Work at Home Entrepreneurs Need to Get Out Regularly

4 comments

I've read lots of commentary on the suicide of Aaron Swartz, but a post from Brad Feld resonated with me the most: "The Importance Of A Monthly Cadence With Close Friends". it is a quality read for anybody running their business from home.

I've been working from home since 2004, and while I prefer the enviroment to focus, it can get a little isolating.

So, back in 2010, as I was moving to Austin, TX without really knowing anybody, I went to meetup.com and joined a bunch of relevant groups. It was such a helpful move to make lots of connections quickly, and I've become close through there with a number of people who were strangers not so long ago.

And I really enjoy those lunches with local friends on multiple levels.

http://www.feld.com/wp/archives/2013/01/the-importance-of-a-monthly-cadence-with-close-friends.html

Comments

So true

This is actually a serious situation and not one I see talked about much.  Until Jim Boykin convinced me to work for him, I was self employed and working from home for a dozen years, in the rural countryside, in a small town.  My big excitement for years was going to watch my kids' football, baseball, hockey, soccer, and field hockey games.  

Even though I still work from my home office for Jim, my habits remain terrible. I forget to eat and never remember to exercise.  I went through a few years of cabin fever and bouts of freaking out but somehow I adapted.  For a few years there I got involved in community stuff, like the baseball Little League (was on the Board and did their web site for years) and was President of the high school football team Booster club and member for a few years.  It got me out there with parents and to a ton of games and fund raising things.  But the kids are done all that now and I'm alone a lot - but not lonely.  There's a difference.

The only time I see anyone in the physical who works in my field is at conferences or a visit up to Ninja-Land.  There are meetups but they're in Phila, which is a pain in the neck to get to from where I live although technically it's close.  I also have never figured out how to stop for lunch or go for walk without feeling guilty for leaving my desk.  Its insane but I've been that way from the start.  

So yeah.  We should be getting out more. Maybe when I retire :)

No Reason to Feel Guilty

One of the things I've really enjoyed in my time working from home has been the flexibility. I find it really productive to get out for a walk - it's some of my best brainstorming time.

But also, I remain connected through my iPhone, so I'm still on top of things.

Have you tried starting up a meetup right in your area to see if anybody emerges that you didn't realize was near you? I had a similar problem when I was in northern NJ - there was plenty to do in NYC, but I didn't want to hassle with bridges, tunnels, and trains to go in and out.

Things are way different in Austin, but I wonder if I could have cultivated a community of like minded people in NJ if I bothered.

What is this "out" of which you speak?

Hard to argue with logic like this. When I quit my business consulting gig and went into SEO, I soon found myself working through the weekends and into the evenings. Before long, I was putting in 16-18 hour days, 7 days a week.Ass-spread ensued, and more than a little complaining from the Mrs. that I was working too much. I REALLY need to get my life back!

Those hours had me on the verge of a nervous breakdown

I used to take pride in the fact that I barely slept and would be working until 2-3 in the morning. I couldn't pass up an opportunity or project.

But at some point I couldn't take it anymore. 

I felt like I'd traded the corporate world, which I couldn't stand, for another version of work prison.

Now I work way less and I'm as productive. I realized that I was hitting a wall at some point and not getting much done in those extra hours.

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