Alright amigo. Let's kick off the first piece of the tribe building puzzle—the foundation. And let’s start with some simple mindsets and expectations.
Here are four things you should always keep in mind throughout this process.
1. The tribe will only be a good fit for a small handful of people
This first mindset is really important. And it might make you uncomfortable at first.
Your tribe is not for everybody.
I repeat, your tribe is not for everybody.
In fact, your tribe is only for a very small (microscopic even) sliver of the filmmaking population. By attracting those few people who are a perfect fit, and leaving out everyone else, that's how you reap the rewards of a film tribe.
As you'll find out in a few lessons, the glue that holds a successful tribe together is a mixture of shared values and a shared vision. These are the two things that bond humans together in long-term symbiotic relationships, whether work-related, romantic, or any other type of relationship.
The magic of a tribe—its ability to solve the core problems of indie filmmaking—comes from that bond, that sense of trust. In other words, if you invite too many people, or the wrong types of people, that magic disappears.
So keep this in mind: your tribe is not for everybody. It's only for that small handful of people who are a perfect fit.
2. Size matters, but not in the way you think
First off, get your mind out of the gutter!
Second, you might think your tribe gets more valuable the larger it gets. This is true, but only if you're inviting in the right people (see the previous mindset).
Having 20 of the right people will be more valuable than only having 3-4 of them.
That said, if you grow your tribe indiscriminately in the hopes that more people will make it better, you're setting yourself up to lead an ineffective tribe.
What I'm getting at is that it's ok for your tribe to be super small.
Even just 3-4 members is enough for it to enrich the lives and films of everyone involved. In fact, a tribe of 3-4 of the right people will be far more enriching than a tribe of 20 not-good-fit people.
So keep this in mind. Quality over quantity, always. If someone's not a good fit for the tribe, keep them as an outside collaborator. Which brings me to the next mindset...
3. Just because people aren't a good fit, doesn't mean they can't be great collaborators
I know this is starting to sound like I'm asking you to only work with a small handful of people. I swear that's not the case!
Your tribe exists in addition to other collaborators you might use on projects.
Just because you only have a few tribe members doesn't mean you can only work with those people and nobody else.
That would be foolish!
In fact, you should strive to meet as many potential collaborators as possible, and get them all into your CRM (more about that in a future lesson). Only a small handful will become official tribe members, but you can collaborate with everyone else to your heart's content!
That said, your inner circle of tribe members will be your most trusted, talented, reliable collaborators. They're more likely to be in leadership positions on your crews (and you're likely to be a leader on their crews). That's the point of building the tribe.
But if you follow the process in this course, you'll always have a large pool of potential collaborators that you can tap for individual projects.
And by working with people outside the tribe, that's how you determine who's a good fit to be in the tribe. But I'm getting ahead of myself. More about that later.
4. Finding the right people is hard, and a bit messy, but worth it
Hopefully the previous three mindsets have convinced you of just how important it is to find the right collaborators.
I wish I could tell you it was going to be easy to find those people. And that you could do it all in 30 days using my simple six step method. (That would make for a great marketing slogan, wouldn’t it?)
But alas, when you're dealing with human beings, what you're really dealing with is endless complexity and variation.
I've tried to simplify things and give you useful frameworks. But again, when you're dealing with people you've got to use a combination of intuition, logical thinking, and judgement. And that's all very complicated territory. There are no easy answers to anything I'm asking you to do.
So I just want to warn you up front.
Getting results with this is going to take some experimentation, some risk-taking, and some failure on your part to get it right. And it's going to take time.
But again, once you've got a tribe, even a small one, your life as a filmmaker becomes dramatically better. In other words, despite how messy the process of meeting and sorting lots of people is, it's going to be worth it.
Ok, that's all I've got for you in terms of core "tribe building" mindsets. Continue on to the next lesson to learn about the importance of setting your vision and values.
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