Inner Posse 101 (reposted from BroadwayWorld.com)

Building your team or support network is a two way street. It starts with understanding of what you need personally, professionall, creatively and spiritually. Denying that you need to create a team, a tribe or your own little (or huge) network of like-minded individuals is deadly.

A support network is a group of colleagues who provide guidance and assistance to one another throughout their lives and/or careers. Some people call it networking. I think “networking” is an ugly word. Networking is collecting cards and names with only a “what can they do for me” attitude. It’s greedy and everyone on the planet can smell that kind of oily from a mile away. I’m up for creating and contributing to my community. I believe in legacy. You have to give more than you take but you also have to learn how to make requests. Giving is receiving and vice versa. By designing your own support network, you can tailor it to suit your needs but first ask yourself these questions:

1. Can I admit to myself and others that I don’t know everything and that I might need some help? People are usually more than willing to assist or mentor anyone who puts out authentic requests.

2. What do I need? Perhaps you are struggling with hands-on learning of a desired skill like tap dancing. Maybe you need some advice about the best place to find a new physical therapist. Taking some time to pinpoint major areas of struggle will help you focus on finding the right help.

3. What support is being offered to you through formal channels? What is available from books or the internet? Maybe there are groups or organizations that can give you a new sense of tribe. Who has been supportive of you in previous situations and are they available now? Depending on what kind of support you decide you need, there are many avenues that exist for getting that assistance, ranging from college contacts to websites to coaches to your family. Support networks are built over time, and there are likely already people in your life who can serve to support you in whatever part of your life you choose. Reflect on people who have provided guidance to you in the past.

And remember to give back to them in ways that support their needs as well. Then you will have your tribe.

Live who you are. Love what you do.

xoxo VP