Finding your tribe isn’t just fulfilling for you, it’s good for business
How networking with other like-minded people and brands can help you grow
By Lynn Power, Co-Founder & CEO of MASAMI & Isle de Nature
Women are not natural business networkers. Sure, we enjoy our girls nights out. But when it comes to business, many of us don’t feel comfortable asking other women for advice, help or learning. Most guys seem to have no problem doing this, but the business women I know pride themselves on getting things done and juggle a ton. What if we could pride ourselves on having other people help us out? And we could feel good doing it for other women? That would be an interesting shift in our priorities and work life.
As the co-founder of two premium DTC+ brands that launched in 2020 and the Conscious Beauty collective that launched in 2022, I’ve had my share of challenges. While there are the obvious ones (Covid), there are the other ones that popped up along the way (breast cancer) and everyday challenges (Facebook ads, TikTok, customer acquisition, etc), one of the best things we’ve done to help our business survive is to build a tribe of like-minded founders. After all, as an entrepreneur, just staying in business is a feat to be celebrated these days, so just surviving is a perfectly good goal.
Finding our tribe was part planned and part serendipity. When we decided to build on the brand partnerships we’d done and scale them by doing a pop-up store, we first reached out to brands who we had worked with before and we knew shared our values. Once we found some receptive partners and knew we had a viable concept, we relied on the power of the network to find other like-minded founders. They then brought in other founders who spread the word and so on.
The interesting thing is that what started as a business idea to help us scale has really turned into a community. Many of the other beauty founders have become close personal friends. We have taken the original concept of a pop-up store to the next level by doing co-marketing programs, giveaways, blogs, events and more. We’re talking about doing a magazine, a weekend workshop, sharing resources. The sky is the limit when it comes to ideas of where collaboration can take you.
Sounds great but how do you go about finding and building your tribe?
- Start close in. Find people you know and respect in your industry or an adjacent one and ask to connect to pick their brain. I’m used to getting cold requests on LinkedIn (and I accept most of them) so don’t be afraid to reach out to people you’ve never met before. You’ll be surprised how many are happy to share their time, their connections, their learning. But also if you look within your current network, chances are there are some valuable resources that could be right for what you need.
- Find groups. I’m part of Next Tribe, a group of women over 50 who can share, vent and travel together. There are loads of groups like this that help women cultivate not just friendships, but business support, mentorship and growth. Ask around within your friend groups or ask other business owners and you’re sure to find some amazing groups. The biggest challenge I have these days is overcommitting and joining too many.
- Look to Facebook to find people who share your interests. As much as we all like to bash Facebook, you’ll be surprised how many interesting groups there are of people who are looking for similar things you are. The groups can be as narrow as Metaplastic Breast Cancer or as broad as DTC businesses. You’ll want a variety as this gives you a broad perspective and often leads to new connections and ideas.
- Occasionally, despite your best intent, someone turns out to be a bad fit. We’ve had women join the Conscious Beauty Collective (which is all about sharing and generosity) and take a very transactional or worse, selfish approach. They ultimately get “voted off the island” – the rest of the community just won’t put up with it. So don’t stress too much about the bad apples, they will weed themselves out.
Yes, you’ll have to carve out a bit of time to make networking a priority. But I assure you, once you find your tribe, it will be worth it for you and your business. After all, humans are social creatures and if you can blend your social interactions with business, it really can be a win-win.
About Lynn Power
Lynn was formerly the CEO of J. Walter Thompson NY and has worked on advertising and marketing for many beauty brands throughout her career including L’Oreal, Nexxus and Clinique. Lynn is currently the Co-Founder and CEO of MASAMI, a clean, premium haircare brand with a Japanese ocean botanical that’s all about hydration, Isle de Nature, a luxury bee-powered fragrance company and the Conscious Beauty Collective, a group of indie beauty & wellness brands.