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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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An Ode to the Internet’s Worst Business Advice

A person, going into business for themselves for the first time: How can I get found? The Internet: Start a newsletter! Person: What, like a weekly bulletin? The Internet: No, like a newsletter. Person: So, like, write a bunch of updates about me, me, and me? The Internet: Yeah! A newsletter! Person: Every week? The […]

In: Business 101, Pet Peeves,


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

  1. Social Media in general is #sameshitdifferentday. I have a new job finally doing what I like, and it seems like these Twitter profiles are late to the game, or repeating the same information all the damn time. One twitter account reposts the same article every day, multiple times a day, without changing a thing.

    Facebook is the same. There are some days I’m so over it, and people’s complaints about their lives. But oh well.

    I don’t want to join anyone’s tribe. I want to be my own fucking tribe. And no one is allowed in. Cause like, they’ll eat all the cookies and cupcakes, and I want those for MYSELF! Ommnomnom

    1. SEE WHAT I MEAN?!?!?

    2. Ash Ambirge says:

      You make an EXCELLENT point. I’m all about scavenging all the pizza for myself. Unless somebody wants to bring some pepper flakes?

  2. Artie says:

    How am I doin Ash?

    Come ‘n Git Your Ultimate Hit:

    Multi-tasking meditation.

    Body mind and exaltation!

    Do it while you’re at your desk

    and welcome cosmically what’s next!

    Sign up now for FREE Basic Instructions

    Yo Jess, do I have to forward to 165 more computers before you reply to my posts?
    love, Artie

    1. Ash Ambirge says:

      Hi, @disqus_RjT8hdGWpV:disqus! Laughing because I saw the exchange with you and Jess. Isn’t the internet slick? I tell you what – if only I could tell who my ex boyfriends were forwarding my emails onto! 😉 Great to have you here, Artie. Also? Philly! (I could *really* go for a pretzel right now. It’s 5am. Not discriminating!)

  3. Lily Starling says:

    Yeeaaaaah, apart from the horrific history of decimating millions of tribal people in our country, modern tribalism is leading to a lot of slaughter in the Africa and the Middle East, so maybe not throw that word around for your 30 day passive income cleansing MLM upsell community.

    1. Ash Ambirge says:

      Best comment award, right here @lilystarling:disqus! THANK YOU.

  4. Kayla Hollatz says:

    Ash, this article definitely packed a punch. I am loving your perspective on this buzz word. When I was going through my rebrand, I asked some of the bloggers I admired what copy they like most for newsletter opt-ins and wouldn’t you know, they all said “call your subscribers your tribe.” Although they all loved the term, I felt as though it implied I was herding my readers but never letting them become anything more than mere blog followers. Instead, I’ve built a right-brained focused community called something else entirely. I like my non-buzz word community more because not everyone is using it and it establishes I’m on the same level playing field as everyone else rather than feeling like the boss or leader of a group (which sounds like a cult if you ask me). Thanks for your inspiration and for writing this post. I laughed along and it felt good to be reassured that going with my gut and nixing the tribe suggestion was a good idea.

    1. Ash Ambirge says:

      Big fucking high five @kaylahollatz:disqus! GOOD.