As a work-at-home freelance writer and editor, I find I forget to treat myself as an employee. I ignore my basic rights to a break, a hot lunch and conversations with other human beings. I neglect to schedule time to learn new things and grow my network, and I ignore my own company’s marketing.
I used to find it very hard to get up the courage to seek out others with similar goals and interests. It took quite a while to gather a group of supportive associates who I can share the work with and celebrate the successes. I had to force myself to get out of the yoga pants and actually attend groups and meetings with other business owners and find events that were of benefit to me and my business. It takes time…no doubt about it. But you have to do it. There is no growth where there is no effort — I heard that somewhere, and it has become my mantra.
Collaborating with Peers
Reorganizing a pile of stuffed animals can NOT be classed a business meeting; and alphabetizing the business cards you received last year does NOT count as networking.
For home-based businesses, it can be difficult to actually leave the house. I get it! I have to actually make a huge effort — but it ALWAYS pays off. It is important to hunt down business meetup groups and like-minded individuals who can inspire you and lead to possible business collaborations. Find classes and lectures about the things you are weak on: social media, marketing, blogging, public speaking, bookkeeping and organizing.
There is something for everyone out there.
Breaks and Lunches
Staring at the wall, contemplating what to make for dinner does NOT constitute a break; chowing down on the candy you hid from your kids is NOT a healthy lunch. It is important to remember to feed yourself healthy foods throughout the day. I’m sure you’re like me: when there is no one peeking at what I am eating, I tend to forget to eat and then snack on the quickest food I can find (which is usually cheese strings and chips). Treat yourself to a trip to a deli or bakery once in a while. Take a break and grab a coffee with a friend or business associate. You would do this if you worked in an office, so you need to take that time for a time-out.
Search Facebook and LinkedIn to find groups with similar business interests and promote your company.
Try this cool new business networking app: http://bit.ly/1rSdDNb
Here are some links to help you GET OUT OF THE HOUSE:
Share your favourite networking group and any advice you have for home-based businesses in the comments below…or contact me on FB or LinkedIn and we can count it as a business meeting!