If you are an online businessperson and you have not yet been introduced to Seth Godin run, do not walk, to your nearest bookstore and get a copy of “Tribes” (then download a free copy of the companion ebook from Seth’s blog here http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2008/10/free-tribes-ebo.html). This book has served as part manifesto, part bible, to a generation of internet-based entrepreneurs.
Godin’s thesis in “Tribes,” like most of his work, is extremely simple: There are people out there looking for leaders. If you can become a leader with vision and passion, you can find a tribe of people to lead.
While this may seem commonsensical, Godin goes beyond the obvious. Not only does he explain how to find and lead your tribe, he also tells readers they have an almost moral obligation to lead if they are called to do so. If you have an idea and a passion, you need to find the tribe that’s looking for you because they’re lost without you.
Godin’s words would have seemed absurd only a decade or two ago. How would someone, for example, with a passion for making clothes for potbellied pigs ever find enough of an audience to make a go of a business? But with the reach of the internet, the lack of barriers to entry for online businesses, and the wealth of free and low-cost tools at your disposal, you don’t need millions, or even hundreds of thousands, of people to create a successful online business. Instead, a loyal tribe of just a few thousand can keep you in sequins and tulle until the end of your days – if you can find them and inspire them.
He uses the example of the Grateful Dead, Starbucks, and CrossFit as strong tribes. And he presents tons of ideas for finding and leading your tribe, from being an example, sharing stories, creating a common goal, and more.
If you just want to sell “me too” products to a faceless crowd, skip “Tribes.” But if you have dreams of changing the world, “Tribes” is for you.