• How to Overcome the Isolation of Working at Home

    How to Overcome the Isolation of Working at HomeRecently two of my clients mentioned how isolated they feel working at home, and I began remembering back to what that felt like in my early years as an entrepreneur. There were days when I desperately needed to see other humans. Soon I realized that I needed to build a network.

    When you no longer have coworkers or the casual water cooler chat that you don’t think you’ll miss when you leave corporate America, you have to find a new community. In fact, research shows that being part of a community where you are required to show up at least once each month can boost your happiness as much as getting a huge raise! (Read The Blue Zones by Dan Beuttner for more details.)

    The good news is that the entrepreneurial community is incredibly welcoming. You are instantly a member of the club as soon as you print your business cards, and there are abundant opportunities awaiting you.

    Here are some strategies to help you break out of isolation and get connected again.

    1. Join Business Networking Groups – Without a doubt, the best isolation-buster for me was getting involved in several business networking groups. Not only did this help me grow my business because I met new clients, it also helped me build lasting friendships with fellow business owners. When you become an entrepreneur and most of your friends still collect a paycheck, you will discover that you need to add new friends to the mix so that you can talk shop and relate to each other. Here are some groups to consider:

    2. Join the Local Chamber of Commerce – If you want to get involved in your community, your local chamber should welcome you with open arms. These organizations exist to serve members and bring local business owners together. Try volunteering on the board if you really want to build connections that last.

    3. Join Trade Associations – Also seek out professional organizations based on your line of work. Nearly every industry has a group worth joining, and some have multiple options. Visit local chapter meetings and connect with others who do what you do.

    4. Start a Mastermind Group – Without a doubt, being part of a mastermind group has had a tremendous impact on my business, both personally and professionally. I view my group as my board of directors. They understand my business and they’re not afraid to tell me when an idea isn’t quite right. They also help me craft bigger and better ideas, and hold me accountable to meeting my goals. Assembling a group of smart people can benefit you in many, many ways. Here’s a previous post on How to Start and Run a Mastermind Group.

    5. Get Social – Don’t forget to build some fun into your life. This can easily fall down the list when you’re focused on building a business, but it’s important to stay balanced. Sign up for a softball league, take a pottery class, or attend Zumba classes twice each week. Also look to Meetup.com, where you can find all kinds of local events—from Bunco parties to political organizations, and plenty of business groups as well.

    The bottom line is that you have to get yourself up and out of the office if you want to feel connected again. Pick one of the choices above and begin exploring your options. A year from now you will likely forget how isolated you once felt.

    Filed Under: For AuthorsFor InfopreneursFor SpeakersSmall Business

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    About the Author: Stephanie Chandler is an author of nine books including Own Your Niche: Hype-Free Internet Marketing Tactics to Establish Authority in Your Field and Promote Your Service-Based Business and The Nonfiction Book Marketing Plan: Simple Strategies to Build Your Audience and Sell More Books. She is also founder and CEO of Authority Publishing, specializing in custom book publishing and social media marketing services, BusinessInfoGuide.com, a directory of resources for entrepreneurs, and the Nonfiction Authors Association, a marketing community for authors. She has been featured in Entrepreneur magazine, BusinessWeek, Inc.com, and Wired magazine, and she is a contributing blogger for Forbes. For author and speaker details, visit http://StephanieChandler.com. Subscribe to Stephanie Chandler's blog feed here.

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    1. JoshNo Gravatar says:

      Hmm. I guess I am strange because most people ask me about working from home, and how I can cope with being alone all the time.

      Truth is, I’m a loner. I’ve always been a loner! I love to be alone. Drives my wife nuts. I’ve always been the shy type, who likes to sit in the corner of the room. So, it’s really never been a problem for me. Every so often I get antsy, and need to get out of the house, but I go somewhere I can be alone.

      Guess I’m weird…

      Josh

      • You aren’t weird, Josh. It sounds like you are an introvert! I am as well and enjoy being alone, though occasionally I need to get out and be with people. And I’d always rather be with people I know (family, friends) than strangers! ;-)

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