In my previous work as a coach and my current work as a writer and entrepreneur this word gets bandied about frequently, but what is it really and why is it important?
Seth Godin says, “A group needs only two things to be a tribe: a shared interest and a way to communicate.” That pretty much covers the “What.”
As for the why, this quote by Shannon Adler sums it up for me: “Don’t waste your time being what someone wants you to become, in order to feed their list of rules, boundaries and insecurities. Find your tribe. They will allow you to be you, while you dance in the rain.”
I have spent my summer looking for and finding my professional tribe. Over the course of the past two months I have traveled to and participated in three week-long novel writing workshops – from the hallowed halls of the Iowa Writer’s Workshop to my local, yet equally impressive, literary arts center. The things I have learned will most certainly help me create a better book, but I realized honing my craft is not the primary reason I sought out these opportunities.
What is the primary benefit of these types of experiences? I bet you can guess (you’re smart that way). Yep, the answer is “to spend time with my tribe” – to be with those people who share my values and my passions. I wrote a post a few weeks back about the importance of having people in your corner (read it here) and while that post focused on personal support, your corner also needs to include your professional tribe. Pick a few or pack a whole bunch into your corner, it will only make your journey easier . . . and far more fun. Strength definitely comes in numbers.
Where do you find your tribe? What do you talk about? Do you feel stronger and more resilient after you’ve met with them?
I’d like to extend a special thank you to all the men and women I met along my journey this summer. You’re encouragement and feedback have meant the world to me. And, when you’ve spent your life thinking you’re a little bit crazy because of all the voices and stories rattling around your head, it sure is nice to know that you’re not alone – that your tribe is as crazy as you are.
And, with that, I leave you with this quote from Anne Lamott: “One secret of life is that the reason life works at all is that not everyone in your tribe is nuts on the same day.”