Updated: Jan 7, 2019
Being a small business owner, I have learned how important it is to make authentic connections and relationships. And though I am a Ambivert (someone who exhibits qualities of both introversion and extroversion), my introvertism often comes out when I am set to meet new people, particularly in a business-like networking setting.
I am literally scared shitless.
The fear of judgement and sometimes not really feeling like I have a true and legit business, is real. I mean, I know what I do is legit and valuable, but I can often be intimidated by successful, powerhouse women. Now, that’s not to say that these women scare me. It’s more so that I admire them and strive to be like them so much, but just that sometimes I don’t feel worthy. Having said that, it is possible to get over these fears and make meaningful and compassionate connections. I am true proof of that. Having spent the past year with my tribe as part of the FemCity Hamilton Collective, as well as in other communities, I have now confidently pushed my fears aside and have grown into someone bigger and better than I ever thought possible.
By definition, a Tribe is: 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.
We all have a sense of belonging; it’s human nature. From the time we are little and into adulthood, we often gravitate to those we share a common quality or interest with. In adulthood, we try to make connections with like-minded individuals with whom we can grow and learn from. We crave connections and companionship.
But finding a tribe is hard. Doing so requires a lot of effort, strength, and confidence. So here are some tips to help you move forward in finding your tribe; even if you're scared shitless.
1. Do Some Self-Reflection
Knowing what you want to get out of your relationships is key. I knew I needed to start connecting with like-minded women but I really needed to think about the what and why. What are you hoping to learn? What can you offer others? What is currently missing in your life that these authentic relationships can fill? By developing an awareness as to what you are looking for, you’ll be able to search for relationships that will bring you satisfaction.
2. Try New Things
Trying new things can be difficult, but it’s also a way for your to connect with people that you may not have had a chance to connect with previously. The connections I have made when I joined Stampin’ Up! as a Demonstrator have been so good for my soul. I get to talk to new people everyday and have met like-minded individuals from all over the world, which has been an amazing experience. I have learned so much and have been able to continue to build my community. Of course, this is just an example. It could be anything from checking out a networking event or signing up for a new class. Sometimes true connections take place at the time and place we least expect it.
3. Attend a Meetup
And on that note, a great way to get started is to look into meetups and clubs. There are likely several Facebook groups out there that you can join and a lot of them have meetups you can attend. These can be anything from generic networking events, to book clubs, to business specific sessions about finance, craft shows, or other. You are bound to find something worth your time, and in that, you can start meeting new people and begin the process of making meaningful connections.
4. Ditch the Judgement
This can be a bit difficult to do, but it is a crucial step in finding your tribe. To be honest, I thought if I attended one of the FemCity meetups, I would be judged for my business or that these women would think they were too good for me. But with these thoughts, I was actually the one judging them and their character without even meeting them. If I had kept this mindset, I likely wouldn’t have attended that first meeting. If you are simply allowing a predetermined attitude to dictate your decision-making, consider kicking that mindset to the curb.
5. Call Out to Your Tribe
Social media is a powerful tool. Use it to make it known what you are looking for. I recently joined a small group of women who are now reading the book, ‘A Tribe Called Bliss’ by Lori Harder. We are in the process of reading the book and building our own smaller powerhouse tribe so we can authentically grow and get to know each other. This all started from a Facebook post. It’s likely there are dozens of people who are longing for a similar group of friends. You may be surprised at the amount of feedback you receive when you approach this with authenticity.
6. Love Yourself
This is the most crucial part of the process. Loving and taking care of yourself will help build your strength and confidence. There is a well known quote from Jada-Pinkett Smith that I always have in the back of my mind, ”You always have to remember to take care of yourself first and foremost, because when you stop taking care of yourself you get out of balance and you really forget how to take care of others.” We cannot please everyone, but when we love ourselves, we are often able to take that love and give it to others. As you begin the journey to finding your tribe, know that you are loved and that anyone would be lucky to know you.
As time has gone on, I’ve realized that finding and growing my tribe is a process. There is a lot of moving parts and as you continue to grow as a person and business owner, you’ll constantly learn new things about yourself and will be able to bring in new people into your circle. Continue to know that you are worthy and loved and that good things will come.
Be brave, my friend.
A special note: Even though I run a stationery business and paper crafting blog, I am also a small business owner and feel that as a business owner, I can use my voice to help others. With this, I will be starting to post business related and other topics that I feel will help others in their journey as business owners.