Building Your Tribe – One Stranger at a Time

Tribe of Moms

We all know how important networking is for helping grow our businesses and careers. Who are you networking with? Building your tribe is an essential piece of networking. On the blog today, Suzanne Brown from Mompowerment shares tips on how to build your tribe, and why it is so important. This article was originally posted at https://mompowerment.com/building-your-tribe-one-stranger-at-time/.

We are very happy to have Suzanne join us for a FREE webinar on September 13 at 1PM EDT. This webinar, A New Approach to Managing Work-Life Balance will introduce insights into how to achieve work-life balance when managing a family along with building a career or business. Learn more and register here.

A month of love and friendship

I’m devoting the whole month to talk a bit about love and a lot about your tribe, both personal and professional. Fitting, since Valentine’s Day is in less than 2 weeks. I will be sharing the importance of friendship and your personal tribe and we’ll talk about the business side of your tribe since it’s so important. Building your tribe and developing relationships is a form of building a network. And remember that networking is the #1 piece of advice in the more than 110 interviews that I did with professional part-time working moms.

Finding new women who are now part of my tribe

I want to start the month off by talking about building your tribe, because it’s very top of mind for me. I’ve been working on building a tribe to support the Mompowerment movement for about a year and a half through various efforts such as the Facebook group I created for like-minded moms. I have sooooo enjoyed the support from the moms in the group.

In the past few weeks, I’ve had a lot of phone calls and online coffee dates with strangers who I wasn’t interviewing. I’ve been introduced to a few of these moms by mutual friends. I’ve had some reach out to me because of something I posted on a Facebook group. I’ve had some email me because they found my website while looking for something related. Some saw a blog shared on someone’s else’s group or Twitter feed. And even though we were strangers initially, our chats lasted more than an hour. One lasted almost two (yes, with a stranger). By the end of the calls, we are no longer strangers, as you can imagine.

I’ve been trying to reach out to new people because I want to bring more people into my own tribe. I’m always looking for new perspectives. Lately, I’ve been finding complementary voices. We’re all moving in the same direction in our businesses, but we’re coming at it from different angles, which is good. Ultimately, we’re all getting women to think differently about their lives, careers, and needs. It’s wonderful to see the other perspectives and efforts out there.

Business meets personal

During these calls, we often initially cover easy topics like our kids, where we live, and what we do professionally to ease into the conversation. It’s the normal initial conversation. And we eventually get to the really meaty amazing part of the conversation. That’s the good stuff – that’s the stuff that gets me excited. It happens that each of us is trying to build up women in our own way. We each have a slightly different perspective and they all complement each other. And, in doing that, we’re creating a different sort of tribe. It’s business meets personal because the topics we’re covering straddle both.

Why do this now?

Why am I sharing this now? These conversations matter to me. They’re energizing and I feel even more supported. This has been a long journey and these conversations, these moments of support, from strangers who have become women in my tribe, show me how far I’ve come and how much further I have to go.

I think about it this way. I needed the initial tribe of moms to interview. Then, when I started the Facebook group, it was to show me that there are like-minded women out there. And, now this new tribe, shows me how my efforts fit with others and give me the push to get my stuff done. It’s almost like tribes to support the stages I’m going through.

You might be working on something and feel alone in your efforts. Or maybe you feel like it’s harder to make friends as you get older (because it is – see my blog on this). Maybe it’s time to find a new tribe to provide support in your new endeavor because your old friends aren’t on the same journey. This doesn’t mean you abandon old friendships. Building a new tribe doesn’t mean your old tribe goes away. You add a new tribe to your ever evolving and expanding network. It’s not a zero-sum game. Well, at least I don’t think it is.

How do I do it?

I ask them if they want to do an online coffee date or phone call if they’re not local. Let’s break out the calendar and get it scheduled. I share articles I think these women and moms might find useful in their own efforts. I share research that I came across while researching for my book. Or I share information on research I considered, but it’s not quite right for my perspective, but perfect for theirs. I reach out to women in a Facebook group and when they make a point in their comment that sounds like something I would say. I’ve responded to tweets or commented on posts. They show interest and support. They open the door to a conversation. It’s one small step and that is all you need.

It’s worth the time and effort

Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t something that happens with a snap of your fingers. Some connections will come naturally. Some building your tribe will take lots of effort and time. I’ve reached out to people and gotten a response of “Thanks for sharing” when I’ve said “I really enjoyed that. Let’s do an online coffee date.” It’s not quite the response I was looking for, so I move on.

Take the risk. Share your thoughts. Make the connections. Reach out to strangers, who might not be strangers for too long after the call or online coffee chat or in-person meeting. Provide support to a stranger and be open to getting it in return. Give and you will receive. Maybe not from the same person, but you will receive – soon or maybe much later on.

And your tribe will make you feel supported. They will give you a sounding board for your ideas, goals, and initiatives. And you can do the same. It’s a mutual opportunity to grow and feel connection. And who doesn’t need to feel that connection with like-minded women and fellow moms?

How are your efforts to build your tribe going? What are you most struggling with? What’s the easiest part? Is there a place you naturally find the women in your tribe?

We are very happy to have Suzanne join us for a FREE webinar on September 13 at 1PM EDT. This webinar, A New Approach to Managing Work-Life Balance will introduce insights into how to achieve work-life balance when managing a family along with building a career or business. Learn more and register here.


Megan Bozzuto