Collaborate or Die Be Vulnerable- Create Better Work

Chris Neal /

Losers work alone — we’ve all been losers at some point.

There are two kinds of losers — those that work out of fear, and those that work out of pride. I’ll use an embarrassing story about one of my old hobbies to get my point across.

During middle school I got involved into magic tricks – yes, David Blaine style stuff. I would spend hours reading, watching and learning how to perform illusions that’d blow minds. I knew how to bend forks, read minds and make cards appear out of thin air. But, I was missing the most important aspect of being a magician – an audience.

Here was my problem: I wouldn’t do tricks for others due to fear. And on the slim chance I performed a trick for another person, I would operate out of pride post-trick.


I remember practicing a card trick on my mom in our kitchen. She quickly figured it out and blurted out my slight of hand — or lack thereof. Embarrassed I took my blue Bicycles and went back to my safe bathroom mirror to do the trick another thousand times for my eyes alone. I took the critique like a loser — pride got the best of me. Instead of collaborating with my mother on the trick — learning what she saw and bettering my trick – I looked to myself.
We want others to be blown away by what we create. But by failing to share it – especially in the incomplete stages (when it is most vulnerable to share) we are losing quality of work and in turn future joy. Our need for recognition kills our ability to collaborate — and in turn kills great work.

Wouldn’t it be awesome to create art others think rules and you’re proud of?

The simple idea of collaboration is the answer. If we fail to get feedback at the beginning of projects – we are actually hurting our art and ourselves. Even while writing this article, I didn’t want to share it with writer friends out of my own pride and fear of critique.
So here’s my challenge. Send something that you working on to a friend at this moment and ask them for honest feedback. Get off your high horse and share your art for critique – although it’s uncomfortable and slightly scary, it’ll bring joy in the long term (and better work).