I’ve been very blessed in the friend department. Many people have come and gone from my life but I’ve been able to maintain a core group of six women who are my soul sisters. When I decided to go down the path of entrepreneurship for the first time in my life, I found myself without my usual support system. My friends will always be there for me, but they are not entrepreneurs, they have traditional jobs and they love what they do. They didn’t understand my desire for needing more in my life or why I would give up the security of a job for the unknown of entrepreneurship. And while I love my soul sisters and I know they empathize with me, it’s hard to share my joys and vent my frustrations with someone who isn't on the same roller coaster as me.
And so I embarked on a search to my tribe.
However, I learned pretty quickly when you try to find a tribe of women entrepreneurs, the usual way I made friends in the past wasn't going to work. Each person I call friend I met in person, but since I didn't know any other female entrepreneurs, I had to rely on the internet. And in a world where social media reigns and you are an introvert who has never been into social media – it’s difficult as hell. So many times I felt silly because I felt that I didn’t know how to make friends.
Here are some of the places/things I tried:
Meet Up. The website wasn't as helpful as I thought it would be. I know many people have been successful utilizing the site, but I didn’t find a single group for female entrepreneurs that lived close to me. However, this may not be the same for you. You may be able to find a group right away. That’s great. Start attending the meetings.
Go online. I tried the Facebook groups. This one is a still work in progress for me. I’m not good commenting in groups and asking questions. I have to put a reminder on my phone to remember to even go on to Facebook and Instagram. And even though I've been accepted into a couple of Facebook groups, it's hard for me to start commenting, must less connecting with people. But it's definitely a work-in-progress because I know this is where I will probably find many female entrepreneurs.
Utilize your coach. A couple of years ago, the business coach I was with created a mastermind group. It was a small group of four women entrepreneurs. When we gathered together for an event, I was able to really connect with one of them. And while I am no longer with the business coach, I am still friends with the woman I met from the mastermind. We don't see each other often but every once in awhile we connect and it's great to hear how she's doing in her business.
Go to a conference. I went to a women's conference and the first woman I sat and talked to I ended up becoming friends with. During that same conference, this woman became friends with a half dozen other women entrepreneurs, but for me, one was enough. I made a friend, felt a connection, and I was happy.
Take a class. This was completely unexpected but shows how you can meet people anywhere. I took a paper flower making class not too long ago. I really enjoyed the instructor and after the class talked to her about her business. That lead to me explaining my entrepreneurial journey and from there her offer to sit and chat. Score!
The search for my tribe continues. It's a learning experience of how to make friends as an entrepreneur and as an adult woman. I learned that the way I made friends in my 20s doesn't really work for me in my 30s. So not only did I have to adapt but I also had to learn what works best for me.
For some of my readers, you may prefer the social media space- connecting in Facebook groups, commenting and starting conversations on Instagram, or sending messages to each other on Snapchat. These are all great ways to build a relationship. For others, you may prefer the traditional way– going some place and meeting in person and sitting and talking to them. For me, it’s a combination of both. But knowing what I know now, you’ve got to keep trying, keep growing, keep pushing yourself to find the women you want to have in your own tribe.
Does this resonate with you? What have you done to build your tribe? Comment below and share your story!