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Tough-love Business Coach. Marketing Magician. Inner Imposter Buster. Cocktail Connoisseur. And Queen Of Unpopular Opinions.
In a recent survey I took, one of the greatest challenges facing solopreneurs and home based CEOs these days is the isolation that can come with working from home and doing a lot of that work by phone or online. While you have the convenience of working in your pajamas, you also face the loneliness in business that can come without real face to face interaction.
Technology enables working from home (or anyplace else you want to) and at the same time disables our once robust real time networking. Now, don’t panic, I’m not going to suggest you network your way out of loneliness in business. That might best be compared to chewing foil unless you are one of those rare professionals that love networking. Instead here are 7 surefire ways to beat entrepreneurial isolation while growing your business and expanding your life.
#1 Join a Business Club
The Buckhead Club, that I belong to in Atlanta, is part of the Club Corp alliance with affiliated clubs all over the globe. If you live in or near a city of size, explore the opportunities at local business clubs. Here in Atlanta we have at least 5 quality clubs to choose from. These aren’t country clubs and don’t require nearly that kind of investment. They are great places to camp out with your laptop if you want a change of scenery from your home office. You’ll meet fellow business owners as well as executives, and depending on your market, it can be a perfect venue to meet quality clients. And you’ll beat loneliness in business.
#2 Explore Meetup.com
There are thousands of Meetup groups across the country, both business and social. If you don’t find one that you like, then start your own. It costs a nominal $36. Their stipulation is that the group meet face to face, so the rules require you to take it offline into real time, exactly what you need to beat the isolation of working from home. And you’ll beat loneliness in business.
Pick a cause that is near and dear to your heart and instead of giving them money, contribute your time. Depending on the cause you may find yourself shoulder to shoulder with referral partners or ideal clients, or it just may be a chance to meet some really cool peeps that you wouldn’t get to know otherwise while doing good. Make sure your volunteer efforts put you in interactive face to face work and don’t land you with a lot of phone work or behind the scenes with no interaction. The point is to beat the loneliness in business.
#4 Give More to Get More
Volunteering may not be your thing, so consider giving more to your favorite organization and find out if they offer any special social events for their premier donors. I donate to National Public Radio, in fact, I’m a member of their Cornerstone Society. They have events during the year that are exclusive for Cornerstone members and are a fun way to connect with fellow donors and members. I’m also a contributor to Public Television and they also have events available to their donors through the year. And you’ll beat loneliness in business.
#5 Tap Into Fitness
I used to be a gym rat doing solo workouts. While I always a met a few other regulars at the same hours, it wasn’t truly social. I changed my routine and my life by joining Svelte Fit. The owner is a fellow small business owner and attracts a lot of clients who are the same. We all look forward to seeing one another, holding each other accountable, and catching up multiple times a week. I always shunned classes, so if you feel the same way, reconsider and explore local options to you. And you’ll beat loneliness in business.
#6 Find Your Faith
Yes, I am going out on a limb. Your religious beliefs are your own, and I’m betting there are those who share them. There are event groups for spiritual, non-religious (Spiritual Living Centers), and organizations for atheists. The key is this is one more way to get you out of the house and connecting face to face with friendly people who share your beliefs (or your non-belief.) If you are worried about giving up your Sunday, get over it. Most, if not all, worship centers offer classes, services and more multiple evenings during the week as well as traditional Sunday service. And you’ll beat loneliness in business.
#7 Join a Book Club
A friend of mine started her own book club and they meet monthly. It is far less about the book, in fact many members haven’t read it, than it is about the comradery and connection. I regularly attend Bob Littell’s “Don’t Read the Book, Book Club.” Bob is a well recognized Atlanta business man, author, and networker. He reads the book, provides a detailed synopsis (I know that’s a bit of an oxymoron), and then 30-40 professionals from a variety of industries convene monthly to discuss and review. You could start your own piggybacking on his theme and make it easy for those who are time starved but want the social opportunity. (Yes, you will have to read the book, then provide a synopsis.) And you’ll beat loneliness in business.
As promised, 7 surefire ways to beat the loneliness and isolation that comes with being an entrepreneur, a coach, a consultant, and a home based business owner. Get off your butt, get out of the house, meet new people, form new friendships, and along the way you just might find a new client or two as well.
COMMENT BELOW and let me know which of these methods you have tried or will try! I’m here to serve and support your success. I write about what I know, what I’ve done, and what works.