Updated: Nov 4, 2022
Q: After 20 years of corporate life, I left to follow a dream and started my own company. Despite achieving success, I am feeling isolated working alone and my corporate friends don’t really “get” what I’m doing.
A: I hear this a lot from new entrepreneurs: while they love working for themselves, it can feel lonely and isolated being your own boss. There is no more “standing around the water cooler” connection time with co-workers.
You may be feeling a loss of “belonging” that we experience from working within an organization. As an entrepreneur, you have to create this for yourself by finding and spending time with your tribe. Your tribe are people who believe what you believe, think like you and value the same things you do.
Sir Ken Robinson writes in his book Element, “Finding your tribe can have transformative effects on your sense of identity and purpose. This is because of three powerful tribal dynamics: validation, inspiration, and what he calls ‘alchemy of synergy.’”
Here are tips for finding your tribe:
Get online and look for local events you can attend to meet like-minded people. It doesn’t mean they have the same business as you: it’s about shared passions.
Look at your current network, for people you already know with whom you could form a stronger relationship.
Trust your intuition. If you meet someone for the first time & feel a connection, it’s a good sign they are in your tribe.
Get out there, be bold & generous – it’s all about connecting and giving. Think about how you can help them. Share what you love about what they do. Find ways for you to stay connected. It takes time to build your tribe and it can start with just one or two people!