“You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with”.
Did you read that quote and start assessing your circle of friends? Our friends can influence us for the better or worse but, as we get older, it’s no longer about peer pressure as much as it is about finding people who support and encourage us on our endeavors.
If you’re in a creative industry, it’s even more important to cultivate a tribe. A tribe is a circle of friends that inspire, influence and push you to be the greatest version of yourself. They will always keep it real in the best possible way.
When we think of our tribe, our minds go to family and friends but that’s not always the case. If you’re a creative, it helps to have relationships with people in a similar realm as you. Someone who just “gets it”. As a writer, I surround myself with artists, designers, photographers and other writers. We bounce ideas off of each other and share our knowledge. I know they will understand the issues I face and point me in the right direction. It’s also helpful to have a blueprint to model certain aspects of my business after.
Friends and family mean well but sometimes they can’t relate to a job that isn’t a traditional 9-5. If there aren’t tangible products to sell, the pieces of the puzzle don’t fit. It can be hard to support something when you really don’t understand it. This can cause loneliness and frustration for creatives.
If you’re a creative, you know how it feels to have a million ideas floating around in your head that you need to get out. It doesn’t matter if you design furniture or websites, creating is like the air you breathe. You need people in your corner who can relate so you don’t feel like a weirdo.You need people in your corner who can relate so you don’t feel like a weirdo...your tribe. Click To Tweet
You may find strangers to be the best members of your tribe. They’re unbiased and not invested in you as a person. They can see things from a perspective that friends and family can’t. But I don’t like to force myself to be a part of someone’s tribe or inner circle. I believe in forming authentic bonds and relationships organically. I have a small circle of creative associates and friends whom I consider my tribe. Although I don’t see or speak to them often, I know I can contact them with questions or concerns.
There are several ways to find your tribe but I ‘ve found that 2 methods, in particular, have worked best for me.
I’m a member of a few Facebook groups for bloggers, freelance writers, and copywriters. I’ve learned a lot about how to run a freelance business and establish boundaries from groups. In these groups, you will find creatives of all disciplines and at various experience levels. They can inspire you and provide valuable feedback. To find groups in your field go to the Facebook search box and enter “groups + your craft (e.g. makeup)”.
Many of them are “closed” groups but they don’t seem to turn many people away. You can connect with people by commenting, asking questions and becoming genuinely concerned about their businesses. They will do the same for your business thus creating a virtual tribe of people who want to see each other succeed.
Another great perk about groups is that you may be able to find work opportunities. Many of the members will post jobs that they can’t take on for whatever reason. If you’ve managed to develop a relationship with them, they will keep you top of mind. I’ve seen it happen before. Win/Win.
If you can find or form a Mastermind group, that’s even better. A Mastermind group consists of professionals who meet on a consistent basis to support each other, brainstorm ideas and offer advice. Everyone is on an equal playing field and brings their knowledge and skill set to the group. Mastermind group meetings can be either online or in person. Members of successful Mastermind groups have increased their income significantly.
Blogs, Websites, and Social Media
As a growing blogger, I study a ton of blogs to learn what successful bloggers are doing to stand out. I’ve found some great information and developed some formidable relationships from visiting blogger’s websites, commenting and sharing information. I consider a few of them to be part of my tribe whether they know it or not. I feel comfortable asking their opinions and advice and many will contact me to do the same.
There are so many creatives doing big things and nearly all are online and available via social media. If there is someone who inspires you, reach out to them and make it known. I have not come across anyone that doesn’t mind offering guidance.
The key is to provide valuable input and not expect anything in return. I’m hoping to collaborate with some of my favorite bloggers soon. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship for everyone. No one feels used or abused and it creates amazing synergy. It also allows you to widen your reach which further expands your tribe.
We all need support and encouragment. If you’ve stepped outside of the proverbial box, you will need it even more so. There’s no one blueprint for running a creative-based business but that’s the fun of it all. The beauty of it is that, in a sense, we get to choose our co-workers…our tribe.
What are a few ways that you have found your tribe? Who is in your tribe?