You work anywhere from six to twelve hours a day in your cozy little home office-cum-bedroom, admiring the view from your window and enjoying the solitude while pounding the keyboards or playing with the mouse.
In your own private office, there is no standing in line for coffee in the pantry, no corporate pressures, and no office politics. There is just you, your computer(s), the telephones and the relaxed feeling of being at home–away from the madding crowd.
But too much solitude can be troublesome. In fact, many employees-turned-solo-workers find the isolation of working at home to be one of the toughest part of being a home-based entrepreneur. When you are used to seeing and interacting with other people the whole day, being alone while working can become daunting.
When the sound of silence gets to you, where can you go for some human interaction? Here are a few places you can start but don’t get carried away by these extra-curricular activities–you have money to count at the end of the day:
Start chatting online!
Not in some dating chat-room (sometimes it can be exciting), but look for forums where you can connect with other entrepreneurs. You can participate in various forums and chatroom such as WebmasterWorld, or keep up with your friends on Facebook. Be active on Twitter and other social networks and keep up what everyone is talking about. If you are an affiliate of Amazon.com, or with other forums, you can participate in the message board discussions. This keeps you well-informed on what’s going on in your line of business. You can also learn some techniques that others are using in their marketing strategies.
Participate in trade organizations and professional organizations
Made up of business professionals like you. Joining an organization allows you to actively network, get together with several others in your community, and meet potential clients, partners and investors. Check with your local Chamber of Commerce for listings of such groups. Spend at least one-half day per week networking at a function or event
Improve your skills or get some new ones!
You can enroll in a short-term course to augment your skills. If you are planning to go online, take a course on website designing or HTML programming. Knowing how to create and manage your own website can save you a lot of money from paying an independent webmaster to handle your site. Or if you just want to have fun, you can join Toastmasters International — this organization offers you the chance to improve your speaking/presentation skills as well as meet with several others in your community (and from all walks of life)
Volunteer your time.
Volunteer at your local hospital, community organization, or even professional associations. Being involved in some other projects and dealing with concerns of other people can give your mind a form of relief from your own business. You can also work one day per week at your local library. Join the church choir.
Give yourself a break.
Take yourself out to lunch; you can bring along an assignment and make it a “working lunch.” Or drop by your barber. He never runs out of something to talk about. Changing your environment from time-to-time prevents burning out.
Form a success team
with a dozen or so other home-based business professionals, where you meet once a week, or call and email each other, to discuss your business problems and offer one another some solutions. Better yet, you can form a “business buddy” system with another home-based worker, sharing trials and tribulations. More importantly, you can even start and develop cooperative projects and marketing strategies together!
And most of all — Don’t feel alone! There are literally thousands of other self- employed, home-based workers today who are in exactly the same situation as you. That means you are not alone.
Recommended Books on Working Solo:
- Working Solo: The Real Guide to Freedom & Financial Success with Your Own Business, 2nd Edition
- Working Alone: Tips and Techniques for Solo Building
- It Sure Beats Working: 29 Quirky Stories and Practical Business Lessons for The First-Time, Mid-Life, Solo Professional
- Free Agent Nation: The Future of Working for Yourself
- Working Solo: Getting Customers : The Real Guide to Freedom & Financial Success With Your Own Business
- When Working from Home is Not Right for You
- How to Fix a Website Suffering from Weak Social Engagement
- Using Small Business 401(k) Loans to Finance Your Business
- Making the Decision to Start a Home Business
- How to Avoid Online Distractions and Manage Your Time Well