Have you found your tribe?

Years ago, I heard a networking expert speak on the difference it made to her business to find her “tribe” – that group of people who understood who she was and where she was coming from.

(Instead of having family and friends look at her blankly and say “What?!?!” when she got excited about her plans, projects and ideas.)

One of the most pernicious myths of the 20th century is the myth of the self-sufficient individual.  Humans are primarily tribal – even us introverts.  I knew this intellectually, but experiencing the reality is much more powerful, now that I’ve found “my” tribe.

Yarra Ranges CoworkingCoworking rules

I found my ‘tribe’ 12 months ago, when I discovered Yarra Ranges Coworking – a group of entrepreneurs, solopreneurs and virtual workers who meet in cafes around the hills east of Melbourne to work beside each other on their own projects.

We have a great spectrum, which makes the group extraordinarily rich, from an online craft supplier to a digital innovation doctorate student, not to mention our lead stirrer, Brendan Knights of Chevalier services.  (Check out our members here: www.yarrarangescoworking.com.au )

Why do I like coworking and the Ranges group?  Many reasons:

  • It’s happening where I live, around the Dandenong Ranges.  Not down in the “big smoke”.
  • The amazing conversations that erupt about everything from movies and music to innovation and the Circular Economy.
  • The immediate availability of good food and good coffee.
  • General group problem solving – from good bookkeepers to good phones to good books.
  • A different window to stare out of when I’m tired of my own 4 walls.
  • Access to an amazing range of expertise – if nobody knows, somebody is guaranteed to know someone to knows.

Above all, for me it’s about being with people who share values, energy and optimism.  Sure the cafes who host us and our caffeine habits can get noisy (so can we).  We’re scheming world domination, including purposeful spaces of our own in the future.  But coworking is about community, and we’ve got that in spades.

My inspiration and commitment to a sustainable future have been validated and renewed over the past 12 months – and that makes me more productive.

Personal sustainability is fundamental to a sustainable future

To me there are 3 things we need to do for a truly sustainable future:

  1. Understand and accelerate the emerging circular, regenerative economy
  2. Learn how to be smart, informed, effective change-makers
  3. Learn what we need for our personal sustainability, to maximise how well we operate in the world.

Finding my tribe has increased my personal sustainability – the foundation on which I can build change-making skills and regenerative business entrepreneurship.

What does it for you?  What are you doing to ensure you’re a beacon burning brightly instead of burning yourself out?

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About Leigh

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Leigh is the principal of the business innovation practice Balance3 and her clients have included corporations such as Amcor, National Foods, Dair, SPC Ardmona, Kobelco, Corporate Express and New Balance as well as a range of smaller businesses and individual clients.