The Wethos Collective -- Blog

How Collaborating Makes Us More Powerful As Individuals

Posted by Allie Murphy on Aug 20, 2018 3:42:36 PM
Allie Murphy

Ideas can come about from a single person. To bring the idea to fruition, however, it takes a team of creative and beautiful minds. A team equipped with different perspectives, imaginations, skill sets, expertise, and visions. These attributes offered by several people as opposed to just one individual can turn an idea, project, or invention into its best possible version. That’s what the Wethos team believes in any way.

When it comes to freelancing there can be a few barriers to entry. For one, it takes a certain personality and fortitude to freelance. Whether you want to freelance part-time or full-time, the way to be successful is to have unwavering confidence in your abilities. People want what you have to offer, and what you bring to the table can help a business succeed

Well, how does freelancing differ from a 9-5 job you ask? 

When you freelance, it can feel like you’re on your own. The definition of freelance (according to Webster) is a person who acts independently without being affiliated with or authorized by an organization. You’re out there grinding to find a great gig and a project that matters to you on a larger scale, and freelance gigs such as nonprofit work can help us feel connected to a larger cause. You also have to make sure you can meet the client’s expectations, and execute on their requirements, etc. And unlike a job you go into every day with the same boss and colleagues, as a freelancer, you work with multiple clients. Along with this comes an element of uncertainty. You don't quite know how you and the client will work together since most interaction takes place through messaging, emailing, or phone calls. And let’s be honest, getting started in the freelance world, usually takes you outside of your comfort zone. Becoming a freelancer, however, has the potential to make you one powerful human.

So, what does it take to break into the freelance world? 

  • Having the chance to take on a project you’re passionate about, one with purpose and special meaning, one you’re connected to emotionally, and of course something that truly speaks to you.
  • How about freelancing for a nonprofit, one who is a mission driven organization that you support? If you want to help them further their cause and help to expand their reach, they are waiting for someone just like you.
  • If you had someone to partner up with on a project that adds to or compliments your skills, would that help? Teams have been shown to be more productive and creative than individuals working alone.
  • Or maybe reading the following study would empower you to take on freelance gigs?

According to the study, “Freelancing in America,” commissioned in 2017 by Freelancers Union and Upwork, approximately 57.3 million people freelance in America. Based on their research efforts, they also found that by the year 2027, the majority of the workforce in America will be freelancing.

If these many people have been able to explore freelance opportunities and take them on either in a part-time or full-time capacity, then you definitely can too. Becoming a freelancer can bring about fear, uncertainty, insecurities, and present the possibility of failure. Nonetheless, when you’re passionate about a particular cause, organization, or nonprofit, for instance where there is a greater sense of community, then taking on these fears is well worth it, right?


Explore the freelance world to utilize your skills on a grander scale.

Even if you aren’t willing to fully commit to freelancing full-time, there is always the possibility of taking on a small freelance gigs to supplement your income. For those currently in a position that’s not entirely fulfilling, a part-time + paid freelance nonprofit job can be a great option. Some of the skills that nonprofits look for are common among the range of freelancers out there including; web development, graphic design, grant writing, professional photography, fundraising expertise, etc. There are many opportunities to employ your talents in the nonprofit sector.

Collaboration is where it’s at.

Once you consider a freelance role and get some valuable experience, you can decide to pursue it full-time. If you’re in this position, start applying for the bigger projects you want but haven’t pursued before because you didn't have all the required skills or time to learn them all. All it takes is working with a team of other freelancers with those skills you lack to collaborate on a medium to large scale project. Making a move like this can be a freelancer game changer for your career and your life.  And fortunately, for all of us, there is a movement going on in the freelance community, which is team collaboration!

Collaborating as a team has many proven benefits, such as; increased motivation, new found creativity, inspiration, sharing of knowledge, increased productivity, a support network, and more.

As a relatively new freelancer, I have faced many challenges. What has been helpful during this learning process is the relationship I have with my partner. He is also a freelancer and is in the web development field. Another friend of ours is a graphic designer and is looking to operate 100% as a freelancer in the next year. All of us have similar ambitions and goals. We want more independence with work, to pursue passion projects, and to find freelance work with great clients. And now a goal of ours is to blend our talents and skills so together we can take on larger collaborative projects.

We recognize that the many benefits of team collaboration, as discussed above, can help us become the best version of ourselves. Working as a cohesive unit, and as a solid team, will enable us to become more powerful individuals. Mainly for these reasons:

  • We’ll have the ability to make decisions for ourselves
  • Increase our entrepreneurial prowess
  • Learn from each other’s strengths
  • Improve our weaknesses
  • Become more business savvy
  • Create a healthy work-life balance
  • Share in the success with the people who have the same life goals, purpose, and visions

Working as a tribe, if you will, can not only empower us but give us ultimate purpose.  

Humans have been collaborating for a long time. 

The article, “The Science Behind The Growing Importance of Collaboration,” was written using the research of professor Benjamin Jones of Northwestern University and it addresses this point. Professor Jones makes reference to the Wright Brothers. In 1903, the two of them designed and flew an airplane. Much has changed since then. Today, a Boeing 787 has many different specialists working on the engines alone.

“There’s just so much going on in designing, building, and flying that plane,” Jones says. “There is an incredible range of specialized skills.” It takes the collaboration between several specialists to get the plane off the ground.

The same goes for every other team working together on a project. “There’s more and more to know in the world, and you can only have so much in your head. “So the share of stuff you know as an individual is declining in any field,” Jones said.

Many corporations and for-profit organizations have been utilizing teams for many years and have seen great success. Now with the ability to collaborate much more efficiently and seamlessly online, many nonprofits are hiring freelancer teams as well to accomplish their goals.

Not only are businesses and nonprofit organizations reaping the benefits of collaborative teams, but the freelancers themselves are enjoying these working relationships too. To put some numbers next to these claims, Wethos recently conducted some research about the freelance community:

  • 91% of freelancers surveyed are strongly interested in collaborating with other freelancers in skill-sets complementary to theirs for large contracts.
  • 81% of freelancers say that their projects require more than 1 skill-set more than half the time.
  • 75% indicated that finding the right people to collaborate with & delegating/coordinating work schedules/payments/tax paperwork was their biggest challenge (and what Wethos aims to solve).

Team collaboration makes us superstars.

The empowerment comes from the human desire to interact, the share, to connect, to create, and to make a positive change. When these human needs or desires become realized, there is an incredible sense of fulfillment. Having a purpose in a project, a job, and in life is without question a necessity to be happy and fulfilled. The Wethos’ motto is “We believe that inside everyone lives a desire to change the world and that when talent meets fervor, it’s unstoppable.”

It’s not always easy to show up for work, whether you work for someone or are self-employed, and bring your A-game every day. Sometimes, and possibly most of the time, it helps to have team members to bounce ideas off of, share creative thoughts with, talk out a complex issue, or get a different perspective than your own. Having the ability to work with and learn from others is not only compelling and insightful, it’s also very empowering.  

Topics: Freelance, Collective, Freelancing, Freelance projects, Collaboration