An Unexpected Benefit of Being a Solopreneur
When I decided to follow the self-employment path, I had some expectations of the perks that would come with the territory…
- Flexible schedule
- Freedom to pursue the type of work I love most
- Less drama and politics than in a corporate setting
- More control over my workload
But there was one immense benefit of being a solopreneur that I didn’t see coming – new friendships.
As a result of networking both online and off, working closely with clients and their clients, volunteering with community organizations, and joining local business groups, I’ve made a lot of professional connections. And in the process, I’ve made some near and dear friends. Friends who are ever-encouraging and truly understand the triumphs and terrors of being in business for yourself.
Don’t misunderstand…I love my non-business-affiliated friends from before I became a solopreneur, too. But I’ve found the friendships with roots that trace back to in-common professional experiences to be a directly positive influence on my attitude and motivation toward entrepreneurship.
Some ways my friendships formed from professional beginnings enrich my life include…
- They provide a willing and experienced “sounding board” for sharing entrepreneurial thoughts, ideas and fears.
- They help me sort through problems and challenges some other friends might not be able to relate to.
- They sometimes guide me to professional opportunities I otherwise wouldn’t have found.
- They show me how to laugh and maintain the fun in business even when the going gets tough.
Of course, friendship is a two-way street! I strive to return the same level of support and encouragement to my business-based friends. It’s that healthy give and take that I believe makes these friendships so powerful and satisfying.
So, as you follow the road to being a solopreneur, expect your circle of friends to grow and change over time. But never ever force a friendship for the purpose of professional gain. As with any other friendship, one with its beginnings based in business should happen naturally – quite simply because you genuinely like each other.
Your turn! How has being in business for yourself changed your circle of friends? What professionally-related activities have led you to new friendships?
Image courtesy of photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net