Patty with her team after winning the USTA League Championships in 2022

I play competitive tennis on several teams because I can, and because I love it.

This particular weekend, our 18+ team was competing in league playoffs. For our match, my partner and I were on a different court than usual, and the darn first set went on and on. We were roasting in the central Pennsylvania end-of-July 90+ degree heat with high humidity and full-on sun at 2 pm, and we were fighting hard.

The first set went on for well over an hour, and it was tough. We had great points, but it just didn’t fall our way and we lost in a tiebreak. We reset for the second set and couldn’t get our mojo back. We lost the set and, unfortunately, our court.

It’s a bummer, but it’s okay. It happens. The next day, I got a text from one of our opponents, Iris. We all play a lot of tennis together (sometimes on the same team and sometimes against each other) and are from the same area, so we usually know our opponents.

“Hi Patty,” Iris’ text read. “I just wanted to tell you I thought you played amazing yesterday!”

Wow. When does your opponent ever go out of their way to tell you something like that? It was such a nice message to receive.

“Thanks, Iris,” I wrote back. “Congratulations on your win and good luck at sectionals!”

A week later, I ran into Iris out and about. “Patty, you were awesome last week,” she said again. “I told my partner, we can’t play Patty, you can’t hit the ball to Patty because it’s going to come right back.”

It was funny—I had noticed they were targeting my partner more and not playing me as much. I took what she said as a compliment and it got me thinking:

We talk about competing a lot, but they were collaborating to compete.

Iris and her partner had a plan. They collaborated to figure out the plan to compete at a higher level.

It’s not an or, it’s an and: you can collaborate and compete. And you can do that in your business.

As a business owner, the beauty is that you don’t have to choose to collaborate or compete. It’s not a mutually exclusive choice. I say: combine them, and use them to your advantage.

What does that look like?

For a business owner, that could look like strategic partnerships, alliances, and/or any kind of team-based solutions to internal or client problems. How can you use more team-based solutions to serve up a win for your client?

(And, in case you need some numbers to back up collaboration: An international study performed by Deloitte found that workplace collaboration saves companies thousands of dollars per employee, and data from Frost & Sullivan showed that teamwork and workplace collaboration efforts increase company sales by 27%.)

The first thing to do is open your mind and get creative. There are so many possibilities out there, and you can take advantage of them when you accept that we’re stronger and bring more well-rounded, holistic solutions to problems when we do it together.

And then I say, give it a go! Go try it and make it happen. You might get more wins for your clients and for your team, which gets more of their genius engaged. It’s a win for everyone all around, and that’s a “hell yes” in my book!

So what are you waiting for? Let’s collaborate to compete, and not miss out on all the opportunities out there waiting for you. TurboExecs can be an awesome partner in collaboration if you’re looking for a team that can reveal the story behind your numbers for better, data-driven decision-making that can allow you to leap forward, trusting you have the team and finances in place for manageable, profitable growth. Reach out here to learn more.

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