Socially enterprising since 1983

Working Alone – The good, the bad… the lonely?

5 min read

Running your own business can be one of the most rewarding things you ever do.

The feeling of a job well done, when you alone were the one who did everything, is what gives you absolute job satisfaction. However, in some cases, it can also be the hardest thing you’ll ever do.

So, here are my 5 tips for the self-employed to make sure you’re not feeling isolated whilst running your own business:

  1. Fresh thinking
    If you work for yourself, you may not have the ability to collaborate and get ideas from other people. Coming up with new ideas or looking at things objectively can be harder to do when you’re on your own.
    Look at joining peer groups on social media, where you can see what others are doing and what others are saying. This may provide you with the fresh perspective needed to start the flow of new ideas.
  2. Help… I’m on a deadline!
    Not meeting deadlines because you’re operating alone could mean you end up suffering negative feedback from customers.
    Can you connect with others who offer similar services to you for mutual benefit? The support that a ‘strategic partner’ provides to you can clearly be reciprocated and serves to build a useful relationship.
  3. Can you continue to develop your skills?
    How do you continue to grow your skillset and learn whilst self-employed?
    In larger companies, people can go on training courses or have time out to learn from others in their team.
    This is difficult to do when you are always busy working so look at what you can do during the time you have. For example, is there an online course you can dip in and out of to suit your busy schedule?
  4. Missed opportunities
    If you are on your own or don’t come into contact with other businesses, are you missing out on opportunities?
    A great way of getting your business known and building relationships can come from meeting others so attending networking events is an ideal way to meet new people and build your network. You can then follow up with an email or phone call to continue to build the relationship as discussed in point 2.
  5. You might just get… lonely
    If you have previously worked in an environment with lots of others and there was always a busy vibe going on you might find yourself…. well basically feeling lonely!
    Try to factor in taking a break that brings you into contact with others, can you work occasionally from a coffee shop or a library? Attend networking events that you’ve identified as an opportunity to grow your network and always look at ways to ensure you interact with others so as not to become too isolated.

So, those are my tips on how to ensure isolation doesn’t have a negative effect on your business. Always bear in mind that being self-employed is a lifestyle choice and that the benefits of working for yourself can often outweigh the negatives.


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