I’ve been thinking a lot about competition lately. And the rat race. And how we try to hold our cards close to the chest so others can’t copy our work. Andy and I are looking for a new church home. In doing some searching online, I listened to a sermon from West End Community Church in Nashville. I felt it was so timely for me to run across it (paraphrased):

“We weren’t made to go it alone. Survival of the fittest is the ultimate in isolation. It means I win and you lose. A community can never be formed, built, or last if we have a foundation of survival of the fittest. God meant for us to have companionship. We aren’t meant to compete against each other, but to actually help each other. Not to compare ourselves to others and compete against them to win but to leverage ourselves in order to lift each other up. That is what a true community is. We can get so much more done together. We can protect each other. We can have a tremendous impact if we choose to work together. When we are a community working together, we are no longer competing against each other, we are for each other – working toward a larger goal. We need community to encourage each other and cheer each other on. We both need to hear the voice of encouragement and to be the voice of encouragement. Find people who have a common vision and values that you share and you will find community. You must intentionally pursue it. You have to be willing to invest yourself. How do we do this? We walk together. When we compare ourselves to others, we are our own greatest enemy.”

Man – preach! I started to think about the communities I am involved with and am so grateful for. I was isolated for a few years before I attended AH Inspired, Stationery Academy, Authenticate and Nashville Stationery Designers Group to name a few. What communities are you involved in that are marking a difference in your business? What type of community are you looking for? Let’s help each other find community and open our hearts and arms to our competition so we can make our craft better together. If we hold our cards too close to the chest, how will we ever grow?