It can be lonely running a business by yourself. Entrepreneurs have a hard enough job trying to get their businesses off the ground and into the world. When you add the loneliness and stress of being a solopreneur, it can become too much for some people. One way to overcome this sense of being alone is to make sure you get out and work in the community as much as possible. To help you maintain a sense of connection to the community you serve, we’ve put together a list of strategies to help you feel like you belong when you work alone.
Join Associations in Your Region
Every town and city has a chamber of commerce that serves business owners of all shapes and sizes. To stay connected, consider joining your chamber of commerce so that you get notifications about events, benefits, and opportunities to connect with other entrepreneurs. This kind of organization provides business owners with many resources, support, training, and even funding to help them grow their operations.
Take Your Show on the Road
When you get tired of sitting at home, pick up your laptop and head to the nearest coffee shop or coworking space. Even better, consider taking a road trip and working from another town or city altogether. Allow yourself to get out of the house or office and meet with others, regardless of whether they are business owners or not. It’s important to engage with people who make you feel supported and understood.
Check in with a Mentor
If you prefer to stick close to home, make sure you have someone in your corner who can help talk you off the ledge when things get hard. And if you are an entrepreneur, you know that things are going to get hard. Have a weekly call or meeting with someone who can talk shop with you and understands what it is you are going through.
Run Errands on a Regular Basis
Another way to get out of the house and into the community is to have standing appointments around town. Whether you run out to pick up your groceries, pay bills, or to take in a show. It’s important to have some kind of routine that you can rely on and count on each week to get you out of the office. It’s also a good idea to invite other business owners out for coffee once in a while to see what they are up to and learn of any opportunities for collaboration or work.
Meet in Person
While it is easy to pick up the phone and call or send a text to someone it is always a good idea to meet connections in person. This solidifies the relationship and makes it feel more real to people. Rather than just be another email in an inbox, seeing someone in real life ensures that they remember you.
Whether you work in your basement and write code for companies around the world, or you sell crafts on Etsy, it’s important to ensure that you have a connection to your community. There are people out there who want to help you, and whether or not you think you need them, consider that they might need you. So if you feel yourself pulling back from the community because you don’t feel like they have anything to offer you, always think about how you can offer them something in service, in-kind gestures, or support and motivation.