As a solo entrepreneur (solopreneur) sometimes it’s hard to stay sane. If you are like me, you might find yourself in front of your computer working away and the days just fly by. I sometimes forget to eat lunch and may not see another human or talk on the phone for a full day. I have worked this way for years.
Even though I own a business with a handful of other people involved, I’ve chosen to work from my home in my nice cozy home office. Frankly, I enjoy it that way and find I get so much more work done than I do in a social work environment.
Honestly, if you aren’t communicating with a human outside your family or pets for a few days in a row, your brain starts to turn to mush! So how can you stay connected with the outside world as a solopreneur? Here are 7 ways, I’ve found to stay connected:
#1 – Attend networking events
I love to network and meet new people. There are so many ways you can get out and network. In my city, there is a magazine that holds an event once every quarter to release their new magazine. I attend these unveiling events as often as I can for several reasons. Those who attend often includes many of my clients, so it’s a great chance to connect outside of our usual atmosphere and stay connected. It’s also nice to jump out of my casual work clothes and into something dressier. Lastly, it brings me a lot of joy to have intelligent conversations that stimulate my brain.
I really can’t say enough about how important networking is for your business. Being seen at an event will remind people that you have a business and that you are still active. Bring a friend along and take turns introducing each other to people you know. After a while, walking in to a networking event will be easier because you will know a ton of the people there. Yes, I know it’s hard to go alone, but after one or two short and sweet conversations, you’ll get in the groove and be ready to take on the networking challenge.
#2 – Get involved in a non-profit fundraiser
This is perfect for those of you looking to become Event Heroes. There are many organizations that can use your event planning skills to help make their event super fantastic, and they will welcome you with open arms to their organization. Make sure you have the time and energy to handle taking on a charity.
This is one of the best ways to get your company off the ground and get the exposure you are looking for. Ask the committee, one on one, it they know anyone planning an event, getting married, etc. that they could introduce you to. Use these well-connected individuals to help you build your business. Be subtle when asking, but know that most committees have community leaders that will be happy to introduce you to someone that has needs for your business.
#3 – Stay active in online chats
Although this is still in front of the computer, tucked away in your cozy office, it can sometimes feel like face-to-face communication. Read a blog, then comment on the blog (It’s another way to get your company noticed); not only are you having a ‘conversation’ with someone that shares similar business or life interests, but you are exposing your name and business name to the public. Haven’t you clicked over to see what the person replying does? Connected with them on LinkedIn or other social media outlets? I have.
#4 – Set morning meetings
It doesn’t matter if you like coffee or tea or a full-on breakfast, make your meetings for first thing in the morning. Nine AM is my favorite meeting time frame to get my day started. This gives me some computer time before I head out. If anything comes up during the meeting, I also have time to research and respond to it the rest of the day.
This is also a great way to meet with other solopreneurs and discuss what you might do together to create business for both of you. Coffee is an easy way to meet; there are few expectations, both of you are relaxed, and the conversation flows easily. Who knows what kind of scheme might arise.
#5 – Start a mastermind group
I love mastermind groups, masterminding is based on a theory by Napoleon Hill’s book Think and Grow Rich. In the book Napoleon states that a mastermind is created when two or more people come together with a collective objective. He goes on to say that when this happens, a third invisible, intangible force likened to a third mind is created.
Some fellow entrepreneurs and I started a mastermind group after a highly motivating morning coffee meeting. It has now run for 5 years. Most of the original members are still with the group. Mastermind group building has some rules and you can find our outline for the group here.
#6 – Join a gym
I’m lousy at this one. I love my home office so much, sometimes I really don’t want to leave, especially in the cold, dark winter. Not even to go to bed. But this doesn’t fulfill my need to get some human interaction.
I need to make sure I exercise in the early mornings, like 5:30 AM If I can drag myself out of bed. Then I can be showered and ready for my office by 7:30. In all honesty, this really doesn’t happen as often as it should. I’m not a huge fan of exercising when I first get started, but after exercising a few weeks it gets easier. Yoga is really my thing, so I joined an early morning yoga studio with a few clients to help get me motivated.
#7 – Join a Meetup
A Meetup is like networking, but the group is based around a common interest. For example, a canoeing meetup or a book club, just make sure you are joining one that others have similar interests as you.
In my city, we have a group of meeting planners that meet up. They swap stories, ideas and even sometimes clients. (it’s a great group and if they are too busy, they pass the client on to someone else, what a great way to get along with your competitors) Check online to find were your local meetups are happening.
Overall, there are hundreds of ways for you to get that social craving met, but you have to look for it. Join in and serve as an asset to the group. Make sure you don’t eat into your work and family time too much and target some your groups to where your clients might hang out. Don’t be afraid to network with many groups to see where you fit best and to change when the usefulness of one group no longer fits your needs. This is a great way to combine advertising your business and getting your socialization all in one.
Are you starting an event planning business and looking for someone to guide you along the way? Look no further as I work with you to get you started and teach you all the lessons, tips, and tricks I wish I would have learned when I started 30 years ago. Being a solopreneur doesn't have to be hard, join my VIP Membership Program to learn how I've done it successfully.
About the Author
Tracy Fuller-White has owned and operated an event production company for 30+ years and has done events nationally and internationally for fortune 100 and fortune 500 companies.