The Most Important People In Your Tribe

Dear Shi, 

I’m starting to feel lonely as a solopreneur.  I know there’s value of reaching out for support and I know that I can’t be the only one who feels this way.  Any tips or suggestions on how to find people for my tribe? 

Sincerely,
Natasha


Dear Natasha, 

You’re not meant to do life and business alone!  No — you’re meant to do it in community so you can pour into others and others can pour back into you. 

I love the quote, “Behind every successful woman is a tribe of women who have her back,”

In other words, we all rise when we lift each other up and develop those relationships with the most important people in your tribe. 

So let’s break down the types of people you’ll need to succeed: 

The Experienced Mentor:

These are the lady bosses who have been there, done that, and inspire you to grow
in your craft and your business. They help you to learn from the best, shortcut some
mistakes and lessons learned, and stay true to yourself.

To initiate a relationship with an experienced mentor:
• Join her tribe. Glean wisdom from her work by reading books, listening to podcasts,
or attending an event or workshop.
• Offer to help her any way you can. Volunteer to serve at her events, take care of
administrative tasks, or make a connection. Develop a relationship by providing
value first.
• Make yourself available to learn from her. If and when she reaches out, make it
easy to meet and connect. Be prepared with specific questions so it’s clear what
you would like her wisdom and advice on. Show your gratitude for her help!

The Peer Mentor: 

These are the friends who are at a similar stage along your journey. They are people
who you can celebrate, commensurate and collaborate together. These people are
like-minded, supportive, and understand exactly what you’re going through because
they are going through it themselves as well.

To cultivate a peer mentor relationship:
• Invite a friend for regular (virtual) coffee dates to share real talk conversations of
success and struggles, support and encouragement.
• Create a Mastermind group of 3-8 peers whose purpose is to brainstorm ideas,
share progress, and hold you accountable to reach your goals.
• Collaborate on a project together to combine your unique strengths that benefits
both of your audiences and businesses.

The Mentee: 

These are the emerging lady leaders who you can pay it forward and pour back into
them. Look for people who are motivated, take initiative, and share your values to
help along their journey. These relationships are crucial because they can challenge
you to keep growing and give back, completing the cycle of women supporting women.

To develop a relationship with a mentee:
• Respond to their questions. Streamline a process where you can answer their
questions, offer your expertise, and encourage them along their journey.
• Volunteer your time and services. Do some pro-bono work at a church, organization,
or community where you can pour into people who could benefit from your gifts.
• Hire an intern. Bring on an intern to work for you, model your standards of
excellence, and intentionally take time to develop her gifts and interests.

The Passive Mentor:

We can have a “passive” relationship with a mentor by learning from their body
of work. This means we don’t necessarily meet with them in-person, but through a
distance. These could be thought-leaders of the past and present who you
consider to be role models.

To engage with passive mentors:
• These resources can include: books, podcasts, videos, historical documents, etc.
• Remember that passive mentors can still influence you and speak into your life.
Be selective of what you “consume” and make sure to implement what you learn.
• Ask others for recommendations on resources for the specific topic or skill you
would like to develop.

Your action steps: 

  1. Decide what type of relationship you need the most in this moment.  
  2. Brainstorm a few ways you can start developing those relationships today. 
  3. Reaching out for help to start developing the relationship will lead to more and more support, and you’ll make the journey a lot less lonely and a lot more rewarding.  

If you would like an interactive workbook to jot down your ideas to create a plan of how to build the most important people in your tribe, you can download my free Mentor’s guide here.

With joy,