The quote of all quotes attributed to Jim Rohn is, “You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” But, since we can’t all hang out with Barack, Michelle, Oprah, Beyoncé, Diddy, and Chance the Rapper then how do we find a tribe that’s going to help us and we help it?
Good question and I am glad you asked.
Before you jump into finding your tribe, the key is to find yourself first. You will never find your tribe if you don’t know who are you, what you have to offer, and what you want out of life. These things may change due to elevation by your tribe but at least have some idea. You can be connected to some of the most powerful, talented and wealthy people in the world but if you’re not bringing any substance to the table and always being the one taking from the pot, your tribe may soon reevaluate your value.
For this article’s sake, let’s say you are on or completed your journey of self-discovery and are now ready to welcome in the abundance of authentic brotherhood/sisterhood, lifelong brunch buddies and fellow traveling nomads. As Millennial professionals, there are limitless possibilities as to where we can find our tribe: social media, professional organizations, sororities, fraternities, at work, or even college. The universe will conspire in your favor once you’re ready. For me, it took about nine years after undergrad to complete my current tribe. As I matured, defined my career goals, adopted a healthier/fit lifestyle and expanded my mindset, I started meeting people of similar interests with hearts of gold and a work ethic nothing shy of Beyoncé’s! I knew in that moment I was assembling a tribe that could easily take out Thanos if we needed to. I’m sure most of us have read or heard the scripture from Proverbs 27:17 that says, “As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.” You have to be willing to give more than you take. Bring value to your circle of friends, push them when they want to give up, listen even when they’re not speaking, and most importantly, gas them up at all times.
We recently connected with two thriving Millennials who shared their tribe experience to give us all an idea of how one finds their tribe, add value to their tribe, and the benefits of having a tribe.
Reesha L. Archibald / @ReeshaLA
Title: Film/TV Producer, singer, actress, mentor
Current City: Los Angeles, CA (Originally from Denver and St. Louis)
Tribe Definition: A tribe is a community of people who are bound together organically who overall have the same morals, spiritual beliefs, work ethic, sense of community, and heart. This group is one that builds one another up, is open minded, multi-faceted, fun, and dependable. Their similarities are what draws them together, their genuine love and appreciation for one another is what keeps them together.
Number of Tribe Members: I think the number varies depending on the people. I have an overall tribe that is a combination of tribes I’ve acquired in every city I’ve lived in. Because I work in so many different circles I have small tribes that make up the larger tribe. I have tribe members from childhood and college; I have tribe members from jobs and community organizations I’ve worked with. I also have tribe members of people who I met in apartment complexes I’ve lived in or who I met at functions. You never know where a new tribe member will come from. Remaining open is important, but allowing your spirit of discernment to guide you to who should be allowed in your circle is even more imperative.
How did you find your tribe? I’m a strong believer that awesome people know awesome people. Some people I met through family or mutual friends. Some people I’ve worked with in some capacity. Some people I’ve just met at events, church, or house gatherings. Each of my tribe members and I organically attracted one another. Light attracts light. Love attracts love. Real recognizes real. Game recognizes game.
How do you add value to your tribe? I feel I personally add value to my tribe by doing my best to be a good friend. By supporting, showing love to, listening to, and extending myself and my resources to my tribe. One of my callings in life is to be an encourager and a helper. I try my best to bring as much positivity, peace and encouragement to my tribe-mates as possible. In turn, when I need the positivity, peace and encouragement, my tribe is there to pour back into me as well.
What are the benefits of having a tribe? The benefits of having a tribe are that you have a circle of people around you who genuinely care about you, your growth, and your well being- and vice versa. This thing called life can be difficult if you don’t have the right people in your corner. People are not meant to be alone. Having the right people around you can make or break you, that’s why it’s extremely important to surround yourself with people who are like minded and like spirited. The right tribe understands the importance of reciprocity- of give and take, and when there’s a falling short of this, the tribe calls it out and makes the move to correct the imbalance. Another benefit of having a tribe is that you all grow together and encourage each other through that growth.
Terez D. Wilson / @trez3
Title: Director of Development for the University of Memphis Athletic Department (future State Farm Owner/Agent)
Current City: Memphis, TN (Originally from Little Rock, AR)
Tribe Definition: I define my tribe as being a group of people who help elevate one another to reach our “God Given Potential”. We often confuse secular goals with kingdom goals. My tribe knows the difference and uses kingdom gifts to elevate each other, the community, and the most high at all times!
Number of Tribe Members: 5 and growing…my spirit is like a nomad. It knows where to lead me each time I gain a new member of my tribe. I’m always open to elevating a member from Village mate to tribal mate.
How did you find your tribe? I found my tribe during times of loss, depression, anxiety, and hopelessness. No one can truly assess the value of their tribe during the good times because it is then that you possess no real tribulations that cause ripples in the lives of others. The moment when you need an uplifting word, or when you need a friend to encourage you, or when life seems to not align itself with your vision is when my tribe has showed up the most.
How do you add value to your tribe? I add value to my tribe by being a proactive and an engaging listener. I make it my duty as a tribal member to put myself in the position of the one who needs me the most. My goal is to always be a relief for them whether the burden is mental, physical, or financial. Tribal members are essentially extended family members and should have access to all parts of who I am. The element of vulnerability allows for me to openly communicate, and interact with my peers who I am extremely close with. Over time I’ve had to discontinue relationships that are toxic. This doesn’t mean that those people can’t be a part of the village that the tribe resides in, but they don’t have immediate access to the tribe, nor its members. I keep those I love extremely close to me.
What are the benefits of having a tribe? As we breakdown the Tribe we must remember that it takes a village to raise all of us, especially young African American professionals. Although my immediate circle of influence is small, I have been tremendously impacted by those who are a part of my village over the past 14 years of my voyage from Little Rock, AR to Memphis, TN. My fraternity brothers, colleagues, ministers, acquaintances, professors, civic leaders, and college comrades have all played pivotal roles in developing me in my career, personal relationships, and my spiritual growth. The benefit of having a tribe is that they help me align my goals and ideas with my heart and desires. They know what these passions are not because of the length of our friendship, but because of the openness and vulnerability exposed over our continued communication during the friendship. If we aren’t honest with one another, how can we hold each other accountable for our development, and growth? I directly benefit from having a tribe around me that prays for me, that loves me no matter what decision(s) I make, and that chooses me for me.