The Price of Building Tribes
It seems to me that if you want to develop a support base or a following for the long term - a group of people who buy into your vision of the future, a tribe, if you will - then there's no better time to lay the groundwork than now.
Because building tribes is not an easy process.
To have a tribe is to have a community, a customer base, a populace that believes in you and what you stand for. That understands that you will do what it takes to deliver your core message. That you will stay true to your values.
Tribes that believe this, stay with you for the long term. Over time, they invite new membership, evolve and (often) grow. Their fervor doesn't dissipate.
So long as you do the right things.
And that means being consistent with your vision. Not playing games, not taking shortcuts, not choosing the convenient message that gets you more hits now but at the cost of what you are about. It means pushing back on things you don't believe in. It means not playing politics.
(Its funny how the term "politics" has become such a dirty word. There's good reason for that, as its a prime example of where "the talk" and "the walk" are so diametrically opposed. And it's entirely because of the reasons above.)
None of this is easy. Which is why there so few truly "great" companies (relative to the sheer population of companies). It's why there are so few truly "great" politicians out there (relative to the sheer populations of politicians). It's why there are so few truly "great" leaders out there.
Because the truly great understand that you are centered around and driven by a values-based foundation. That essential combination of philosophy and practice. And that there will be times when you will have to put philosophy above profit, value above profit.
No, none of this is easy. But in the easiest of times, and the hardest of times, you have to stay focused on the vision. Because that's the only way to keep and grow your tribe.