From finding your tribe to organizing a WordCamp

In this post-reflection, I will talk to you about what it means to me to be part of a tribe. How it can help your project go further by changing the way you look at your reality.

Reading a book by Ken Honda (“Happy Money”) I came across a quote that struck me and I can verify it 100%. Says the author:

To find your ideal flow you have to find your tribe. They are the people you really identify with, the ones who appreciate you as a person and for what you do. They will support you, they will buy your products and services. They will support your growth and success. When you know which tribe you belong to, your life becomes easier.

Ken Honda

I was shocked because I remembered my first years as a freelancer. I remember the loneliness, not knowing if I was doing things right, wrong. If what I was doing had a future, or if it was a chimera.

Like many freelancers, it didn’t start out as a project with a clear strategy that was going to lead me to success. To a business model that would allow me to generate a salary and even liquidity as a company.

I was the result of chance, of professional retraining and lacked a guide in the process.

Mentors. They are a curious role.

It’s a role that our western society has left a bit behind, but if we go back a few decades, it was very common. In Japan, for example, the role of the mentor and apprentice is still very relevant today.

My grandfather for years, being a car “brass worker” (of the car bodies), was the apprentice of a blacksmith who taught him the trade with more experience. But our society has lost that role over time.

Today we tend to have a very negative and unrealistic individualism, which I believe we are overcoming in some areas.

For example, the technology sector has been undergoing a revolution for decades(free software) that could teach other areas of our society, but there is still a mistrust and a negative competitive spirit.

I am positive, I think we are overcoming it and we are moving towards a more humane and open society. That thinks more in terms of collaboration than in terms of competition.

As he said in his work Meditations (written in 170-180):

“We were born to collaborate (…) to act as adversaries of one another is contrary to nature”.

Marcus Aurelius

As social entities we need guidance, collaboration. Sometimes he or she takes on the role of a mentor, sometimes just a friend who gives you insight.

What does a psychologist actually do? Listen to you, give you tools or different visions. But the change to make you feel better, always starts from yourself. Only you can change, but sometimes we need a push.

When you are in a tribe you share interests with many people who have similar points of view to yours.

You meet people that just by talking, you can change your vision and get that push you need at the right time.

Only two things are needed:

  • Open-mindedness
  • Giving with the same generosity

The world is not a world of scarcity. It is a myth that many generations have been hearing from our grandparents, from our parents. We have it so internalized that we pass it on to our children in the same way.

As Ken Honda says, many people think that life is a game in which in order for some to win, others have to lose.

“The scarcity mentality is about believing that there are limited resources in the world and that, if we don’t get what we want when we want it, someone else will.”

Ken Honda

The world is one of abundance. And when you change your mental chip, and you realize this reality, you are able to open yourself to other people and groups, with generosity and affection, and that will open the door to a very different world.

And I’m not just talking in professional terms.

If you are a parent, you are naturally aware of the value of a tribe.

When your son or daughter is playing with other children his or her age, he or she is happy. It does not demand attention, it is flowing naturally in its environment.

Thousands of years of evolution in tribal groups, mirror neurons and many other factors explain this need to share socially, to be accepted and valued.

Decades ago, in the neighborhoods, “children were raised among themselves,” as is often said on a daily basis.

That social part has been lost and as parents, if we do not have other children in the family group, we usually resort to school, parks, extracurricular activities for children to have their dose of socialization, and of course, give us parents a little leeway for that attention. Especially if they are only children.

Find your tribe WordCamp Pontevedra 2022

WordPress as a tribe

At a professional level and under the perspective of new work paradigms: remote, online, freelance, etc., we have the same problems: loneliness, isolation, lack of real connection with people who need to relate.

I was lucky… a Cantabrian arrived in Pontevedra and the rest is history. Found a WordPress group, it makes my life difficult, but I end up finding my tribe. And that has been the real change in my business and life model.

I’m easier than the one board, I admit it. It didn’t cost me much. ¯ (ツ)_/¯

From timidly organizing, giving some talks, to having to be the lead organizer of WordCamp Pontevedra this year (2022), having the hard responsibility of keeping the high bar left by Juan in previous editions. I already wrote my review of the event some time ago on the official website: Wajari’s vision.

I do not want to repeat myself in the praise, thanks and memories. I just want to tell you ad nauseam: Find your tribe carallo!

It is not easy, but it will be a before and after.

You may be grumpy, unsociable, shy, but we are all people. That in social relationships, exchange, and communication we find meaning in what we do.

We create our art by having passion and creating things. Whatever.

It is a commitment to ourselves, but within a tribe, we strengthen ourselves, we become stronger. Three editions after the first WC, all of us who participated in this event are filled with pride and joy. Organizers, volunteers, sponsors, mentors.

We are all part of “creating something” intangible, and why not? Because we can… it’s as simple as that, as Francesc Barbero bravely stated in his talk: A Late Show for WordCamp Spain? How it was done and why.

This is not a speech “Mrs. Wonderful” from: Because the world will be better and more beautiful!

No. Not a chance. There will be times of great stress. Where you feel like you don’t get anywhere with so many things. There was a day when I was lucky to get two hours of sleep, because I was so nervous that everything would go well.

Moments where you get exhausted with people and it causes you to send everything down the drain.

I lost a project that could not wait for me. My time was very limited, especially that September. I didn’t feel sorry for him, I’m also honest. We don’t have to be at everything.

And after the hangover, exhaustion, hours you give up to dedicate to your work, family, you ask yourself: Is it worth it?

Of course.

Otherwise, I wouldn’t still be here, at the bottom of the barrel, and I wouldn’t have taken up the blanket to participate (also) in the WordCamp Europe in Athens next year (2023).

That step cost me a lot, but I don’t regret it. The meetings are incredible, we look like a UNESCO room with professionals from so many countries and languages that we are gathering ideas to create the largest WC at an international level.

What I am learning is fascinating. I admit that sometimes I get lost in so many things: language, cultural and organizational differences, etc.

But if it weren’t for my tribe, I would still be here, alone, in front of my computer, in my office. With my clients, but without friendships, “colleagues” we don’t have official Christmas dinners, but we don’t create them ourselves.

I would not know in which professional area to continue improving. Nor how to do it.

If I have a problem, I have a beautiful tribe I can lean on, ask. Should I improve my prices? What plugins do you use? How are you trained? What books do you read?

I use our meetings to just have fun, release tension and have a good time. Sometimes I’m sad, and just getting together to talk helps me a lot.

And best of all, it’s free, free and open. All you have to do is approach, generously. Give the best of yourself. No more, no less.

No, it is not a discourse of naive positivism.

It is a reflection out loud that changes in our society will never come from politics, parties or subsidies. They will come from you. Change starts with yourself, by fighting against prejudices and being willing to change the way you think and do.

If things are not going your way, maybe you should explore other avenues, right? Changing our beliefs is usually the first step.

So I hope you find your tribe. Maybe it is, where you least expect it. You just have to change the way you look at your reality. 😉

Many thanks to Nilo Velez for the excellent photos of the Pontevedra WC. The featured image in this post is his.

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