mangoes

There are a million and one reasons to love the Yakezie, but one of the things that brings me back time and again is the vast amount of resources available on just about anything to do with Money Beagle.  Whether it be something to do with the blog itself, a topic I want to write about, a dilemma faced by a reader, there’s always somebody available that can lend an ear and offer some practical advice.

Working Together We All Win

Each person here has their particular talents, and by using each other as resources, we can collectively and individually be better and more meaningful bloggers.   Any one of us could likely set up a site on WordPress, setup a plugin to prevent comment spam, submit their posts to carnivals, or any other number of things that it takes to run a blog.  But, it doesn’t mean that we’re good at it, enjoy it, or that we’re doing it efficiently.

By leveraging other members and challengers in the Yakezie network, we can make those things happen in a way that benefits everybody.  Blogger A can set up a WordPress blog that looks OK, and take six hours to do so, or they can work with Blogger B who can set up a smooth looking, easy to navigate site in 2 hours flat.  Conversely, Blogger B can offer a wealth of services to Blogger C, who might in turn need something that Blogger A can lend a hand with.  It’s one of the best examples of teamwork I’ve seen.

Using each other as resources is key.  We have a great community in the Yakezie Forums, where I see the exchange of encouragement, information, knowledge, and services shared every single time I visit.

Beyond the Yakezie

The Yakezie and blogging are just one aspect of how this works.  I think of how much happens around my house.  When something breaks, I could call a pro to fix it and it would be fixed, but I first look to the resources I already know.  My father-in-law is handy and can spot and fix trouble in no time, saving hundreds of dollars in labor.  My father is a computer whiz who can identify a problem, correct it, and prevent it from recurring in the future.

Having these types of resources can save money, save time, and build great relationships in many aspects of life.  This includes the blogging world, your personal world, or even your professional world.

Keys To Making This Work

Reading about this makes it seem straightforward and easy, right?  Not so much.  Over the years, I’ve found that making this ‘sharing of expertise’ system work is a fine art that few never master.  Some give too much and are taken advantage of.  Some ask for favor after favor and never give in return.  Others can never say no.

There are a few key things I’ve learned in order to make the use of outside resources a great thing.

  • Don’t be a taker - If you’re only asking for help and never giving help, you’ll eventually be seen as a leech.  Don’t do that.  Chances are you’re good at something and can offer services in return.
  • Pick up on subtle requests for help – Some people may want your help with something but won’t outright ask for it.  Be able to listen and spot when someone might be talking about a problem they’re having that you can maybe help with, and offer your help.
  • Don’t assume – However, don’t assume that someone wants your help.  If it seems someone wants help, ask them.  They may say no, in which case you don’t want to be forceful.
  • Learn when to say no – If you have prior obligations and simply can’t fit in what someone might be asking you to do, don’t do it.  But, I would make sure to explain why you can’t help them.
  • Take no for an answer – On the flip side, if someone declines your request for help, don’t take it personally.  The only exception to this is if someone (or multiple people) seem to say no all the time, you might want to examine if you’ve inadvertently gotten a reputation as a leech.
  • Read between the lines – Sometimes I know my father-in-law would be perfect at helping me with something, but I don’t ask him. Why?  Because I keep in tune with things that he has going on at his house or his job.  If I know that he’s overwhelmed, I know not to ask him.
  • Say thank you – If someone helps you with something, make sure to thank them for their time.  Nothing turns me off from helping someone in the future than overlooking a simple “Thank you.”

Long story short, working as a team brings so much more opportunity for success than working individually in many situations.  The Yakezie is an example of one of the best teams I’ve ever had the joy of taking part it.  Make sure you work as a team player and you’ll find the resources you need plentiful and happy to help.  If you’re doing it right, you’ll see this branch beyond the Yakezie and in many other areas of your life.

What benefits have you received and given as part of the Yakezie team?

How do you apply these principles in your everyday life (beyond the Yakezie)?

Photo: Makalapa Mangoes by Sam, 2011.