While starting and running your own business can seem super exciting and glamorous, in reality working from home or alone in an office can be really lonely and isolating at times. You don’t have a team to bounce off, and you don’t have the companionship of a larger office environment. However, you can make it work for you if you seek support in the right places!
- Look for formal training and events.
There are so many events, training and educational opportunities within the health industry. Whether they’re through the DAA, other dietetics organisations (like us!), online groups, or events hosted by individuals in the industry, each represents a unique opportunity to connect with other like-minded people – often who are in similar situations!
These don’t need to be purely “networking” opportunities – try to see them as opportunities for forming connections. After all, the people you meet in these situations can often act as a really solid support network for you. They know what you’re going through, and they can often offer a word of advice or a shoulder to cry on. Forming strong relationships at these events can turn into long-term connections, offering you an incredible, empathetic and understanding support network!
So while the educational component is great, the chance for connection makes these events even more vital to attend – regardless of whether they’re online or in person!
- Catch up online regularly.
Connecting with others in similar situations to yourself by scheduling regular online meetings can really help with the loneliness, and provide the support you’re seeking. A great place to foster relationships or form a group is our online Facebook community, or other forums where like-minded people spend time! Whether you discuss your upcoming goals, key focuses, or just your life in general, it can be so comforting to chat to people who really “get” you!
If you can catch up for a coffee in real life (shock – no social media?!) even better, but otherwise make these meetings regular! Schedule them into your diary and prioritise them, because there will come a time where you’re so grateful for that support.
- Work from a shared space.
If you have the option, try working in a shared office or a co-working space, like WeWork – or even just a cafe! Being around other humans is strangely comforting, and if you head to the same spot regularly, you might find yourself striking up conversations with people around you, and forming bonds!
These people can, in time, become a real source of support for you, and a great comfort in times when you’re feeling isolated!
- Set boundaries.
When you’re a solopreneur, it can be all too easy to let your business and work consume you and creep into your social and personal life, and your own time.
This is where the importance of setting boundaries comes in. Set up a clear workspace away from where you live the rest of your life, and establish your working hours. Communicate these hours to your friends and family, so you can really focus and commit yourself during these times.
However outside of this space and time, you should not think or act on anything work-related! This means you can still prioritise time with friends and family, who after all are the greatest support network you’ll ever have! By really being present in your time with them, you’ll have the opportunity to engage and talk to them about any struggles you’re having, and how you’re feeling as a solopreneur. This is key to seeking support, and maintaining a strong network of people around you who care, and will always be there to catch you when you fall.
For more helpful tips and ways to improve your business, head to our Facebook group, and sign up to our email list to access a bunch of free resources today!