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The Care & Feeding of a Tribe

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(Sometimes, I start writing a blog post thinking it is going in one direction, and then it hijacks my idea and goes somewhere else entirely. This post is a perfect example of what I mean.)

I’ve been thinking a lot about my tribe lately. Mainly because I’ve realized that I simply could not do what I do everyday without them. Oh – I suppose I could for a little while, but my tribe makes it so much more fun, so much more worthwhile and so much LESS scary.

Seth Godin, in his book Tribes, defines a tribe this way:lit drum

“A tribe is a group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader, and connected to an idea. For million of years, human beings have been part of one tribe or another. A group needs only two things to be a tribe: a shared interest and a way to communicate. . . Tribes need leadership. Sometimes one person leads, sometimes more. People want connection and growth and something new. They want change.” (Pages 1-2)

When I first shifted the focus of this blog to “escaping mediocrity on adventure at a time”, I knew that this undertaking was WAY bigger than anything I could do alone. And I knew I needed a tribe around me if I was going to be able to sustain the vision.  What I didn’t know, was exactly how to get one. And truth be told, I still don’t.

As I’ve said many times here – and on Twitter – I am very very blessed to have somehow connected with other like-minded people who are as tired of the status quo as I am. And I’ve actually had people ask me what “formula” I used to build such an amazing group.

Formula? Really?

Can you put “publicly saying things that scare you out of your wits and hoping someone else understands” into a formula? Or “creating meaningful conversation with and between others” ? Or “telling others they made you laugh so hard Coke came out your nose” ?

If you can, you are much better mathematician than I am. Cuz I simply don’t know how to plug that into an A + B=C kind of equation. And even if there were such an equation, I wouldn’t want it.

Why?

Because this tribe is made up of real, live human beings who are dazzlingly individual and intricate. Why on earth would I want to trivialize you by trying to wrap you up into some neat kind of package?

And anyway, if I tried to describe to someone else how the tribe here is developing, it would sound something like this:

Well, first, you put up a blog thinking you know what you are going to talk about. Then about six months into it, you realize that that isn’t what you are going to talk about – you’re going to talk about this other thing. And no – you can’t get any market research ahead of time on the audience or the demand because there isn’t any. So then you start writing blog posts that scare the sh*t out of you. And you tell a few of the friends you’ve made on Twitter about them, hoping that they will feel enough pity that they will show up and at least READ what you wrote. And when they do read and take the time to comment, you replybecause their comments are so much MORE intelligent and witty than what you wrote in the first place.  Oh – and in between writing these posts and hoping someone will read them and replying to the comments they leave, you get on Twitter and laugh a lot and introduce people to each other and try to help where you can.

So for those of you wondering about my magic formula – there it is. Good luck trying to duplicate it. Even I can’t duplicate it (if you DO figure it out and make some money on it – send me a percentage, ok?).

Now – because I ALWAYS want this blog to be useful and, as I’ve said, you are all WAY smarter, savvier, and funnier than I am – I want to ask  you a question. If you were trying to tell someone how to build and maintain a tribe that you wanted to be a part of, what is the #1 thing you would share with them?

As always, I can’t wait to read your comments!!

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