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Tribeless Digest – Sept 2021

Welcome to the Tribeless Digest – a bi-monthly round-up of stories, updates, and behind-the-scenes of work & life at Tribeless. 💛

Read our past newsletter issues here

It's our 5th birthday today! 🎂

On this very day – 30th September – five years ago, a group of strangers came together to break bread, share stories and practice empathy at a dinner party. We called it... Tribeless. And the rest, as they say, is history 🥲

From our humble beginnings as a dinner party, to now servicing clients around the world as a virtual empathy training company, we've been through a LOT as an organization. But one thing has stayed the same throughout the years –

Our love of bringing people together to play, connect, and grow. 💛

Since it's our birthday, we thought that we'd take a walk down memory lane... Starting with the big changes that happened in this year:

Last year's theme for Tribeless was "Transformation". We transitioned from a physical to a virtual training company, which expanded our reach and capacity by tenfold. But with it, came all the challenges of being in uncharted territory – 

Learning the nuances of creating experiences online. Being at the mercy of the Tech Gods. Navigating global timezones (our record is having 5 continents in a single call). Sending hundreds and hundreds of prep emails. Not being able to hang out in person as a team (and getting Zoom fatigue as a result).

But it all paid off, because this year, our theme was "Breaking Boundaries".

We started off the year with RM200 (~$48) in our bank account. Despite our best efforts, staying afloat in a pandemic had burnt through our savings. Seeing that number lit a fire within me. Within a few weeks, I'd closed our biggest client at the time – RM38,000 (~$9,000). No one in the team could believe it.

I'd always played small. Worried about charging more. Wondering what our real worth was, how other companies decided to price their offerings... But in those months, I realized I literally couldn't afford to play small anymore. I had a team to feed. A company to fund. A dream to save... So I kept going.

Clients started to trickle, then pour in. We shifted gears, and started orienting ourselves as a B2B training company. With much grief and love, we let go of our dream of running public-facing programs (for now). We gritted our teeth, leaned into our strengths, and doubled down on client work.

In June, we broke RM200,000 (~$50,000) in revenue... and proceeded to have the busiest month in Tribeless's history.

That's when we knew... We were finally, finally on the right track. 🥲🌟

Fast forward to today, and we continue to lay the foundation for our company to grow. We are meticulous about improving our programs and tools (check out v2.5 of the Empathy Box!), and are building new things everyday. 

We are still working with clients (many of them returning) that we adore and respect. We are deeply grateful for our Tribeless community, who continue to spread love and empathy everywhere they go. We are healthy and thriving as a team, and are looking to hire our 5th member soon.

And perhaps most importantly... we've been secretly working on our website, and have finally published an About page! On it, you'll find the big milestones that have marked the past five years of our existence (with fancy animations, thanks to Shawn), profiles of our entire team (finally!), and a link to our brand new blog. Our little community of subscribers here gets the first peek before we share it with anyone else, so without further ado, here it is...

THIS IS OUR STORY

Oh, and if you're an avid reader, you're in luck!
Presenting to you... Our brand new blog 💛

Empathy is hard – here's our hack to practicing it. It can be difficult to empathize with someone who just feels so completely different from you. But when we take a moment to consider their hopes, dreams and emotions, we'll realize there is a whole 'world' inside of them we have yet to explore... and maybe, just maybe, we have more in common than we think. ✨ Read the blog
Why are group conversations so difficult? When done right, there's a certain kind of magic to group conversations that can lead to incredible insights... but too often, they end up becoming debates or power shows. What are the factors that make group conversations so challenging, and what are some best practices for navigating them? 💛 Read the blog
These five years... They've taken so much out of us. This heart-led work, it is all-consuming. And yet, to love, lead, and share the gift of Empathy – there is no greater joy and privilege. Thank you for being on this journey with us. The team and I are forever grateful.

Here's to the next five years. 🌼

Gwen Yi
Founder, Tribeless
www.tribeless.co

Special thanks to Shawn for putting together the original draft of this edition.
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