This was a post I wrote for The Style Collective, on getting the most from your tribe, community or support system. Especially true for bloggers and entrepenuers, reaching out and creating a community for yourself is essential to your well being, and the well being of your business.
Let me know how you use your community, and ways we can further support one another :)
Also if you'd like to join The Style Collective, you can do so here.
As creative business owners we spend most of our time riding S-O-L-O.
(Flashback to the song please!)
The day to day grind consists of you and your computer. In a coffee shop, at your house, on vacation, in a shared office space…wherever. Going through our day-to-day we’re writing posts, editing photos, sharing and engaging on social media, setting up flat lays, responding to emails, sending invoices, writing proposals, doing web design, writing emails…the list goes on.
Blogging, essentially, as much as it seems social is a really solo thing. It’s you, your creative mind, your couch, your chair, your bed and whatever amazing creative content you’re going to put out in the world.
It’s on YOU to do the work, to find out what you need to do and really make the magic happen.
For me personally, the autonomy of running a business on my own. I LOVE the unknown of each day and changing direction quickly to do things that my business needs when I need it.
To do what we do, we need be okay to be alone. Finding comfort in quiet and putting your heads down and do the work. If you love what you’re doing it should be fun.
On your journey, to creating and getting the most out of your tribe, there will be haters that you need to get rid of. People that may not support what you’re doing, your path or your vision.
It’s hard, but you can’t keep everyone in your life forever. It’s just not possible, and there are ebbs and flows in relationships. But you do need to have people around you that are truly engaged and excited about what you’re doing. Because, as a creative person creating something out of nothing, you need full engagement and support.
Eventually, you’ll find your tribe of babes and they’ll blow you away with their understanding of you and your vision.
That’s where Style Collective comes in.
I know, I know I’m not paid to be writing this, but finding a community of hardworking, dedicated, creative babes that are willing to do the work to help each other – has changed the game for me and my blog.
Through the 1+ years I’ve been a member, I’ve found ways that really help to leverage the tribe and community.
1. Go For It. Reach Out to Each Other.
My blog friend relationships have started with a bit of effort. If it’s commenting on Instagram’s, or always engaging with posts, it’s important to let a sister know if you like their shit. But, if you want to go deeper, you need to take the extra step, put some personality behind it, and email. This helps you to personalize yourself, make a connection and boldly say something to someone who, has essentially has been talking to you via their blog for the past, say, 6+ months now.
Although we are so connected, it’s hard to connect with someone without going for it, and saying hi, maybe responding in more detail to their post, or sharing your thoughts on what you love about what they are doing.
Everyone loves a good compliment, right?
Your email should have a point, be kind and friendly, and even talk about potentially taking the relationship a bit further on skype/google hangout.
Remembering that, if you’re attracted to someone and what they are doing there is a reason for that. They are doing something or feeling some type-a-way that connects with you, and I guarantee you’ll have something in common enough for a conversation.
2. Secure a Hot Date on Skype.
Having a meeting with your girl tribe and business babes is equally as important as updating your pinterest, sending out that proposal, writing that post…. It’s about finding balance and centering yourself, to be reminded what you are doing and why you are doing it. Ask someone you admire or another girl in your community for a skype date.
It sounds sexy, and it is J Getting on the phone or being face to face can SERIOUSLY solidify a friendship.
I talk to Annie on a quarterly basis, and I feel so connected to her because of it. Hearing the voice, the tonality and really going beyond the written word is a game changer. We’re all busy, yes, but this is part of the joy of what we do.
There is flexibility in our day, and during your date you can talk about struggles, wins, anything with someone that really GETS it. Better than your boyfriend, better than your mom, they’ll ‘feel’ you.
3. Make the Effort to Hang IRL.
This is on my major to-do list lately.
I want to really MEET people. I want to know them, I want to see how they speak, how they dress, what they’re energy is like. Meeting with people, readers, other bloggers, or business prospects in person can really be the game changer.
Having an in-person session can really take your relationship to the next level and can open major doors for you. When I’ve met with other bloggers in person, I can’t explain how energized I feel about what I’m doing. As an added bonus, I also often times get company contact names, I get ideas for posts, and I get reminded that life is about LIVING in it.
Not about being behind the computer writing about it.
I know style Collective has held local meet-ups and there are boards and discussion around meeting in person. I’ve also just DM’d girls that are local to the area, and met up for coffee.
4. Talk About the Struggles.
When you’re talking to one another, you can’t be shy about the details. It’s our duty in a creative and fluid business to be honest about the wins, but also about what’s challenging for you. If we go around telling everyone that everything is perfect, everything is easy, and you’re basically just crushing life all day, that’s most likely dishonest and people will find it hard to connect with you. Making a genuine connection about what really resonates with you, is going to pay off. You may also find that you’re not alone, that this person or that group is also or has also struggled with something similar. Then you can cross-check, compare notes and get through it together.
These are not relationships where being shy is going to benefit you! Also importantly here, make sure to listen. Listen to what’s being said, connect with it and show a genuine interest about what’s being said. Sometimes listening is all someone needs.
5. Lend a Hand.
This community and tribe is built on giving and receiving.
It’s built on offering to help others move closer to their goals as a community. You should be open to sharing and answering questions about what’s working for you, and also what’s not.
Use this community to help you move further in your business. Be eachothers’ sounding board and accountability partner. Brainstorm and plan together.
This community and the creative souls in our blogging world, are my people. Even if they are all over the country, these badass, fashion forward, creative babes are living their dream by sharing their life in the online world with us.
I hold these relationships just as highly as my IRL friendships, and in many ways, these people understand my wins and my struggles better than my family or friends who don’t live a creative entrepreneur life like I do. These babes are your tribe, they’re your community and they’re relationships that are worth starting and nurturing.
They’re also the ones that have potential you may not even know yet.
They’re your sisters and it’s only just the beginning.