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If asked, I’d tell you that I’m not a team player. I don’t want to join a group, collaborate with anyone, or do anything other than my solitary work.
Except that’s not at all true.
I form relationships with companies where we work together on a common goal or for a common purpose. My best clients and the most fun I have are with brands I really like and respect and can envision a future with.
I have ideas upon ideas about how I’d like to work with sex blogger friends I admire and respect. And as soon as I learn to ignore my anxious brain, I’ll suggest those ideas to them.
My distaste for teamwork has little to do with the work and everything to do with people.
Back in the day, school projects consisted of me getting it done and everyone else putting their name on it.
The old corporate job meant everyone had the idea and then expected me to make it happen — often without the resources I needed. And they ignored the ideas I had…until they needed a new one.
I had few moments where I could depend on a “team” — until now. Until I could finally choose who to work with and when. And that’s when I learned that collaboration can build amazing things.
Like in a solid D/s relationship. Even when we’re annoyed with each other, we can work through it. We fill in the gaps for the others weaknesses. When neither of us know how to do a thing or overcome a problem, we put our heads together to find a solution…or we hunker down and ride out the metaphoric storm together.
Business partnerships where both sides make money and also provide something of value to the customer. It might seem like the only thing adult business care about the money they make. But some really do want to make a sex positive difference in the world and they really do want to help their customers. It’s rare (let’s be real here) but when I come across it, it’s amazing.
So it’s not that I don’t collaborate. It’s that I’m picky. Damn picky.
Worse, though, is that I don’t ask, and I hold back, afraid I’ll commit to something I can’t sustain, terrified of rejection. So I wait and watch and hope I get picked. Of course, the problem with holding back is that you miss opportunities. I’m working on being the one to make the offer, to reach out, and to say, “Let’s work together.” It’s harder than I realized, but everything is.
Building a team is an amazing feeling when it works. The communication. The problem-solving. Divvying up the work, doing what you each do best, and creating something together.
Ohhhhh, it turns me on just thinking of it.
But when it doesn’t work, it’s a slog. Misery. Frustrating. Enough to make you swear off teamwork forever.
Which is what I’d thought I’d done until I learned that collaboration with the right people and under the right circumstances can be a beautiful thing.
And for the record, I still love working on my own, too. It’s not all teamwork, all the time. Peace, quiet, and a big cup of coffee are all I want and need sometimes.