The Best Thing You Can Do For Yourself, Period. FIND YOUR TRIBE.

Ah, if only I had a time machine and could go back and visit my 20-something self! Aside from steering her toward some smart stock picks (Apple, girl – trust me), and away from some tragically unfortunate sartorial choices (neon, just say no), I’d give myself some simple advice that would make my entire life about, oh, 3 million times better.  Seriously.  Really.

Sure, I’d tell myself to stop worrying about some things, to focus more on some things, and to use sunblock (really, use sunblock already!), I’d clue myself in on this precious bit of wisdom that can make all the difference in whether a woman leads a life of happy serenity or miserable fretting, self-doubt and loneliness.

I can sum it up in 3 words: Find Your Tribe. I can best explain what I mean by telling you a little story:

Once there was a young woman, let’s call her “Dixie”, who worked for a TV station for almost 10 years. She was smart and really good at her job, and she traveled all over the country. She grew the initiative she headed up, she earned support and partners in sites all across America, and she expanded the project’s successes and fan base. Now, she wasn’t your typical working girl. She didn’t wear suits with sneakers, she read Sassy magazine, sported Doc Martens, and she had a straight-forward, sassy sense of humor.  Still, her lack of bullshit and pretension, plus her skill at her job, made her a success in small towns and places where Jewish New York chicks normally don’t win popularity contests. And yet, at her own station, there were women colleagues who just thought she was too quirky, too unusual, too feminist-y or too something and treated her pretty bad.  They called her names to her face and behind her back. She never got promoted, and some of her staff actually made more than she did. She had good friends at the station, but many of her colleagues gave her no respect and the nicer she tried to be the more they put her down. She was sad and miserable and felt like a loser. She should have, and could have, moved on to a better position in a better place, but her colleagues’ treatment made her insecure and doubt herself. She became fearful rather than fierce.

Finally, she got a job offer too good to turn down – a position at a new TV network dedicated to women. (We’ll call it “Helium”.)  This new company, “Helium”, attracted lots of smart, cool women and Dixie met lots of wonderful people. She loved it – she was in her element. She got to work with incredible people, she had friends, support, respect, and her contributions were now valued instead of dismissed or ignored.  She was promoted multiple times within 2 years, and she was even given a recurring on-air spot on a daily TV show.

Dixie was confused. After all, she was exactly the same jocular, vintage frock-wearin’, smart and smart-alecky character she’d always been.  But now those same traits, attributes and values that made her a pariah at her last job made her a personal and professional success at this new gig. What happened?

She’d found her tribe, that’s what. There wasn’t anything inherently wrong with Dixie, and maybe there wasn’t anything wrong about that TV station where they tossed the words “weird’ and “evil” her way. (Though I’m not entirely convinced about the latter part of that sentence.)  It just wasn’t the right environment for Dixie; it wasn’t a good fit.

But when Dixie moved on over to “Helium” she found lots of like-minded, Sassy magazine-reading, zine-writin’ righteous grrls interested in new media and new ideas.  She’d found her tribe and it made all the difference. She not only looked forward to going to work instead of dreading it, she began to gain confidence and comfort in her own skin.

Luckily, nowadays the Internet and social media make it easier than ever to find your own tribe(s) — people who share your values, perspectives, interests, even your creepy obsession with that dumb 80s sitcom.  

Say you’re the only non-Trump supporting feminist in your small town. There’s no need to feel alienated or isolated when you’ve got over a million cyber soul sistahs waiting to share your outrage, petitions, memes, rants and jokes. Through Google and social media you can even find local like-minded people, events and meet-ups. You can engage with your tribe where you live and where you laptop. When you find your tribe you’ll find can belong and you will bloom. And that can make all the difference.

That’s the advice. And here at Like A Boss Girls you have found your tribe, at least one of them. It’s here to help you engage in a community of women who, like you, want to become the best versions of themselves, step into their power and out of their comfort zones.  In the Like A Boss Girls community you’ll find lots of resources, inspiration, information, friends and fierce.

Don’t thank us…just know: You’re welcome.

What I’d Tell My 21-Year-Old Self
In Defense of Facebook
The F-Word: What’s Scary About Feminism?