Behind every successful woman is a girl tribe that has her back.
I started freelancing three years ago with the help of a good friend who has worked from home a few years earlier. Because of her, I got a good start at freelancing and propelled my writing career to greater heights.
Over time, I met and became friends with women who, like me, had started their own successful careers working online. Most of us have the same motivation: to provide for the family and spend quality time with them. Somehow, we have all created this elusive work-life balance that everyone has been working so hard for.
But working from home also has its fallbacks. It can get lonely at times, especially when you’re used to working outside the office. It would be especially difficult if you were an extrovert like me. I mean, how could you go out and meet people when all you do is stay at home and work, right?
The first year was the most difficult since it took a lot of time to adjust to the new work environment. I often had pangs of jealousy every time I would see my former workmates and friends get together for breakfast. What hurt more was that you often get less invites as time passed by. And even if you did get invited, getting there would be a nightmare because of traffic.
Another thing was the lack of conversation pieces. More often than not, you will get left out of conversations you can no longer relate to. Since your challenges as a work-at-home mom are different from that of the corporate world, explaining your troubles can be more of a hassle.
In the end, you go back to square one. And you realize that you no longer have anything in common with the people you used to hang out with.
But since last year, everything has changed. I started attending meet-ups, networking events, and workshops. I met awesome people who started becoming friends. We started having conversations about work-related stuff and even started sharing our woes and fears as work-at-home moms.
Through these networking events, I unknowingly created my girl tribe, my own network of strong, empowered women entrepreneurs who share the same wins and losses as I do. With them, I am comfortable talking about my dreams and fears, and I also receive honest feedback and practical advice as to how to go about my business.
My girl tribe has helped me become stronger and wiser. They also taught me the value of friendship, laughter, and trust. I may be getting a bit too cheesy here, but the truth is, I couldn’t have done it by myself.
So why are girl tribes so important, especially for women entrepreneurs?
Back in college, I wrote a research paper about friendship and adulthood. According to what I’ve read, people crave more for sincere friendships and intimacy as they grow older. And it’s easy to understand why. Most of us tend to focus on making a living and real life that we forget how important it is to take a break and enjoy the lives that we create.
We’ve become so busy with paying the bills, making sure our kids and family are fed and healthy, and having enough funds and resources to live a full life. To do so, we need to work. And unfortunately, all of us have a limited amount of time that we need to spend wisely, else lose it forever. Because of this, our stress levels increase and so does our risk of disease.
Girl tribes, communities, and friends help us relieve stress and make our lives fuller. Just having someone to talk to or knowing that you belong is enough to boost our confidence and make us feel capable of doing amazing things.
Not only that, girl tribes also teach us how to become better people. They give us tried and tested tips on how to be a better mother. We get cooking recipes and techniques from them. We even get to have free mentoring services on how to grow our business.
While it might sound easy, creating a girl tribe is anything but. It takes more than just relationship building and has to do a lot with gut feel. There are just people that you’ll be drawn to and will reciprocate the feeling.
You also have to be careful who you let in your circle. Remember that everyone always has something nice to say, but not everyone can be honest and loyal. That’s why you really need to get to know people and be willing to accept their flaws. Because that’s what friendships are for.
There’s this important lesson I learned from Tyler Perry’s Madea. In the clip below, Madea discusses how to get to know people and how to choose the right people to let in your life. Here she talks about the importance of honesty in any kind of relationship. It may be funny and entertaining, but it still talks about the truth.
Check it out here.
So how do you choose your girl tribe? Here’s how I do it.
When I meet people, I come with no judgment. I choose to believe in the good of others because that’s how I want them to see me. But my inner circle knows about my Strike 3 rule. I give people three chances before I call it quits.
It’s not because I can’t forgive people. I’d rather choose to spend my time with people who care about me as much as I do them. We tend to listen to people and make adjustments for them because we care about them. So why would I spend my time with someone who doesn’t give a damn about what’s good for them?
You need to learn how to observe people because people are like trees. There are some who are like the leaves who go anywhere the wind blows. While they may be fun to be with, you can never really depend on them to be there, especially when strong winds start to blow your way. They’d be the first one to leave when things get hard.
Others can be more deceiving and look sturdy enough to hang on to when things get rough. But when it becomes too heavy or too complicated, they break off, just like branches in the tree.
But that’s no reason to be bitter about these people because that’s just the way things are. Not everyone is meant to stay in your life, so the best thing to do is let them go and be thankful for the good times and the bad.
Read more on how to motivate yourself when things get bad.
The most important people that you should be taking care of are those who you can depend on when times are hardest. These are people who you can call in the middle of the night, crying your heart out because your husband cheated on you. They are those who would come running to you at 3 PM when your mom is in the hospital and needs medical attention. They are those who will open their homes to you in case you need a place to rest your head, even for a bit.
These people will message you out of nowhere just to check on you. And they will be those people who will lend you cash without interest because they know how it feels to be broke and hopeless.
These people are like the roots of the tree. They don’t need to be around you all the time, and people don’t need to know how close you are. But as soon as you need them, they’ll come running to your aid.
Because that’s what friendship is, and that’s how it’s supposed to be.
So cheers to us women and our girl tribes who make our lives fun and worth living! And thank you to my girl tribe who continues to make me feel like a phenomenal woman!
Who’s your girl tribe? Share this post and tag them to let them know how much you love them!