Home Business Isolation
by Wendy Priesnitz

Q: Help! I’m drowning in micro-business isolation. This is my first winter in business for myself. I work at home and deal with my clients mostly by email and fax. So I’m climbing the walls with cabin fever.

A: The year I invited my accountant to my New Year’s Eve party was the year I realized I had a problem with isolation! Now I lead such a public life that I long for those good old days, but I can still empathize with anyone who is feeling isolated in their home business. And believe me, the problem is bigger than just personal loneliness. You need opportunities to “talk shop” so that your business doesn’t stagnate.

First of all, try to re-create for yourself that emotionally supportive network of coworkers and colleagues that you left behind in the corporate world.

Schedule a few social encounters each week. Arrange to meet an employed friend for lunch. Attend a professional association meeting or a Chamber of Commerce networking event. Join the Y or sign up for a night school class. Volunteer with one of the many community organizations that could use your help.

Some home business owners fight isolation by pursuing projects that require collaboration. Virtual corporations are becoming common, whereby independent entrepreneurs come together on a project-by-project basis. This is a great way to expand your business, while creating opportunities for stimulating contact with other people.

One group of home-based business owners I once knew arranged to meet in a neighborhood park each morning at 7 AM. They went for a power walk together, discussing business issues while getting some much needed exercise.

Here's another strategy: At one point in the early days of my self-employment, I created a personal board of advisors. This group of people included a woman business owner who acted as a mentor, my accountant, and a retired local business owner. In return for feeding this group dinner once a month, I received a great deal of advice and motivation. These dinners also made me feel connected to the business community, in spite of the fact that most days I was cloistered at home with two little kids and my computer.

Learn more about
Bringing it Home - A Home Business Start-Up Guide for You and Your Family
by Wendy Priesnitz

About
Wendy Priesnitz

Bonus Article:
Managing
Home Office Spillover

by Wendy Priesnitz

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