While running a freelance business gives you time, money and several other forms of freedom, there’s one major downside: self-employed individuals often times deal with freelancer isolation.
I must admit that I actually miss hanging out with my co-workers at my old job. I was fortunate enough that we all got a long, but even if we hadn’t, it’s natural for us to want to be around other humans.
At some point in my freelancing career, I started to feel like a social recluse. I’d roll out of bed, not even bother changing out of my pajamas, get to work, and before I knew it, it was 6 p.m. and I hadn’t showered. The only people I saw were my brother and the mailman. After a couple of years of this, I could no longer handle the freelancer isolation and had to find solutions.
Get a membership at a co-working space.
Back in December, I decided to bite the bullet and get myself a membership at a local co-working space. I was fortunate enough that a decent space finally opened up near my house and wouldn’t require me to get stuck in traffic.
While, at first, I sort of saw it as money out the door, the reality is it’s some of the best money I’ve ever spent. Twice a week (or more depending on what’s going on in my business) I head on over to my co-working space and interact with other humans. Not only are they other human beings, most of them are also entrepreneurs in their own right. This makes it even more enjoyable because we all have a lot in common.
The reason co-working spaces work so well is because they are actually quite affordable. For $199 a month I can go to the office, enjoy full amenities and sit wherever there is community seating. That’s only $50 bucks a week to help cure your freelancer isolation.
Freelancer meetups are starting to pop up all over the country. From Creative Mornings to local co-working days, freelancers are beginning to actually hang out with each other. I guess we’ve all become tired I’ve being hermits.
To find the meetups in your area, simply head over to Google or Meetup.com and use the search function. Facebook is also a great place to find local events for this kind of stuff.
Hang out with different types of creatives.
Sometimes freelancers tend to only want to hang out with other freelancers just like them. Unfortunately for me, I’m pretty sure I’m the only financial freelance writer left in Miami-Dade County. Most of my colleagues actually live in other parts of the country which really doesn’t help with my freelancer isolation.
However, I have found solace in hanging out with other kinds of freelancers and creatives. More specifically, I have found myself meeting lots of web designers and developers. I learn just as much from them about branding as they do from me about exchange traded funds.
Freelancing is far more normalized than it used to be. That means we have options than ever for interacting with other humans on a more regular basis. Do you have any tips for curing freelancer isolation? Share in the comments below.