No man (or woman!) is an island

September 2013

I’m jumping my own question queue here but I just wanted to share about a topic that is close to my heart – connectedness.

If you read my monthly column, you’ll know I’m all about relationships, community and connecting.

A few months ago, our graphic artist Susann and I sat down for our regular, irregular, coffee mornings. In talking about how we needed to make our irregular coffees more regular, we both spoke of the different aspects about working from home. The main problem we brought up was the feeling of isolation. On the way home in the car, I wondered why we couldn’t start a group for people just like us in the community. People sequestered in their homes with no-one for company but the faceless internet and talk-back radio.

I floated the idea past the other half of Local News Publications and Susann and then put it out to readers in one of our distribution areas and guess what? It seems Susann and I aren’t the only ones feeling this way!

We had our first meeting yesterday and it was great. After a bit of a false start (read me putting the wrong date in the notification email and people turning up on a day when I was doing something else entirely! Ooops), five (plus a cute little three year old) of us enjoyed coffee and a chat. We talked about business, sure, but we also just connected. So many things that one of us said, we could all identify with and the feeling of shared experience was both comforting and encouraging.

We will be aiming to meet once a month and will be sharing our patronage around the various coffee spots in the area. I’m already looking forward to the next meeting! As well as just socialise – which is hugely important – we will be talking about whatever topics are relevant to us as owner/operators essentially working from home. And of course, we get to hear about one another’s businesses, although networking is not the aim of the group.

If you work on your own for the most part, what do you do to stay connected to other people? Do you have a group to bounce ideas around with? People who ‘get’ the ins and outs of business ownership?

If you don’t, why not look for a group in your area, and if there isn’t one, maybe you could start one? It doesn’t take much, and as long as you put the right date on that first email notification, you can’t go wrong! 😉

Ps. I started this group in the Forest Lake area but if there is anyone interested from our other distribution areas, please do feel free to contact me about joining us, or we could even look at starting similar groups in those areas – the world’s our oyster!