5 Personalities to invite to your tribe

If you’re an innovator, builder, game changer, entrepreneur, promotion seeker or department of ONE, it can be lonely trying to forge new paths.

No one can share your burdens directly – even with empathy and support in your work, it can be a hard and isolating journey filled with doubt, sacrifice and wrong turns before you get to reward.

So, where do you turn to for support? There’s only so much your spouse or partner or best friends can take before they’re pulling their hair out about your work. There are many types of groups you can belong to – networking groups, professional organizations, community business leaders, educational cohorts . . . and all of these are good, but if you’re on a journey that’s new or difficult, I like to recommend you build a deliberate group of supporters specifically as a “Tribe”. I use the word “Tribe” to define the group of advocates and champions you assemble for yourself – that all have a different part in helping your achieve your goals and objectives. The common denominator is moving you forward to meet your goals. Change is hard, can be scary, confusing and difficult and you’re going to want and need several types of people to journey with you.

Your tribe = your people, but I’ve found it beneficial to surround myself with these 5 types of people because in each of their own ways, they bring out a different “best” part of you.

  1. People who love you unconditionally.
    These are your rocks – they think you’re great no matter what and that your crayon art was always the best in the class. {Yes, this is usually your mom but fathers, aunts, best friends and well meaning grandmas will do here too}. These are your spirit lifters and “sit in the stands in the rain” supporters. Their belief in you is stalwart and consistent and yes, you need to hear them cheering you on so that when you’re really struggling to get to the finish line, they are a fixed point you can focus on to keep moving toward the objective {Big thanks to my Mom!}
  1. People who are tougher than you.
    By this I mean, people who do things that scare the crap out of you. You need these people in your life to help pull you to the edge and push you off every now and then: risk takers, adventure seekers, boundary pushers. It could be someone who hang glides or base jumps or runs marathons, performs live Improv comedy, or sneaks into wedding receptions. Getting out of your comfort zone on a regular basis – personally, professionally and even physically helps you realize that YOUR status quo is temporary and only defined by the constraints you’ve set for yourself. Stepping outside those constraints or even shattering them, stretches you in all facets of your life and can be a great driver for personal growth.
  1. People who understand the business.
    Whatever that business is, there is someone out there who will mentor you – either in broad terms or industry specific. The business you love or are learning about has its own jargon, business model, learning curve, esoteric history, evolution, et cetera. Building connections with people who are immersed in your business and will share and discuss your industry with you can accelerate your learning curve and potentially open doors for you.
  1. People who call you on your BS.
    Sometimes, when we face a hard decision or the next mountain in front of us, our subconscious voice can pipe back in and talk us back to our comfort zone. Have someone in your tribe who understands what you’re trying to achieve and who is perceptive and brave enough to not let you shrink or let you off the hook when it comes to doing the hard or scary things. This is perhaps the hardest type of supporter to find as our natural tendencies {especially for women/mothers} is to make everything “okay” and easy for people when we see them struggling. A good way to build this type of relationship with someone else is to reciprocate that constrictive criticism and necessary feedback. A high level of trust and transparency is paramount here as this reflective honesty is critical to personal growth and development. {Much love to my friend, LLP who makes me go to PTA meetings}
  1. People who are pragmatic, rational and give really good advice.
    We can get really myopic about our own self, lives, project, business, work, or anything that we have created or invested of ourselves. So, it’s always good to get {or schedule} a fresh perspective – especially from someone who is NOT the first type of person {sorry, Mom}. Frequently requesting a down to earth opinion from someone who is not directly invested in your efforts or outcomes can help you pivot and make smaller modifications to what you’re doing instead of scrapping entire ideas, projects or promotions after you’ve already completed them. These tribe members are not the opposite of dreamers and innovators in our lives – and they are certainly not Debbie Downers {just clearly AVOID DD’s} but tapping people who aren’t afraid to take a look and give you unbiased feedback is like pulling the compass out of your backpack so you don’t get lost in the woods.


Now, turn about is fair play and realize that just as you need to build YOUR tribe, part of giving YourSELF and your gifts and talents is participating and giving back, so find a someone who needs YOU in THEIR tribe and determine which of those positions you can hold for another person.

Invite people to be in your official Tribe. Let them know what your objectives are, what you are working towards, what your potential pitfalls could be and where fears could be holding you back. Think of them as your Board of Advisors to help you run your company and achieve your best results.

Until next time, keep kickin’ butt!


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Straightforward, practical and perhaps slightly cheeky, Shawn Karol Sandy's innate gift is helping people find new ways to solve old problems, unique ways to approach new problems and helping businesses re-invent themselves and their sales strategies. With Bold and Brave thought leadership and Clear Action Plans, her impact on business is Measurable and Meaningful and will lead your sales revolution to growth and revenue goals.

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