Never Forget A Friend—Fortune Cookie Friday

I hadn’t expected it, but after starting my career as a freelance writer, my circle of friends evolved. Others who went from working for someone else to making aFortune cookie wisdom living through self-employment have told me they’ve experienced the same thing.

As you learn and grow as a solopreneur, your interests, needs, and perspectives change.

It makes sense that who you choose to spend time with and confide in will undergo some alterations. And friendships formed through our businesses can influence us in a big way—personally and professionally.

This week’s fortune, “Never forget a friend, especially if he owes you,” seems a bit cynical at face value.

But if you think more about it, when framed in a small business sense, it’s not. Friendship is about giving—and taking. It’s about balance.

But I know solopreneurs who, while they don’t have any qualms about lending an ear and helping hand, have difficulty asking for help or guidance in return when they need it.

That’s why I choose to see this week’s nugget of wisdom from takeout as a reminder that it’s OK to ask for reciprocity. It’s OK to not always be the strong one. It’s OK to ask for a little help from your friends.

Your turn! How have your friendships and circle of friends evolved since you’ve been self-employed?

 

By Dawn Mentzer

Another Insatiable Solopreneur™ Post

 

 

 

 

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 Thumbs upterritory…

  • 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