or personal endeavors. Sometimes it can turn out widely successful, sometimes widely not, but hey, why not give a try? The best “epic fails” can be the most learned from experiences. The ones that DO work… are Amazing!

So I suggest you “Stir Up” some thought-provoking “Collaboration Stew” Recipes for Success:

  1. Who inspires you? What company? Is there a specific book or author that speaks to you? Read. Listen. Learn.
  2. Research the things that motivate you, the background behind their philosophies and the many paths they had to travel to reach the current destination.
  3. Find YOUR successful sidekick. Someone that shares your values. Or maybe not. Because if you are “challenged” in a good way then perhaps you can stretch your mind even further.
  4. Or find someone you believe in. Reach out. It only takes one question, one email, one tweet, one phone call and one hi, to start up a conversation. You’ll never know unless you ASK.
  5. Mentor someone. Share your success with others. Learn from successful people. Get creative and “collaborate” your way to new ideas.
  6. Add to this list. I’d like to collaborate with you on building this list. #CollaborationStew

When will MY phone ring? Will it?

In this digital age of connecting via text, email, social media, and more, a handwritten letter is a treasured entity. A phone call from a loved one, however, is EVEN better. But…

What if the phone call came from someone who passed away?

That is the question posed in the upcoming novel “The First Phone Call from Heaven,” by Mitch Albom. It will be available November 12th, 2013. I  can’t wait to read it since I heard Mr. Albom read an excerpt live this past Summer.

You can read about that here ->”My Tuesday with Mitch” http://wp.me/p39Wdr-8K

Here is a teaser video from Mitch Albom; the goosebump moments start about 19 seconds in… Sigh.

Next Tuesday is the day. If you are interested in reading more or even pre-ordering, I have a link through my Blog to Amazon below:

The First Phone Call from Heaven – A Novel By Mitch Albom

I can only imagine…

5 Things I Learned from My “Date” with Mitch Albom

Mitch AlbomOkay, so it wasn’t a real date.

But the thought of having an hour and a half conversation with an inspiring author and sportswriter makes me happy. So join me in my mind as we order some wine. (I’ll have a glass of Riesling, please.)

I recently attended a recent National Writers Series[1] event at the City Opera House in Northern Michigan that featured Mitch Albom. I graduated from Michigan State University’s College of Communication Arts & Sciences[2], so I had a professional as well as personal interest in what he had to say. I also consider myself a sportsperson. I enjoy watching football, basketball and golf, and dance is as athletic and graceful as any other sport. I became a fan of Mr. Albom when his first book, Tuesdays with Morrie,” was recommended to the world (and me) by Oprah.

ESPN is on continuously at our home. Its recaps of big games are great, but my favorite segments are the “tear jerking” stories of REAL people with REAL stories of TRIUMPH over adversity. Mr. Albom excels at this type of story in his Detroit Free Press [3]column, and on his own web site[4]. (Hmmm…I think I’ll have beer instead.)

My own ‘Tuesday with Mitch’ (The date was Tuesday, July 2) was an enticing, intriguing, entertaining conversation about life, sports, social media and the never-ending changes in journalism for both print and television. During the event, he shared humorous stories about his sports column, the effort to complete the biography of University of Michigan’s Bo Schemblecher and his coverage of Olympic events. It was a VERY entertaining evening.

His most memorable moments, along with the discussion of his charity work, however, were his thoughts about the many best-selling books he has written. Ironically, most seem to deal with “death” and “after-life.” This fact became of point of laughter with the audience. Some of the 500 or so with me on this ‘date’ wondered if he has some obsession with dying. He responded by saying that even though most subjects involved death in some way; the most important point to take from those stories he told was “HOW to LIVE.”  (Disclaimer: I am not quoting “my date” Mitch in anyway, I am simply sharing what I remember, what I “heard” and what I specifically learned that evening.)

Doing a thirty-second recap of inspiration for those who could not join me, these are the top 5 things I learned from best-selling author and sportswriter, Mitch Albom:

In 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…. (On air)

1.     Life is hard, have a sense of humor. Writing can be lonely, have a sense of humor.

2.     Authentic journalism is hard work. When you make a negative or rude comment about an article, remember that hours of research, development, etc. went into writing it.

3.     When looking for a story or writing a story, make an effort to find that unique angle…something that you can feel in your gut, or makes your heart beat faster. If you can physically feel something within yourself…. write that story.

4.     Being a “Storyteller” can be a powerful gift. People will come and go in your life for different reasons, but sometimes when you listen to their stories, you can be inspired to tell it to the world.

5.     If you can have a positive impact on somebody else’s life with your stories or things that you write…even one person… THAT should be considered SUCCESS.

One more disclosure in the interest of true journalism: my ACTUAL conversation with “my date” Mitch Albom was more of a “fleeting ‘Hi, I love your work, can we take a picture although I know you need to move the line along,” moment. Not memorable in any way to him, no doubt, but to ME…LIFE-CHANGING. (I DID get the picture, however.)

Thank you, Mitch Albom for inspiring me with your work, your stories and for our “evening out.” I am striving hard to be a “Storyteller” like you.

P.S. I am anxiously awaiting your next book, that we happened to get a sneak preview of: “The First Phone Call from Heaven – A Novel.” (Scroll down for amazon links, if interested)

Mitch Albom Books