You are only as smart as the people you surround yourself with, this refers to staff, friends, mentors, colleagues and more. We may not be able to choose our family, but we sure as hell can choose our tribe.
The formal definition of tribe is listed below.
- a social division in a traditional society consisting of families or communities linked by social, economic, religious, or blood ties, with a common culture and dialect, typically having a recognized leader.
Everyone has their own tribe, mine consists of badass women that aren’t afraid of risks, failure or other women. Instead of seeing women as threats, they see them as mentors, collaborators and friends. Being a lone wolf is only going to get you so far and your success is not built on you alone.
Take my advice, build a fucking tribe. Here are 5 ways to go about it.
- Research. What women do you respect in your local community? When I started building my tribe, I looked for successful small business owners that were women. I figured, hell – they clearly got it right and since I have no idea what I am doing…I should reach out to them. Selfishly, I knew these women could teach me something and in return I and my business would benefit. A word of advice – leave your ego at the door. If you are going to be threatened by every strong woman that walks in the room then you aren’t interested in a tribe you are looking for a squad.
- Stalk. I don’t mean this in the literal sense. Don’t sit outside a person’s house and take photos of them – that’s just creepy, leave that tactic for your celebrity crushes. Follow them on social media, read their blogs, become familiar with them and then reach out and ask for their advice, thoughts or better yet – feature them on your own blog then their advice lives on through the wild, wild web.
- Ask. Know what you are asking for before bothering these kickass women. Understand what your weaknesses are as a leader, business owner, human being…or whatever. What can you learn from this individual? What have they done in their career or life that you want to mimic?
- Mutual. This is a big one, if you are asking for a person’s time and advice, then give back. Find a way to thank them – whether it is a handwritten note or you shoot them a gift certificate to their favorite watering hole. Understand the value of a person’s time.
- Convene. Part of having a tribe is taking time to connect with them on a regular basis. That means emails, texts, dinner, happy hour, phone calls (I hate talking on the phone – I am so awkward) and best of all trips. Get the fuck out of your head and your city and convene at central city and just hang out.
If I hadn’t had a tribe, 834 would’ve tanked…just having someone to call and say “what the fuck is this bill from the government?” saved my ass numerous times. Then there are the pizza roll and wine trips where we talk business, life and aspirations. Pizza rolls are really key in that equation.
I want to hear about your tribe. What ways do you connect?