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No, I Don’t Want to Be in Your Tribe.

In: Pet Peeves,

“No, I don’t want to be in your tribe. I’m not your minion, and I’m not a cow.” -@ateegarden on Twitter.

The internet popularized the concept of “finding your tribe,” and while Seth Godin’s book by the same name is right on the money, the term itself has become cliché, stale, trite, boiler plate, and fucking offensive.

…As has everything else the internet’s talking about in its little circle jerk.

I’m tired of seeing my Twitter feed, my blog reader, and every single “newsletter” that comes into my inbox be another vomit party of #sameshitdifferentday. I’m tired of seeing yet another call to, “live your best life!” (give me a break), or “Join the tribe!”

It’s not because those things aren’t valuable in and of themselves. Do I want to live my best life? Absolutely. Do I want to feel like I belong somewhere? Yeah. Yeah, I do. We all do.

The problem is that we’ve stopped looking for creative, fresh new ways to express the value we’re bringing to the table. The problem is that people have gotten lazy. The problem is, even though they desperately want you to join their tribe (likely so they can sell you something later), they can’t come up with a more interesting, respectful, useful way to describe why anyone should actually care…nor doing anything to MAKE anyone actually care…and instead, take the sloppy way out, using whatever the buzzword of the day might be.

But you know what happens when you use the same buzzwords as everybody else?

You become just like everybody else.

And if you’re just like everybody else, then you don’t have a tribe. You’ve got a tribute.

Because real tribes?

Have real leaders. 

take the

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171 thoughts on "No, I Don’t Want to Be in Your Tribe."

  1. I’ll admit that “Join the tribe” has made it into the copy on my website, but I’ll also admit that every time I read it I hear Jeff Probst on Survivor putting out a torch light and saying “The tribe has spoken.”

    Hmmm…probably time for some copy updating.

    1. Ash Ambirge says:

      Laughing @mallietothrydzik:disqus!!! 🙂

      1. But for real, I went through and updated my copy. Of course now I’m on a copywriting kick for the rest of the day. Thanks! 🙂

  2. Alex Chennault says:

    I was thinking about this just yesterday! (And it’s worth noting – I passed on signing up for whatever it was specifically because of “tribe.”)
    “Join the Tribe” frankly shouldn’t have been used after Seth Godin.

    1. Ash Ambirge says:

      Definitely worth noting @alexchennault:disqus. It’s that important – and that big of a turn off.

  3. Leah Carey says:

    Recently I was a guest contributor on a blog that asked me to respond to comments on the post because it creates a “luscious space” for conversation and growth. It just about made me want to vomit. There are so many overused cliches, and it seems like many of them stem from an attempt to adopt a hip-yet-spiritual-yet-kickass-yet-bubbly persona that doesn’t feel right on most people. Part of the reason that I read Every. Single. One. of your emails, Ash, is because I feel like you’re being YOU, not a knockoff of someone else. Thanks for reminding me.

    1. Ash Ambirge says:

      Thank you, @leah_carey:disqus, for the incredibly high compliment – and also for reminding me to put the word “luscious” on the do-not-use list. 😉 I think many folks are merely afraid, because it’s all so new, so they default to the persona that seems to be working, i.e. someone they admire/follow. The upside is that they feel more confident, the downside is that they don’t actually come across that way, perhaps.

  4. Jess Rothschild says:

    Also, if hear the words “cozy” “play” or “ease” one more time i’m gonna break my computer.

    1. Ash Ambirge says:

      Man @jessrothschild:disqus, what kind of sites are YOU visiting? 😉 (Fill us in, obviously, so we can go, too. HAHA.)