Wednesday, September 26, 2007

How to convince yourself that you actually hav a real job, pt. 2

(Read the first post in this series here!)

Being an entrepreneur can be a LONELY profession.

Especially if you work out of your home.

After all…

You have no office.
You have no coworkers.
You have no sense of community.

And sometimes, it just sucks!

SO, THAT'S THE CHALLENGE: learning how to protect yourself against potential solitude.

Here’s a collection of tips to help convince yourself that you actually have a real job:

1. Meetings. Set regular lunches, coffees and meetings throughout the week. You don’t have to have one every day – a few per week should keep you sane. Meet with colleagues who work in similar or complimentary industries. Share your troubles, brainstorm ideas and exchange goals.

2. Hangouts. Find out if there’s a local bar, club or coffee shop where people who do what you do hang out. Visit often. Get to know some of the regulars. If you want, you can even start a hangout of your own! Check online or in local papers to see what’s out there.

3. Join Up! Become a member of the local chapter of your professional association. Attend meetings regularly. Consider taking a leadership position. Pick the brains of the veterans and welcome in the newbies.

4. Virtual Lunches. Have regular virtual lunches with out of town colleagues. Agree upon a convenient time to eat and chat over the phone together. This technique is especially helpful if you travel or have a national or international network.

5. Social Networking. Seek out other online options: user groups, message boards, teleconferences, blogs, social networking sites and other community building tools. REMEMBER: whatever you’re into, at least 1000 other people on the Internet will be into it too!

6. Mastermind Group. Gather 3-5 people who work in the same industry as you. Meet every month. Set goals, keep each other accountable, share failures and successes, and of course, celebrate!

ONE LAST POINT: be grateful.

DIY is a lonely road. Be sure you’re constantly thanking people for their time. Show them you appreciate the relationship and will do what you can to keep it alive.

Ultimately, you’ll be able to generate a sense of camaraderie that is ABSOLUTELY necessary to your survival as an entrepreneur.

How do you convince yourself that you actually have a real job?

Share your best ideas here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

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