One of the biggest challenges of being a female entrepreneur and petite business owner is working alone from home. Even with the social revolution isolation and loneliness is a big issue for many.
As we’re kind of connected, but we’re not.
If you don’t leave the house or talk to another human for days on end it has serious implications for our well-being
As human beings we thrive on social interaction and connection. We are hard-wired to interact with others. And I know personally when I really need to get out of the house and be with people in person and not just on social media. (My post-lady does too!)
I left my office job in marketing eight years ago this week and whilst I love what I do and the freedom it brings of being my own boss, one of my biggest challenges has been the ability to work through those feelings of isolation. As for many of us who are based at home we continually have to source our own creativity, energy, enthusiasm, motivation and inspiration to do our best work and serve others.
The reality is if you feel you’re in a funk and have lost your mojo you’re not going to be buzzing with creative ideas or feel like showing up and being sociable on social media
Back in the olden days of my office life I loved having a team around me to bounce ideas around with, to chat about what was on the telly last night and to have sociable cups of tea and nice lunches. Those were the perks of being in an office.
With eight years experience being a home worker I have learnt to recognise the signs when I am starting to dip. My mood is low. My motivation is dragging and everything feels so much harder. I know it’s time to slow down, pause for a bit and reconnect with myself and the real world.
And that’s the reality for many petite business owners. None of us can be expected to be at full pelt all year round.
Build your trusted support network and look after each other
It is essential to build a support network around you. Not just going to networking meetings with your sales face on. But really to have those deeper connections with female entrepreneurs who get it all and have faced similar challenges as you. People who you can share honestly and openly, without fear of being judged. It can be groups or co-working spaces that are the perfect remedy.
And if you’re not able to find that support in person, then it is totally possible to find some brilliant groups online who are not there for self promotion, but to truly support each other and are a go-to place to hang out as and when you need to.
Need Some Working From Home Wisdom?
This month it has been great to catch up with Judy Heminsley who launched her blogging community “Work From Home Wisdom” back in 2009, when I launched Scarletta. (The Scarletta Monkey Mogs Billy and Lola even made a blog post for Judy!)
Judy has over twenty years of experience and knowledge about working from home and is all about community and connections. Over the last couple of years Judy had to take some time out as her elderly parents were both in poor health and sadly she lost her mother and her father is now in dementia care.
Having this enforced time out gave Judy a very different perspective on life and she has now launched her blog “All Things Bright and Good.” As we discussed during our tea break this is a different more relaxed set up than her other blog and gives her more freedom to use social media in her own “Free-Style” and evolve her living brand online. Watch the Social Tea Break here.
And finally here’s my own top ten tips if you feel you’re going a bit Lady GaGa working from home:
- Set your working hours, stick to them and write down your to-do’s for the day. This avoids getting distracted and putting the washing on when you have work to do.
- Always get up and get dressed everyday as if you’re going somewhere. Attempting to work in your PJ’s is not ideal…..And you never know who is going to knock in the door with parcel deliveries that aren’t for you!
- Move from your desk every couple of hours even if it is to go and make a cup of tea.
Get outside at least once a day – my best ideas flow when I am walking or out in the garden as you’ll see on my Instagram feed.
- Be the one to suggest meeting up in person with social media friends. Usually the people I meet online are always delightfully the same offline.
- When you feel lost, alone and isolated be honest and ask for help. Don’t think you have to do everything alone.
- If you feel up against it and know the remedy is a self care day – take it and enjoy it. Everything will wait until tomorrow.
- Find other interests other than your business, working for yourself means you don’t switch off easily and you need other things to think about.
- Don’t believe everything you see from others online. The reality is the majority of us don’t have everything sussed all of the time. Regardless of how wonderful that Instagram feed looks!
- Take care of you. This is a priority as without you and your well-being everything grinds to a halt including your petite business.