Monday, June 29, 2009

6 Secrets To Fighting Isolation In A Home Based Business

Running your business from home has many advantages, like setting your own schedule and avoiding the daily commute. They say Los Angeles traffic is among the worst in the United States, and I believe it. Other benefits of working from home are plentiful. If you have children, you are home when they get home from school, and you can take a break to hear about their day. You can make your own lunch, which means you are saving money by not having to go out to Starbucks for that afternoon snack.

On the flip side, people who have chosen to work at home can feel isolated, especially if they have worked in an office or retail environment before. Having much less contact with colleagues or customers is a big shift. Don't stress! There are a wide variety of techniques you can use to break the silence!

1. Create a distinct personal & work space. If you work at home, you must- I repeat, must--separate your workspace from your personal space. You need to find a place where you can set up the necessities of an office. While the dining room table does not count, a walk in closet does. You get the picture. Remember you are still the creative and successful professional you have worked so hard to be, except now you are your own boss. Make sure to get dressed in the morning. I don't mean that you have to put on a suit, but get out of your sleeping attire and sweats! Keeping your new office self-contained will preserve your focus, and possibly your sanity. When your work is done for the day, close the computer. Walk away. Shift into time with your family or friends, and doing what you enjoy.2. Set a daily schedule for yourself. If you have chosen a home-based business, you already know you are solely responsible for your time--all of it. And in lieu of the work distractions of a typical business, co-workers stopping at your desk to gossip, going out for lunch, etc., you'll have a whole new set of distractions. Setting and maintaining a schedule that works for you will provide stability, with the benefit of being able to shift your time if necessary. Now, you can start at 6 a.m. if you choose and be done at 2 p.m., or start at 10 a.m. and work to 7 p.m. Stick to what works for you and provides the strongest productivity and well-being.

3. Don't "burrow" - get out of the house! One of the traps of working for yourself is the impulse to over focus. Of course being industrious is essential to success, but so is balance. No matter what, give yourself some down time.
Have a coffee date with a friend. Make it a professional outing. Sharing experiences can be very supportive. Perhaps that person is having the same struggles or successes you are. You can share what has worked best. Of course, it doesn't have to be business-related. Refresh yourself with what you love to do, such as a running club, book club, or whatever works for you.
Gardening is a great way to take a break, enjoy the outdoors, and improve your home!
4. Meet your customers. Research shows that meeting with your customers personally, especially new ones, will win you more business. This is a particular advantage for those who work for themselves. Getting out of your home office for these meetings gives you the opportunity to build your clientele as well as establish strong and positive relationships with each of them personally.

5. Mix it up. Taking time to participate in established groups and professional activities is time well spent. Your local chamber of commerce may host a working breakfast with a speaker pertinent to your business. Take a day to attend a trade show. These are wonderful opportunities to network, as well as learn about other businesses, assess your competition, and learn what's new. Spending time at these events is invigorating and is likely to prompt new ideas and perspective for your own business. Definitely check out ISES, WIPA, and ABC.6. Keep in Touch. Many people who establish their own businesses have a background in a traditional office environment, ripe with opportunities to interact with co-workers, albeit within the particular environment of the
company. Choosing to work on your own is a huge shift. At the same time, it's a great opportunity to develop or re-build relationships with new friends and colleagues. Before you know it, you'll have a dynamic personal support network. You may even choose to have a partner or mentor in your field to share experiences and consult with one another.

Whatever you choose, be creative, and enjoy your independence!

Leading Entertainment Expert, Entrepreneur, TV Personality, Coach, Author and Sought After Speaker, Marley Majcher is CEO of The Party Goddess! and publisher of the Ezine, "...But Are You Making Any Money". If you are ready to take your career or business to the next level, make more money and just be happier with your work life, then get your free tips at

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