Working for Yourself: Not All It’s Cracked Up to Be

Professional Speaker-Personal Development-Positive Attitude

I hear it all the time:

How wonderful it must be to work for yourself. Be your own boss.  Set your own schedule.  Work from home.

The truth is – I HATE IT!!!  I hate the solitude.

If you’ve ever met me, you know I’m an extrovert. I thrive on the presence of people, I love the sound of their voice, I’m stimulated by conversation.  So no matter how great it sounds to work from home –  in your pajamas and bunny slippers – it just doesn’t work for me.

So if you’re an extrovert like I am, and you struggle with the loneliness of being your own boss, what do you do? How do you deal with being alone all day, every day?

Well, here are three different ideas that have helped me:

 

  1. Schedule coffee dates. This helps me get out of the house/office and have some interaction with another human being. There’s just a couple of possible pitfalls to be aware of. First of all, make sure your coffee partner is someone who can help you or you can help in return, otherwise, you’ll become frustrated, feeling like you’ve wasted your time. Secondly, at nearly $5.00 for a latte these days, it can become a bit expensive, so be sure to budget properly.
  2. I love going to the local library to work. I’m surrounded by people, even if they are strangers.  And the surroundings really help to keep me focused. There is no TV, no laundry, no refrigerator calling to me. Besides, the library has large tables where I can spread out, they have free wi-fi, and a bathroom. What more can a girl ask for?
  3. Finding nooks and crannies in nature. Living in Wisconsin with below zero temperatures right now is NOT a good time to be outside.  But as soon as the weather breaks, I’ll be heading down one of the many walking trails, looking for that perfect bench overlooking a lake or river or ravine. That’s where I do a lot of my writing. I’m still in solitude, but for some reason, the natural surroundings make me feel like I’m transported to another place.

And that, my dear friends, are just three ways that I survive the loneliness of working for myself. Do you have other ideas to share?   Any other tricks that can help us satisfy our craving for camaraderie?

And for those of you who do not feel that sting of loneliness, please share your thoughts on working for yourself, by yourself. I’d love to hear the other side of this story.

Categories: Personal Development Positive Mindset Positive Thinking Professional Development
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6 thoughts on “Working for Yourself: Not All It’s Cracked Up to Be”

  1. judy Spriggs says:

    Hi Nancy,

    These are great ideas for balancing your work, especially the writing, which can have too much solitude especially for an extrovert like you!

    Judy

  2. Nancy says:

    Balance is a great word. Even extroverts need some down time – some alone time. But we all need to balance what is right for us.

  3. Jared says:

    Hi Nancy, I am the exact opposite. I am definitely an introvert. Haha. Back when I was single I could go days without interaction from another human being and was perfectly happy to be locked up in my apartment writing code (I did a lot of programming back then). Now that I am married with children the constant interaction can be draining, but at work I tend to keep to myself..kind of recharges me. I sit at my desk and send an email to the guy two cubes down instead of walking down there. LOL. Now that I am used to having the wife and kids around all the time I think I would get lonely if I had to be away from them for a long time. It is amazing how different people are and how much we can adapt to our surroundings over time to make everything work out. 🙂

    1. Nancy says:

      So great to hear from someone on the other side. Several of my friends are just like you, and it’s amazing that we still find so many things in common. It’s what’s at your core that really counts. You’re right, when you care about someone, or have a passion for what you do, you can get used to anything. As long as I have an event or two to look forward to, I’m guess I’ll be ok.

  4. I’m an extrovert too Nancy and I find that the coffee dates and especially the two networking groups are extremely important to me. Without the stimulation of different opinions and a reason to get out of those bunny slippers, I think I’d go crazy.

    I guess like anything else, it’s balance, when to focus and work in solitude, when to see others. Creativity for me takes both.

    Thanks for bring this important topic up, how folks handle being a solopreneur is somewhat dependent on how they handle all of this.

  5. Nancy says:

    The coffee dates really help me as well. It offers stimulation, sharing opinions, and a few laughs. All very important in a productive day.

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