You’ve worked long and hard to go into private practice. You never worried about isolation. It’s everything that you’ve ever dreamed of.
You now have the freedom to create your own schedule, work with the people you want to work with and choose how much to be paid. Sure, you knew it would be hard work. That never scared you, you’ve always wanted to live by your own rules anyway. And the corporate back stabbing and drama? Who needs it anyway?!
As you slide into the rhythm of your new work schedule, you can’t help but notice how quiet it’s become.
To shake up your routine and gather some human connection, you reach out to a few of your old co-workers and maybe a family friend or two, but it quickly becomes crystal clear that they have busy jobs that don’t allow for a mid-morning coffee break call to “catch-up” on what’s new in their lives.
As much as we all dream and celebrate the life of a solo-preneur, it is definitely not for the faint of heart. It can be very lonely and leave you feeling incredibly isolated. If left unchecked it can lead to negative feelings. Feelings of self-doubt and insecurity. You wonder and worry if you are making the right decisions for your practice, and that can lead to stagnated productivity.
You may even be wondering who you could possibly talk to about it. Many of your friends and family members wouldn’t understand your business challenges and decisions even if they did have the time to talk to you throughout the day. After all, these are your challenges, right?
While being in business for yourself certainly can leave you feeling lonely and isolated, it doesn’t have to. With the right plan and structure in place being a solo-preneur can actually leave you feeling very satisfied and motivated. Here are a few tips to get the ball rolling.
Establish a Routine – When you worked for someone else, you had a definite starting and stopping time for your day. You built your life around that structure. Because of that you had a sense of anticipation for certain times of the day, what you would do before and after work, how you would enjoy the weekend, etc. While you certainly have the power to adjust your own schedule as you see fit, having a routine goes a long way to increasing that sense of comfort when you know what will happen throughout the day.
Exercise – Beginning your day with exercise if possible goes a long way to lifting your mood and setting the pace for the remainder of the day. It can also help with insomnia. Something many solo-preneurs deal with. Once those endorphins kick in, you’re ready to come back to your desk and tackle the day at hand. If you can’t do it before the beginning of the day, how about taking an exercise class at the end of your day where you can interact with people? Groupon has discounts on all sorts of classes.
Social Media Groups – The internet is filled with social media groups for just about any type of private practice out there. Practitioners, dentists, coaches, and small business owners all have social media groups where people can go and share their particular challenges and victories. Seeing others in the same situation you’re in, can be uplifting and motivating. Just jump in there and keep the dialogue going. Build relationships with people, it will be good for you and your business.
Networking – As a private practice owner, you’re likely always in business building mode to keep your schedule filled with paying clients. How about focusing some time each week on networking with your target market. It will do you good to strike up conversations with people and will keep your business building skills sharp.
An Accountability Partner – As someone who networks on a regular basis, I can tell you that the social media groups that I joined were of great support to me. Having met with like-minded individuals, I built some lasting relationships with a few. Today I have accountability calls with them once a week. We get on a call and we allow ourselves a few minutes to vent and get rid of any negative energy that’s stored up and then we transition into what our goals are for the week and make a commitment to what we’re going to achieve. I can tell you that this has been such a source of motivation for me! I get off the call with a sense of motivation and purpose, KNOWING that I have to achieve what I said I was going to do because my accountability partner is going to ask me about it next week!
Volunteer Work – Offering to help out once a week can also shake off that feeling of isolation. If anything, it will accomplish the opposite as you volunteer your time to something much larger than yourself. It’s hard to feel isolated when you’re helping someone in need. The beauty here is that if you are building your own routine/schedule, you have the opportunity to build in giving back in a really beautiful way.
There’s no question that having your own private practice can leave you with a feeling of loneliness and isolation, but with a little structure and organization, you’ll soon go back to feeling like you have the most rewarding work on the planet!
We’d love to hear your ideas and experiences that have helped you keep the isolation at bay and replace it with new found motivation!