It’s no secret that running your own business, and running it from home, can be isolating. As awesome as it is to get work done in your pajamas, there comes a time when you start becoming a little desperate for some human interaction.
I remember when I first started freelancing many years ago it was kind of difficult to make new friends who actually got what I did for a living. Even just two years ago it was difficult for me to make friends in my local area because I felt like there was nowhere for freelancers like me to hang out.
Fast forward a few years and the economy is very different. Freelancing and entrepreneurship are on an upswing and there are far more opportunities to make new friends.
Start going to a coworking space.
I love my coworking space. Even if I just go to work there twice a week, it’s worth it for the human interaction. I’ve not just made new friends, I’ve made new friends who actually get what freelancing is about. This is extremely helpful in times when I want to share a win or maybe vent out some frustrations.
Additionally, after working from home for two years, it’s actually really fun to hang out with other human beings around lunch time. I actually really miss this part of working from an office. Having lunch and goofing around with my coworkers was awesome for me, and it was a bit lonely to eat at home every day.
Check out local meetups.
Since freelancing and entrepreneurship are on an upswing, you may have noticed that there are now endless meetups and networking opportunities for creatives and people who work in startups.
Granted, they’ve been around in cities like San Francisco and New York for some time, but it took a little while for them to pop up in the rest of the country (at least this has been my experience in South Florida).
Now that more events are popping up around the country, see if you can actually attend a few and make new friends. For example, I’m usually at a CollabMiami or Blogger Union event once or twice a month. Creative Mornings are also popular and can found across the country,
Start heading to conferences.
I saved the best for last. Back before there were meetups popping up everywhere, most of my entrepreneurial friends were online friends. We’d somehow found each other via Twitter or Facebook and make new friends.
The friendships, however, went to another level when we all started hanging out in person at blogging conferences. There is nothing cooler than meeting friends, most of which you’ve met online through Facebook groups or Twitter, in person.
Make sure to research conferences within your niche and see if they have online communities which you can use to make new friends throughout the year.