I didn’t know who Alli Worthington was before the Quitter Conference. Now I can say I’m solidly in her tribe (even if I don’t fit her demographic target. :)). What is Alli’s expertise? Tribe-building.
Alli Worthington is the founder of Blissfully Domestic, an online magazine focusing on encouraging, connecting, and empowering women to create bliss in their homes and families. She, along with Barbara Jones, created the BlissDom Conference after a conference they were going to attend was cancelled. They decided to do it themselves. How hard could it be? Right?… Right?
It was incredibly difficult, but they did it and continue to hold these conferences.
Here’s what Alli had to say about building a tribe:
There are really 2 Alli’s. Regular Alli and Internet Alli. They’re not so different except Internet Alli has no fear. Everything is an adventure. She’s always up for it. When Alli was asked to go on a hot air balloon ride, she was going to say no, but Internet Alli butted in and said “Sure!”
Since I’ve started blogging, it has been a whole lot easier to say yes to these kinds of things. If I can share it with you, I’m much more likely to go along with it. I’ve traveled a whole lot more in the past year and a half and done more than in the previous 5 years. It’s amazing what a difference a “larger” persona can make.
Building a tribe makes life awesome
Making real connections with real people is always enriching. I’ve met some of my favorite people online. I also love connecting these awesome people to other awesome people. There is so much to learn and so many conversations that won’t happen if you don’t connect with other people.
I’ve sat face to face with some of these people just by asking to have lunch with them. I haven’t been turned down yet, so that’s a good sign.
You don’t need permission to try
I hear too many people say the world is against them. They don’t have the same opportunities, don’t have time, money, a way in, a way out, ideas, knowledge, friends in high places. They are wrong. You don’t need to wait for a certificate of authorization from the Queen to start something. Just go do it. Start small if you have to. Just start. Permission comes from within. Be a leaser when no one else is leading.
It’s time to rebrand failure — Think of it as experimenting
Failure has a pretty bad reputation. Failure is everything bad in the world bottled up into one tiny package. Wrong. Failure is learning. Failure is what happens when you experiment. Always test new thoughts and concepts. You’ll never know what works great if you don’t give yourself the opportunity to find out what doesn’t work.
Say who you are
When people know who you are and what you are about, they can choose to either follow you or not follow you. When you aren’t clear about your intentions and beliefs, they don’t know what to do and often default to “I don’t care’ mode.
Say who you are and then be that. Share your thoughts and dreams. Some people will follow you because of those thoughts and dreams. Others will follow you because you are deliberate.
Why build a tribe?
- We want to belong
People go to extraordinary lengths to fit in. Look down the hallway at a high school between classes. Even those that are trying to be unique look and act like some other group. Create a space for the kind of people you want to interact with.
- Find your people
Your people want you to succeed. Your people want to connect with you and each other. Your people feel like they are a part of something bigger than themselves.
Finding your tribe can have a transformative effect on your sense of identity and purpose.
When people reinforce what you’ve been sharing, it urges you to give more of that and be more of that. As you become more focused on the needs of your people, it becomes that much easier to provide solutions. Since those solutions are tailor-made for your people, they feel that connection even more.
Tribe membership helps people become more themselves, leading them toward a greater sense of personal identity.
People identify with the groups they want to be a part of. A very visible group that proves the point is sports fans. They usually have a team that they support more than the rest. They buy branded clothing, they go to conventions – i.e. games.
There are people out there that want to be in your group. There are people that you need in your tribe to help you be more of what you are.
Tribes challenge and inspire you.
Tribe members that are engaged will push you into areas you would rather not go. Most of the time, these places are exactly where you need to go. If you are lucky, you’ll have tribe members that have been there and will guide you. Everyone benefits when the tribe is stretched and pushed.
Cherry pick your tribe:
- Pick the rockstars
Rock stars pull and make things happen. Identify your rock starts (and some that maybe aren’t in your tribe yet. Give them some power and see where it goes. You might be surprised how much energy and enthusiasm a rock star give your people.
- Ignore the jerks
Jerks are draining. They want you to spend time and energy appeasing them. Don’t. Set them free. You’re better off without them. They need to continue their search for tribes they belong to.
It’s ok to say NO to unnecessary crazy
Speaking of jerks, don’t let them take you on wild goose chases. Be deliberate with your time. Be succinct and say no. Move on. You control the tempo and vibe of your tribe. Don’t give up that power to crazy people.
It’s about core values
Real tribes are held together by common values. There’s a lot to disagree about on the fringes, but the commonalities are what created the mass in the first place.
Be who you are
People can smell fake from a mile away. Be authentic. Share your frustrations. Share your joys. Be personal. People thrive on human connection. Make sure you take time to be human.
They define your future
Your tribe points you in the direction you need to go. Let them. They’ll take you farther than you’d ever imagine.
Step out of your comfort zone and seek opportunities and adventures.
Be vulnerable. Take risks. Do things you normally wouldn’t. You’ll grow and so will your tribe.
Take the first step.
If you never start, you’ll never go anywhere. Take the first step. Then take the second. Keep going!