Earlier this month, Peleg blogged “Do you have a tribe yet?"
He also said that attending the Creative Freelancer Conference is a great way to find and/or strengthen your tribe.
I’d like to back him up: tribe is good.
I’ve been self-employed since 1987. Though I love my independence, I (and my business) do better when we have the support of “tribe.”
Every two weeks, for a couple of hours or so, I get together with my tribe for coffee. We talk about our opportunities and challenges. We talk marketing, strategy, and about projects. We talk about the economy and any other topic of the day.
My tribe knows what it means to own a small business. We all market and sell our skills every day. We’ve all met a payroll; we’ve all met impossible deadlines for impossible clients. In one form or another, we’re all facing (and overcoming) the same challenges.
It’s not that I lack motivation, or skills, or smarts. It’s that I’m more motivated, more skilled, and (frankly) smarter when I have my tribe behind me.
Sure, I can ask friends and family for feedback, but most don’t have the relevant experience and proven track records that my tribe does. I appreciate their support, but I’ll admit it: getting help from them is like sipping from the thimble of opinion. I want to guzzle from the fire-hose of wisdom!
Because we’ve met several times, we know each other and what we’re trying to do. When I get guidance, it’s practical, relevant and insightful.
They’re more than a sounding board. Since we don’t compete, we liberally “borrow” thoughts, concepts and ideas from each other.
We’re also setting up joint ventures and cooperative marketing and advertising. Finally, because we’re becoming very familiar with what we all do, it’s easier for us to recommend each others’ services.
My tribe supports me, and I support them. Together, we all grow.
How does your tribe help you? And if you don’t have one yet, post a comment about where you are and what you’re looking for and maybe another reader will be able to help you? Why not use this blog as a virtual tribe?
Thanks to Luis Maimoni of Fresh Graphics in Long Beach CA.
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