The following post is from Lisa of Working Naked:
Working from home can be lonely.
When I started my first home-based business, I was thrilled to see or hear from anyone, including phone solicitors and my neighbors. I was lonely. I knew I had reached rock bottom when I looked forward to seeing the UPS driver every few days!
Now that my business has grown quite a bit from those early years, I could use a little more quiet time.
If you’re just starting your business or have been working from home for years, don’t get discouraged if you feel lonely. It happens to all of us. Consider these four ways to overcome loneliness.
Join a mastermind.
To keep my sanity, and to improve my business, I started a “mastermind” group. Each week, for a couple of hours, I met with six other business owners to share business ideas, discuss marketing strategies and create goals.
It was great to get insight from several business professionals and an even better excuse to leave my office. I’m in a new mastermind group, and I’m already making a few profitable changes to my business.
Get dressed and get out.
When I don’t have client meetings and I’ve spent too many hours in my home office, I head to my local coffee shop. Almost every time I walk in there, I see groups of people holding business meetings or working alone. Even if I don’t interact with anyone while I’m there (usually I don’t), it’s nice to be around others and to have a change of scenery.
Find an exercise partner.
It’s harder to roll over and go back to sleep when you know a friend and fellow business owner is waiting for you to work out with him or her. My neighbor, a CPA, has made a conscious effort to stop feeling isolated by walking each morning with a friend/business associate. Each of them admit that they’d rather skip a few days of exercise, but they’ve both lost weight and feel better than they’ve ever felt.
Set up a weekly Skype session.
Whether you know another business owner who lives a few hundred miles away or across the country, meet virtually through Skype. Set up a specific time to meet each week and have a clear list of ideas you want to share. Don’t forget to discuss goals you want to reach. These weekly meetings can help you keep your business on track and make sure you stay in touch with others.
It’s possible to fight isolation when you work from home, but it’s going to take a conscious effort by you to reach out to others both online and in person. Remember: You’re not alone and there are others just like you. They’re probably at your local coffee shop right now.
What do you do to fight loneliness?
|Home office expert Lisa Kanarek is the founder of WorkingNaked.com and the author of five books about working from home, including Organize Your Home Office for Success. Lisa works with entrepreneurs and home-based employees through seminars and individual consultations, to create functional home offices that meet each individual’s working style.|