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Finding your tribe in work and life

December 14, 2014 | Small Business Tips

There’s been a lot of buzz around ‘finding your tribe’ of late, and yes, I’ve been doing some searching of my own.

We’re no longer sitting around a campfire toasting bats (am I the only one who gets flashbacks to The Three Amigos with this?), and these days you’re even lucky to find us toasting marshmallows. But this isn’t really what we mean when we talk about finding your ‘tribe’. It’s more about finding a place where you feel like you belong, where the conversations and activities resonate with you, and where you don’t find yourself biting your tongue quite so much.

As a single, self-employed female who lives alone, you might think I’d be a little lonely, when in fact I’ve got a tribe for just about every aspect of my life. I’m betting you do too. Here’s a list of the tribes that I am incredibly glad to have in my life.

 

My entrepreneurial tribe

As a solo entrepreneur, I’ve got more ‘colleagues’ than ever before and richer relationships. Because working on your own is daunting, challenging and quite often bewildering, my fellow entrepreneurs are my go-to for advice, inspiration, assistance and moral support.

I’ve been particularly lucky to find a whole cohort of these at Nest Coworking, but I’ve also found many around the traps at networking events, through online forums and through friends of friends. Entrepreneurs gravitate towards each other, and we’re never short of things to talk about. No matter how different our industries, our challenges are so often the same, and the bond that comes from ‘growing up’ side-by-side is better than I could have imagined.

 

My philosophical tribe

I like big ideas. Give me a philosophical question and I’ll happily stare into space for hours. Luckily for me, there are other people that like to do this too, and I can find them in places like The School of Life, TED and Maria Popova’s Brainpickings. Some of these interactions are in person, and some are merely a distant consummation, but both give me a sense that I’m not the only one with my eyes to the sky.

 

My yoga tribe

Yes, I’m a cliché. I’m an inner-north-living, coffee-drinking, yoga-loving girl. But DAMN it feels good. Plus all my doctors say it’s good for me, so I can’t stop on account of worrying that it’s a little too ‘now’. I share my love of the downward-facing dog with a little tribe of ladies at what has become a home away from home – my yoga studio. There’s just so much comfort in routine, a little body-loving,and friendly, familiar faces.

 

My coffee tribe

I don’t have to order at my local café anymore. Not having to order means preciously fewer seconds between me and my brew of addiction. This can only be a good thing. Plus, having someone know just what I like and how I like it makes me feel special, loved, and like I belong. And all for under $5.

 

My family tribe

We can’t forget about these guys. They’re the ones that we can be horrible to and they’ll forgive us over and over again. They’re the ones that we break bread with and break hearts with. We support and are supported in an unspoken love. In these past few years I’ve realised the importance of bringing that unspoken to the surface. We now say ‘I love you’ so we can die with no regrets.

 

My lady tribe

Not all single, but ladies all the same, the special bond between female friends is just ridiculously special. Shut-up. No YOU shut-up. I love you. Ok bye.

 

My music tribe

Do you play an instrument? We’re automatically friends. I don’t know what it is, but musicians gravitate towards each other, pretty much regardless of genre. It’s a special language that we speak, and a willingness to go places without words. Around the world, these people are my tribe.

 

Other tribes

In our seemingly disconnected world, there are yet more places that I feel like I belong. They don’t need a paragraph each, but they’re there, and I’m grateful. They include:

  • My neighbour tribe  We smile at each other, play the occasional game of ping-pong, mow each other’s lawns and chat outside our front doors.
  • My crazy cat-lady tribe  Do you like cats? We can be friends. Let’s watch cat videos and purr at each other.
  • My copywriting tribe — Other copywriters are not my competition. There’s too much work out there for that. Instead, we share insights, anecdotes and grammar jokes.

 

Where’s your tribe? Do you have more than one? I’d love to hear about your tribes in business and in life.  Just comment below!

This post was first published on the Australian Businesswomen’s Network website.