How to Avoid Loneliness as a Solopreneur
There are a lot of benefits to working for yourself, including increased freedom, flexibility, and the pride of running your own business. However, there are downsides too. One of these can be the loneliness that can come from working long hours at home without the company of co-workers. We’re sharing some tips to help you feel like you’re working for yourself, not by yourself.
Find a social co-working space
Co-working spaces are a good option because they’re filled with fellow solopreneurs and freelancers. Many of these businesses charge a fee but will offer free beverages and meeting spaces. If this isn’t within your budget, find a comfortable local establishment that’s not too busy or loud where you can buy a coffee and camp out for a while. You can form new connections by offering to watch a nearby worker’s things while they go to the bathroom, or striking up a conversation when they’re taking a break. Once you establish a routine of coming to the same place and sitting near the same people, it will feel more like an office.
Meet and connect online
Find a social media network that you enjoy and get involved in an online community. You can search industry-related keywords to find other like-minded people. Facebook groups are especially good for this because they often have a specific focus and their content is created to foster discussions and connections. If you decide to use platforms like Twitter and Instagram, don’t just scroll through aimlessly; instead, join existing conversations or start your own. Make sure you engage with people so you can feel involved. The bonus is that this also helps spread the word about your business and builds up your following.
Attend meetups and events in your community
Utilize websites like Meetup to find collections of people in your area. These groups often host regular get-togethers to network or discuss industry-related topics. You can also use Facebook events or Eventbrite to find similar outings you can attend. These options allow you to do something social with your time while maintaining a work focus so it won’t feel unproductive. Once you’re at an event, go out of your way to introduce yourself to new people. If you click with someone professionally, exchange information and suggest connecting beyond the event/Meetup.
Go to a professional development class
A class offers a chance to learn new things within your field while getting out into the community and meeting other people. If in-person classes are not within your budget, there are plenty of free webinars offered online. Make sure to find ones that have interactive elements such as being able to ask questions and/or contribute to discussions either live or within a community forum. Once you join in a class, either online or in-person, be proactive in your interactions by adding to conversations and making connections with other classmates.
Have you been working in your industry for a long time and have a lot of advice to offer? Or perhaps you’re new to the field and could use some guidance. Either way, consider participating in a mentorship program in your community. It allows you to build valuable contacts and establish strong local roots within your industry.