If you've been in the self-improvement world long enough you've probably bumped into this little word called "tribe". If suddenly you felt transported back to the dark ages of high school, don't worry, you're not alone. It's a matter of fact that nothing "big" can be accomplished alone. (Unless you are an artist for art's sake, in which case your expression is your main jam... so keep streaming.) If, however, you are trying to leverage that art into a sustainable business, the magic word might not be "muse", but rather "network".
How can we collaborate with as many like minded peeps and amplify each others vision by sharing and caring?
In comes the art of "tribing".
I've done my fair share of tribe hopping and while feeling part of something "bigger" was nice, I have yet to land on the magical land of tribe bliss. Through my experimenting in these realms of conscious cliques, however, I have gained some insight as to what makes one's membership valuable or detrimental to one's growth.
Here are my 3 findings:
1. Be Selective:
Don't just join the same groups because your fellow coaches or entrepreneurs are doing so; do your own research. Find the people and leaders that resonate with your vision. If something feels off, or if they're asking for an arm and your credit card, honor your instincts by continuing to search for what feels right. And hey, if worse case scenario nothing is sticking, you're creative; start your own.
2. Go where you are Supported:
I cannot stress this enough. Guys, any group that is a recipient of your time and energy is one lucky place! Don't underestimate your efforts, and achievements by settling for anything other than a RECIPROCAL relationship with your tribe members. When I got z e r o feedback from my "tribe" after having published my FIRST BOOK, guess what, it was time to bounce. It is not easy to put yourself out there, and we know that especially well. Make sure the culture you are participating in is one that respects your work and one where you feel like you are GROWING; not just hanging out and exchanging pleasantries. Ideally our co-tribers are there to challenge us and help us see our blind spots, not just add superficial value by "liking" our posts or stroking our ego. Investing our time in each others work IS what makes this space so darn valuable.
3. Know your WHY:
Last but definitely not least, you must be aware of your expectations and intentions before jumping in bed with any group of tribes. Otherwise, things can get sticky. Creating change is not easy; it takes hours upon hours of devotion and solitude, while most everyone else is getting drunk off the status quo, we are challenging our limitations and putting every ounce of who we are into "showing up" authentically... through our work. And that, friends, can makes us look very much like weirdos, loners and workaholics. And yes, while all of the above might be true, it doesn't take away from our very real need to feel understood. We need each other to feel "normal". Tribes can be a great place to nourish our need for oversharing, venting and letting loose; with one caveat; it cannot be done under the premises of opportunism or external validation. Being a member of a tribe, is sort of like being in a (very) open relationship. If you come to this relationship with a "what can I get out of this" mentality, the result, I assure you, is probably going to be a heaping helping of disappointment. Tribes are not the ideal place to find your "why", they are the place to fortify it. If you are completely clueless as to what you want to do and why, you might benefit from more creative expression and reflection. As in any healthy relationship, it is much harder to harmoniously merge with one another when you don't have your own ducks in some order.
Ultimately, being part of this collective destination should be fun, challenging and rewarding. If any of those elements are missing, you might have jumped on the wrong plane.