There’s an old adage: people buy from people. It means that the quality of the relationship is the most important thing, in making a sale. The customer has to trust in the seller and buy into their story. The seller’s story needs to be credible and compelling. Artists that share their authentic narrative with their audience tend to sell more of their art than those that do not.
The quality of human relationships extends to working together. People work with people. The tools and processes are secondary. The materials are not even material, in your choice of who you work with. You don’t have to work with anybody offered. You have a choice. Even when you think you have no choice, you actually do. Working together only happens if there is mutual respect and a joint commitment to cooperate and perhaps even compromise. It’s never one-sided. If it is, it never works.
Given that you always have a choice, who do you want to work with? Will you gravitate toward rigid minds, with fixed, unchangeable viewpoints, or will you seek flexible forward-thinkers? Do you enjoy working with straight-jacketted, conservative rule-followers with an unshakeable belief in their own infallibility, or intellectually-agile, open-minded, innovative, curious, experimental, imaginative folk, willing to revise their views as new evidence comes to light? Do you want to march or dance? Both require co-ordination, but the latter is freer.
When you step forward to do your most important and meaningful work, do you want to do that encumbered by the dead weight of somebody else’s archaic, obsolete, discredited mindsets and systems of belief, or is your purpose better served by joining up with people keen on exploring possibilities courageously? Why would you waste your time working with the wrong kind?
Are you looking for a collaborator or a competitor? Both can spur you on to do better, but which one contributes to your success and which one undermines it? Do you want to burn your productive hours away pointlessly, fighting against what another person says you can’t do (or hopes you can’t), or with somebody sincerely committed to seeing you flourish?
It’s not a very difficult choice, is it?