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March 29, 2018 By John Boitnott

Overcoming the Biggest Challenges of Working Alone

March 29, 2018

By John Boitnott

Read More from John Boitnott

March 29, 2018

Overcoming the Biggest Challenges of Working Alone

By John Boitnott
Contributor

Building a business can be stressful, yet exciting. There are endless decisions to make, combined with a never-ending to-do list and long, exhausting days. Often new businesses are built in a home office, which can be great for stress reduction, since you won’t have to deal with constant distractions and long commutes.

But all of that alone time can lead to other problems. In addition to feeling isolated, there’s the fact that you may not have anyone to help with brainstorming sessions. As you struggle to keep up with your daily tasks, it may be a while before you notice that the lack of social interaction is taking its toll on you.

To avoid that, here are a few things you can do to give yourself the boost that social interaction can bring.

Join a Networking Group

If you’re trying to grow your business, networking is a must. Not only will it help you get valuable tips, find potential partners, and build brand awareness, but it will also surround you with people who can relate to your daily struggles. You’ll likely come out of each get-together with information that will make the daily grind less taxing.

Sites like Meetup can help you find professional networking groups in your area. You can also check community Facebook pages or your local Chamber of Commerce to find local events.

If you aren’t finding anything that piques your interest, consider starting a group of your own. If you already have a small network of close friends, make a date to regularly meet for lunch to discuss issues or just unwind.

Take it Public

Even if you can’t yet afford an office space, you can still leave the house to work. In fact, one of the best things about working from home is that you can technically work anywhere. A nearby café or restaurant can be the perfect place to work for the day, getting you out of the house around people. Even if you don’t directly communicate with any of them, being surrounded by others can make a big difference.

If you want a regular option, consider investing in a co-working space within an easy commute near your home. You’ll have an office-like environment at least a few days a week, or even every day, if you prefer. A big bonus to these co-working spaces is that they often encourage networking, which can help you make valuable connections.

Hire a Contractor

You don’t have to commit to full-time salaried employees to take some of the load off your shoulders. Even a remote assistant who works with you a few hours a month can help reduce the burden. If you need more specific help, you can hire freelancers with expertise to help with gathering sales leads, designing graphics, or writing content for your website.

If you’d prefer an on-site helper, a local college or high school student intern could be a great first team member. The student will get a valuable credit for a resume or college application and you’ll enjoy low-cost labor from an enthusiastic, willing-to-learn young person. In some cases, you may be able to work with a local college to find interns looking for specific experience with a business like yours.

Working for yourself comes with perks of being your own boss, but it also comes with hard challenges. If you can find a way to get the social interaction you need while also enjoying the benefits of uninterrupted work time without a commute, you’ll find your business growing. You’ll also discover that you feel better about your work-life balance when you’re regularly getting social interaction, even if that interaction is often limited to business discussion.

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