Key Advice Blog

You are never home alone

Posted on: 01/10/2009

Many people don’t take the self-employed route because they don’t want to be ‘alone’. After years of working in an office environment, they can’t visualise themselves working from home – alone. But with all the technology out there – you are never really home alone.

I first started freelancing in 1986. There was no email. There were no social media sites. There was no Skype. And, women working on their own was quite a new phenomenon (driven by the downsizing of the 80’s). I was a lucky one – always dreaming of working on my ‘own’. But not everyone feels that way. Now that I have re-launched my ‘solo’ career in 2009  I can’t believe how easy it is to stay ‘connected’.

I use most of the social networking tools to share, communicate and stay in touch with my – many new – real and virtual colleagues. Twitter. Facebook. LinkedIn. Ning. Blogs. My guest blog – Finding Your Way in the Social Media Jungle – on Kevin Tea’s great blog created an instant online community with comments coming in from around the globe. Some with excellent links to add value to my post. But, I don’t do it all virtually.

In the 1990’s in Canada I was invited to join an eclectic group of women entrepreneurs – The Breakfast Club. We met for breakfast once a month, talked, buoyed each other on, and laughed. Despite moving away – we still all meet up whenever I go back. It really worked for me, so I started a club here – BLT we call ourselves. The great advantage is socialising with peers – and feeling part of team – that you create! So take the first step and make your own real life social networking group.

There are lots of local ‘shared interest’ groups to join – many sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce  who organise everything from training, to lunch meetings, to speed networking events. I have picked two – a creative one and a business one to keep me plugged in. It is easy to become a meeting junkie; so pick them carefully. But remember you need to spend time each week marketing, not just doing, or suddenly you could face the ‘where’s the work’ wall.

I like to start and end my week with ‘management’ days – bookkeeping, research, blogging, planning, follow-up, meetings, marketing. But, I make sure that each week also involves time at clients’ offices, networking meetings, and just getting out of the house!

Other ways to be seen and heard – if your are comfortable – is to do workshops and presentations at events. They can both be great places to ‘learn’, get ideas and meet prospective colleagues and clients.

So, there is no need to be, feel or work at home alone! Unless, that is what you really want to do.


1 Response to "You are never home alone"

Kate, online collaboration is growing. In the early days people set up blogs etc and acted in isolation and as islands. The way forward is to work with people, build up support structures, earn other people’s trust, do guest blogs and become a trust agent.

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