Working alone at home can feel like doing a stretch of solitary confinement, but there are ways of improving the outlook.
Don’t get stir crazy
A solopreneur client of mine was really getting stuck in the doldrums. She’d been working hard at her business for just over a year and had her office set up at home.
All was going well, it seemed, except that she was starting to feel isolated and alone in her worklife.
“There’s no one to play with,” she mumbled during our last coaching session. “I feel like I get no proper adult company at work, and then I go home to my children and I still don’t get to talk to anyone my age!”
A common problem. Isolation can really start to set in when we work on our own, and business can feel more like a pain than a gain… So, what to do? I asked my client what a normal day at ‘the office’ looked like, and she gave me an account of many tasks being crammed into not enough hours, with no time left to poke her head out the door into the outside world.
Everything was so insular, and the four walls were definitely closing in.
Sound familiar? My advice? Prioritise! I know it can sometimes feel like you can’t possibly fit another thing into your week, but how much longer are you going to be able to sustain a business that gives you no enjoyment? Go through your diary and make time for the following:
- Exercise. Just a quick walk around the block can clear your head and give you the feeling that there are other people around you.
- Networking. This is the best way to connect with other people who are probably in the same boat as you. Beware of becoming a networking junkie, but do choose events that are aligned with your way of thinking and you’ll find other business people who share your outlook on life.
- Go for a coffee. Take yourself out for a coffee and cake or, even better, a nice relaxing lunch once in a while. Being on your own means you’ll be able to people-watch and perhaps get new inspirations for your business.
Simple, really. And you may just find that it’s the little things that count!
Do you feel lonely in your small business or working on your own? What are your tactics to keep connected, but still get your work done?
Samantha McDonald started Dare Coaching & Seminars five years ago, and is featured in the book ‘The Secrets Of Great Success Coaches Exposed’. You can see what she’s up to at the web site.
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Jacinta Corke from Senior Stays writes: Everybody gets bogged down emailing instead of face-to-face contact, which is still the best way to build business relationships, so I find if I make time once a quarter to catch up face to face for a quick coffee or lunch with a client it is a great way to get you out of your four walls and out making conversation and listening to other’s views on business etc. You will be amazed just by talking to your client rather than emailing what other business and opportunities are formed from that one meeting.
Kathie Thomas, (“A Clayton’s Secretary”), writes: Networking is definitely the key. There are online forums too, so she can get interaction with others who do similar work to her during the day. I’m a Virtual Assistant and have been home now for over 13 years. The VA forums I belong to provide daily contact with others around the world who are operating a business similar to mine. We share ideas, share jobs when the need arises and just vent when we need to. I make it a rule to go out to a minimum two networking events locally a month, to get out of the house but it’s more often once a week – great way to meet others who are business owners, pick up new clients, ideas, etc and just get fresh again.