Starting and operating your own business can be lonely work. Over 13% of solopreneurs feel isolated, especially if they work from home. Social isolation and loneliness can be dangerous, as it increases anxiety, can cause depression, weaken your immune system and drive up blood pressure. When you're a solopreneur, it's a personal and business necessity to become more social. Consider these positive effects (for you and your business) of finding a community, and our recommended list of community-building strategies.
Benefits of Finding a Community for Solopreneurs
It's important to be sociable and interact with a community every day. Even light conversation and a series of 'hello's can make all the difference in your physical and mental health. Let's dive into some specific benefits.
Create a Network of Like-Minded Business Professionals
When you search for a community through a business lens, you'll find yourself creating a network of business professionals. For example, when you walk into a coworking space, you might chat with another solopreneur as you make coffee or exchange greetings with someone on the other side of the table in your office workspaces. Eventually, you'll build a small library of names and faces—people you look forward to seeing, who you can bounce ideas off and who you might support with referrals (or get referrals from).
Find Investors, Business Partners, and Career Connections
When you prioritize meeting people and forming connections, you'll find more than friends or specialized experts. You can also encounter potential investors—even if they don't invest in your business, they might enjoy sharing some tips. You can also find business partners whose ideas complement your own services. Networking events, hybrid office spaces, and other communal workspaces will help you authentically connect with professionals you might one day hire or who might one day, hire you.
Take Steps Toward a Better Work-Life Balance
Almost all entrepreneurs struggle with work-life balance. Staying all day in private offices and meeting rooms means there's less time to relax with friends. But a great solution is blending the two. Enjoy social but work-related experiences, spend your free-work hours in hospitality-driven coworking spaces so you can take a few breaks with friendly faces, and merge your professional and personal social circles a little so you can spend time in both.
How to Build a Sense of Community As You Work
All those benefits sound great, but getting started can seem like hard work. Taking the first steps toward creating social and professional contacts is well worth the effort, and these three strategies can also make it easier.
1. Work in Coworking Spaces
As you saw from the benefits and examples above, simply spending time in a community-oriented space makes you more likely to form connections, engage in friendly conversations, and build connections in your area—or your area of business. With a coworking space membership, you get office space on demand, virtual office services, and a productive space. But you also get a group of like-minded professionals who also prioritize their business and professional networking, just like you.
2. Join Membership Networks
Membership networks are a fun and functional route to building a sense of community. You can join networking organizations that help you build a referral network, provide coaching or mentorship, or offer other professional benefits. Coworking space memberships also provide access to hard-working entrepreneurs. You can branch out into networking groups and coworking groups to build other associations, such as althetic groups, charitable partnerships, and so on. The important step is joining a network and seeing how the community grows around you.
3. Stay Local
The more you travel, the less time you have to socialize and get work done. Whenever you have administrative and strategic tasks on your schedule—or anything besides field work—staying local can be beneficial. You'll be much more likely to bump into familiar faces, learn the names of the people working near you, and become a familiar face for others.
Get Everything You Need to Feel Like Part of a Community—While Also Building Your Business
At Quest, we provide hospitality-driven coworking spaces throughout Miami and New York City. You can join our membership group for coworking in our private offices, communal workspaces, and conference rooms. You'll find a growing network of entrepreneurs and professionals who are hard at work but also happy to say hello.