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The Experience Formula

How to Build a Tribe When You Think You’re Too Old, Too Ordinary or Just Too Blah

Anytime I talk about tribe building to clients and students, I can count on one thing…

Sooner or later someone in the audience says, “It’s easy for you, Marisa… you have a BIG personality.”

But here’s the thing…

It wasn’t easy for me.

When I started running my business, I had two strikes against me — I’m tiny (4’11 ¼”) and I look a lot younger than I am.

Back then, most people would take one look at me and smile as if to say, “Awww… how cute!”

And then they’d totally ignore me.

I remember going to business and networking events and hardly anyone paid attention to me.

They’d literally talk over my head because pretty much everyone towered above me… it was beyond frustrating!

But things have changed a lot.

Just look at this pic of our Success Coach Matthew (who’s 6’9). I purposely have him introduce me at our annual Message to Money Live event to illustrate the height difference.

I’ve leaned into one of my perceived “weaknesses” — not run away from it. 

And now I have tens of thousands of fans, followers, clients and students who are (much!) taller than me, and a lot older…

People who make more money and who are more successful.

People who are ready listen to what I have to say.

And it’s all because I learned something important…

You don’t have to be tall or have movie star good looks…

You don’t have to be an extrovert or look a certain age…

Anyone can learn to create powerful, REAL relationships with their audience…

Anyone can build a loyal, engaged tribe…

All you have to do is aim for the sweet spot.

The Art of Self-Acceptance

“Today You are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is You-er than You.”

Dr. Seuss was right — there’s no one alive who’s quite like you.

Being who you are… that’s your true superpower.

When I teach my students about creating a personal brand that’s true to who they are — a brand that will quickly attract a loyal community of fans and followers, clients and customers —  I talk about what I call the Confidence Spectrum.

It highlights the entire range of emotions we experience when we put ourselves out there, starting with Shame on the far left all the way through to Arrogance on the far right.

Shame and Embarrassment come up when we’re afraid to show up and be visible because we’re afraid people won’t like us or accept us for who we truly are. Overcompensation happens when we try too hard to fit in and become what we think others want us to be.

And arrogance is when we go overboard and start to feel like everything we say and do is pure gold. We’re awesome and nothing and no one is better than we are.  

But the secret to building a loyal, engaged tribe who loves you is about hitting  that sweet spot between “Embarrassment” and “Overcompensation”…


I didn’t have to magically grow taller or make myself look older to attract an engaged tribe of thousands of loyal fans and followers…

I just had to become more me. I’ve had to turn up the dial on my unique expression.

I’ve built a personal brand that embodies my expertise and who I truly am…

It’s given me authentic confidence and the rewards are fantastic.

I’ve had more success and satisfaction in my business than I ever could have imagined when I first started.

And what I love most is that now, I feel truly comfortable in my skin because I’ve learned to practice the art of self-acceptance.

When it comes to tribe-building, self-acceptance is the magical ingredient that will magnetize all the right people into your community…

People who get you, people who love what you do…

People who want to work with you and buy from you again and again.

Why? Because when we embody authentic confidence and practice self-acceptance around our business and our purpose, it’s noticeable.

Everyone wants to be around that.

4 Ways to Express the Real You

It’s not enough to throw the hook in the water, you have to reel ‘em in.

Self-acceptance and authentic confidence will get people to sit up and take notice but if you want to build a tribe that sticks around you need to take it a step further and express who you truly are in everything you do.

Here’s how you do that…

#1: Go Deep

Allow yourself to be vulnerable whether you’re online or in person.

Practice radical honesty when it comes to your fears, doubts and failures and be brave enough to share just a little bit more than feels comfortable.

Your audience will appreciate your courage and honesty, connect with you on a deep level and best of all…

They’ll fall in love with the real you.

#2: Get High

Ever been around a “Debbie Downer?” Someone who sees the clouds but never the sun? Someone who never stops complaining?

No one wants to be around someone like that. We all want to spend time with people who radiate high energy.

This doesn’t mean you have to “act” excited or enthusiastic all the time if that’s not who you are but don’t be afraid to turn up the dial on your positive energy in a way that’s aligned with your unique personality.

#3: Stay True

What you do says more about who you are than what you say.

It’s one thing to tell people you value community, freedom or service but if you don’t follow through, if you fail to take action on your words…

You’ll destroy trust and your tribe will drop you like a hot potato…


So, make this your #1 Rule: Practice what you preach and do what you say you’ll do. Always.

#4: Ditch the Golden Rule

You know the Golden Rule…

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

But successful tribe-building is about implementing the Platinum Rule

Do unto others as they would want done unto them.

Give your tribe what they want, not what you think they want.

Apply the Platinum Rule when you create your products and offers and you’ll create a strong reputation as the go-to expert in your field.

Self-acceptance. Self-expression. Authentic confidence.

Keep going back to these 3 key ingredients and you’ll consistently attract loyal clients, customers, fans and followers…

If you’d like to learn about growing your tribe at lightning speed with a powerful personal brand, check out my monster post — The Ultimate Guide to a Powerful Personal Brand where I share the unique Personal Brand Power Framework that has generated millions in revenue.

Before you go, I’d love to know…

What’s ONE thing you can do today to start growing your tribe?

Go ahead and share your insights, a-has and ideas in the comments… I’ ready to cheer you on!

Love it? Hate it? Let me know...

  1. Heather Twilla Avatar
    Heather Twilla

    I have found that by sharing with people what I’m working through (fears) Ithey trust me and are vulnerable in return. I’m building real connections.
    Thank you for sharing yourself with us. I learn so much from you.

    1. Marisa Murgatroyd Avatar
      Marisa Murgatroyd

      Absolutely Heather! So glad you got a lot out of this 🙂

  2. Jignesh Thakkar Avatar
    Jignesh Thakkar

    Great and useful content. Marisa Murgatroyd

    1. Marisa Murgatroyd Avatar
      Marisa Murgatroyd

      So glad you enjoyed it 🙂

  3. John Moore Avatar
    John Moore

    Didn’t know you were piccolina (nice
    and small in Italian). In reality you are the
    greatest using a disadvantage as an
    advantage. This is a fantastic piece of learning .

    Regards Letty and John

    1. Marisa Murgatroyd Avatar
      Marisa Murgatroyd

      Aww lol I love that John, thanks so much for sharing!

  4. Sarah Avatar

    I am always 100% myself, because suffocating yourself isn’t very fun (or very good for you)!

    1. Marisa Murgatroyd Avatar
      Marisa Murgatroyd

      Couldn’t agree more Sarah!

  5. Cassandra Avatar

    I, too, am short (about a half inch taller than you) and often have the same issue with being taken seriously and even listened to. I have a small, quiet voice and today at work, someone pointed out that I’m quiet and we’re loud and you need to talk louder to get our attention. I retorted back with, I got everyone to stop talking to listen to me so I think I’m OK. 🙂

    1. Marisa Murgatroyd Avatar
      Marisa Murgatroyd

      Nice Cassandra! Yeah it’s definitely a struggle, but once you find your voice and that sweet spot of how to communicate with authority & confidence, the sky is the limit — even for us short gals 😉

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