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Connection

How to Create Community When You Feel Alone


{Cheers TV Show Theme Song}

Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name
And they’re always glad you came
You wanna be where you can see our troubles are all the same
You wanna be where everybody knows your name

We all wanna belong.
We all want a tribe.
We all want to have people know our name. Know us.

Community. A tribe. To be known.

This topic is SO deeply needed – in life and in business. The question of “how in the world do we find A (meaning even just one!) quality friend, much less a community, once we’re adults?” has been something I’ve struggled with and almost every woman I’ve ever talked with.

From kindergarten through college, I was surrounded by hundreds/thousands of women to become friends with. Activities to bond over were constantly offered. I lived in 10’x10’ dorm rooms where close relationships were inevitable.

Now, I live in Denver. Beautiful city of adventurous and active 20 to 40 year-old-somethings. Should be perfect, right? ALSO one of the most transient populations. Most people move back to where they grew up when they’re ready to start a family.

And… for the 2nd time since I’ve lived here, my closest friends had all moved away (again).

I found myself craving to belong. To find my tribe. To not just….

  • Spend Friday nights with nothing to do (checking facebook is not a good idea).
  • Crave for a weekend getaway with “my girls” (whoever that might be).
  • Long to have random dance parties at 11pm at night.
  • Hope for soul sisters who don’t complain and stew but stretch and support.
  • Secretly (okay, not so secretly), wish for my own Sex in the City’esk tight-knit circle.

To have it. Embrace it. BELONG. And THRIVE.

AND, over the last several years, I have spent $1000s of dollars learning the secret insider “how-to” tips to grow my online community (that’s you!).

What I discovered… the art of finding and growing your tribe is the same regardless of business vs. personal.

Whether you’re looking to share your passion and online business with the world or you desire to personally COME ALIVE and live & love fully in community, a tribe that “knows your name” is almost as essential as eating (Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, yo!).

We have a deeply ingrained need to belong. So how do we start AND maintain?

6 WAYS TO FIND & NOURISH YOUR TRIBE:

{tribe = your friends, family, colleagues, fellow bloggers}

1. Be perfectly imperfect.

Sharing your struggles with your tribe makes you authentic. Friends don’t want to see a perfect life; we want to see a REAL life because then we know we can relate, support, and share the “me too” without fear of rejection or judgement.

Brene Brown, author of Daring Greatly says, “Because true belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance.”

2. Get inspired. Be inspiring.

Experience LIFE so you have something to connect over and talk about. If all you do is watch TV, sleep, work and/or complain about your job… who would want to stay around that?

3. Give generously. To your tribe AND yourself.

Give without conditions, expectations, or obligations. GIVE generously.

AND… put your own oxygen mask on before helping others. If you continually give and don’t give yourself any oxygen, you’re gonna crumble, give at half capacity, or just simply be a Debbie downer.

When I sit down to plan anything for my business, my first question is, “How can I give the absolute best insights, tips, experience, and joy?” My next question is, “What do I NEED in order to give this?”

What might open up for you if you ask these questions in your life and your career?

4. Celebrate & connect every single woman that comes into your life.

We are easily sucked into the competition and comparison rabbit hole. Women smack-talk other women, are worried to share friends because they might lose them to someone “cooler,” and spend more time pointing out what’s wrong instead of celebrating what’s awesome.

If we spent half that amount of time simply celebrating the women in our lives and connecting cool chicks with other cool chicks, we’d be a much happier society.

When I ran my Skinny Dip Society Blog Tour, I had the honor of promoting 25 women I truly admired. I had the most joy, gratitude, and fun during that month than another other month in my business because it was straight up celebrating and connecting. And, the side bonus was making so many more incredible connections with women I can further celebrate and connect.

5. Once you have a tribe/person, ASK how they want to be supported.

ASK your husband, girlfriend, mother, or co-worker, “How do you feel best supported and included?”

Stop the guessing. Stop the assuming. Stop the confusion.

And to take it a step further… in romantic relationships, ASK how they want to be pursued – emotionally and physically. ASK what lights them up and what they desire you to do more of. (And, on the flip side, ask for what you need from them!)

Many times business owners will throw random newsletters, social media posts, or programs out to their small lists in the HOPE that something will stick. They’re afraid of sounding unprofessional if they ask their tribe what they desire and need. BUT it’s in the asking that you can truly give, support, and stretch. ASK your tribe (survey, email, social media post, etc.).

6. Join groups of women with similar desires as you.

Over 25,000 women have joined the Live By Design 5-day Challenge and over 400 have gone through the Live By Design Program and the discussions, support, and relationships that are form are incredible! Why? There is already a common interest, challenge, and topic to propel the relationship and initial conversations forward. There is a built-in “me too” factor that instantly connects people.

Brain dump 15-20 groups, activities, or places that YOU are interested in personally (not because they’re smart for business).

Go. Join. Do. Explore…with no expectations (and yes there will be fear, it’s normal). It’s like kindergarten, you just have the mental capacity to think it’s scary and no parent to hold your hand. Bring some proverbial crayons… everyone loves crayons or animal cookies. ;)

AND, when you join these types of programs/groups as a business owner, other women will authentically promote you. A personal authentic recommendation is the most valuable way to grow your business any day (mine has grown 1000s simply by word of mouth and personal recommendations).

HERE ARE A FEW ENTREPRENEUR-SPECIFIC QUESTIONS TO STAY AUTHENTIC TO YOU:

  • What do I want to read about? Share what you learn.
  • Who would I want to hear from? Interview those people and share it with your tribe.
  • What ways do I enjoy social media? Do the 1-2 that you enjoy, it’ll show. Don’t enjoy social media? Then do a grassroots campaign and send an email asking for word of mouth promotion.
  • Do you regularly follow other bloggers/experts but they aren’t in your “area” of business? Who cares? If you love them, your audience will love them – just show why it’s connected to what you do. Ex: Fashion blogger. How we do one thing is how we do everything. If we cloak ourselves in drab outfits, and feel lousy it permeates into everything we do. Spice it up with this fashion bloggers tips and you’re setting yourself up with conditions for success from the very beginning of your day.
  • Do you talk about yourself all the time? Don’t. Spend at least 30% of your time promoting other people/bloggers/industries.

If you’re redundant, uninspired, inauthentic, hard to please, don’t put in the effort/seek it out, or are never there for your tribe, you’ll never create a community “where everybody knows your name.”

to your freedom + joy

p.s. Want to meet other soul sisters living by design and cheering each other on? Click here to join the upcoming free Live By Design Challenge. Thousands of ladies from around the world are waiting for you!