How to Break Out of Isolation
I’ve been working for myself for almost 20 years. I have a steady stream of business and basically just work out of my house. I’m a member of some listservs but I’m increasingly feeling isolated and missing the opportunity to just lean over and ask someone for advice or even just have a non-work conversation. Do you have any suggestions for me?
Surprised to feel isolated after all these years
Guess what? Things change. What worked for you for the last ten years might not be working now, but the good news is that there are options! First and most drastic, you should consider checking out your local coworking scene. You may not find people who do exactly what you do, but it might be a nice affordable change of pace for you to work in the same space with other small business owners. For an even more interactive experience, schedule yourself to work on-site at clients. It will give you an opportunity for collaboration where you can be a bit more focused.
I’ve also heard rave reviews about Slack. Slack is a messaging app for teams. If you’re a programmer, for example, you might invite a few other programmers to participate on a technical team, and then your group would agree to be available to answer and discuss technical topics. You’re probably on some forums or have people you can ask a question over email, but Slack gives you a more focused forum with a potentially much faster and more interactive response time.
Finally, I find it is really helpful to have a small group advisors. I’ve met monthly with a group of colleagues over the phone for the last several years. We check in with each other, hold each accountable and give each other encouragement and suggestions. It has helped me stay focused and effective in my various pursuits. I know many people form mastermind groups. We also help facilitate groups similar to mastermind groups for our Elusive Moose members. If that is of interest to you, email me at email@example.com.
Ask Molly is my weekly column where I answer your questions about the things that are keeping you from truly enjoying your work. I can’t help you with your personal life or your love life, but if you have questions about your work life, I’ve got you covered. Drop me a line below and ask me a question! – Molly