In my day to day office operations, I spend a lot of time alone. By alone, I mean, it’s me and my loyal dog Tank. We hang out in my home office. He gets up when I get up. He lets me know when it’s lunch time. He lets me know if I’ve been sitting too long and need to walk him. He barks when the husband comes home from work or if there is a package at the door. As much as I love having a canine companion, it’s just not enough to make me feel supported all the time.
Before I joined BNI, I didn’t really know what coworking was. Get together with other people and work? Why would I do that? Aren’t we competitors? But somewhere along the line, coworking became a thing for me. I attended a symposium on coworking just as it was starting to take off in Seattle with WeWork and other coworking hotspots. I started meeting up with my referral partners to discuss a project or catch up on business. That led to Wednesday nights at the local library to work on “our businesses” at the same time. Just an accountability partner that would be there to sit across from me and while I trained online, they wrote an employee training manual. It was really, really powerful in helping me make time for my own business.
Just having a work companion every now and then can make you feel like you are part of something. When I worked in corporate retail, the banter and conversations that broke up my day may not have been productive parts of my day for my employer, but they did go a long way in making friendships and memories that have lasted decades.
Just because your work for yourself, especially if you are a solopreneur, does not mean you need to be by yourself all the time.
Here are my tips to help you create coworking opportunities:
- Who are you referring to a lot? Ask the graphic designer, copywriter or SEO provider if they want to set up a quarterly coworking sessions with you.
- Start small. Make your dates an hour or two and every couple of months.
- Pick a coffee shop that is a bit quiet and maybe not the one by your house. I spend all my time chatting it up with the old man morning coffee club if I meet at my local SBUX.
- If you need help, reach out to a designer you know well and ask them for it! Maybe you know something that you can help them with, too.
- Go to a WordPress MEETUP. This is a great way to meet like minds that might be good coworking partners.
- Ask fellow business owners in any organization you are part of if they have something in their business they are working on. You can schedule that accountability session together weekly to help each other meet your goals.
Working in solitary all the time is not good for the soul. Working in solidarity can help you feel more like a part of something , keep your creative juices flowing, and help others along the way.
Do you enjoying working with others? Do you ever feel lonely in your home office? Please share your ideas about coworking with our group!