Liz Lidgett: How to work with others while working for yourself
When I decided to start my own business, I had a vision of what it would be like. For the most part, I was wrong. Luckily, many of the things that I was wrong about turned out to be even better than I hoped for. It's just that no matter how much you prepare and are ready for that first day, things come up that you hadn't planned on. The biggest revelation to me was that being an entrepreneur can be lonely.
Of course, it doesn't have to be. Over the past two years of being in business, I have put together some tips on combating the loneliness that may come up from going it on your own.
• Join a breakfast club or other networking organization. One of the things I miss most about working in an office is talking to colleagues about the challenges of the project at hand. My breakfast club has women members from a variety of different backgrounds but several are also entrepreneurs.
I enjoy talking to the members about similar issues we all face and how we can help each other succeed. It constantly reminds me that I am not the only person going through this. I've also found joining online communities or taking e-courses have similar benefits.
• Try to get out of the house once a day. I schedule a meeting, a lunch or a networking event every single day during the workweek. I know that I'm the type of person who needs face-to-face conversations and this ensures that happens. I also love working with the same clients on a weekly basis, with how often I see them, they become my de facto co-workers.
• Find time to co-work with other entrepreneurs. I have friends who also own their own "one-man-band" businesses. We find time once a week to get together at one of our houses or at a coffee shop to work together.
We spend time catching up and then also brainstorming on projects for each other. Sometimes we just work next to each other. No matter what we're in the mood for, it's nice to feel like I have a co-worker and that we're in the same boat.
And speaking of co-working with entrepreneurs, another option is getting a space at the new Gravitate Des Moines. You can purchase a co-working membership depending on your situation.
Memberships for an office, a fixed desk or a floating desk are all available. You can also purchase a drop-in punch card so you can have an office space on the days you want it.
Doing it alone doesn't have to be lonely. Whether you join a breakfast club or co-working space, there are ways to make entrepreneurship work for you.