All self-employed business women need a support network, if they want to be successful. A support network isn’t about outsourcing the work that you don’t have time to do (although this is an excellent idea), in fact, it isn’t really even about getting help for your business at all. A support network is about getting help for you.
The importance of having a support network
A support network is a group of peers and/or friends that are there for each other. Whenever you need advice or support, there’s someone you can turn to. They may even be able to help give you any training you need, as your business progresses. Predominantly though, they’re there for each other, supporting everyone in the group to be the best they can be, listen when you need to vent and encouraging you to step up, when you doubt your own abilities.
Working from home can be lonely
So many mums are now opting to work for themselves at home. They get to earn an income whilst also being there for their family – but this comes at a price. Most of your working day is spent alone. Your interaction is through digital means, either video calls, email or social media. When you’re employed by a company, you have human interaction on daily basis, and the transition to self-employed home worker, can be tough. Even veteran home-workers can struggle with the loneliness – and this is where your support network comes in.
Hiding behind the laptop
When we work from home, it can be easy to drop into the habit of not interacting with the outside world. We may start dressing for comfort, rather than work, not going out and socialising, as it’s ‘too much of a hassle’ and generally using our laptop as our refuge to hide behind.
Inspiration and motivation
The loneliness, hiding and lack of human interaction can negatively affect your motivation, mood and energy levels and, if you’re not careful, you can end up turning you into a depressed, lonely hermit!
Turn to your support network
This is where your support network comes in. You know there’s always someone you can call, regardless of whether you just want to hear another human’s voice or meet up for coffee. They have your best interests at heart, so they’ll often notice that you’re starting to hide before you do, so can give you a gentle nudge to get out and enjoy life outside of your home.
A support network gives you a trusted space to share your deepest fears and worries. Listening without judgement and giving you the advice and motivation to step past those fears and worries. However, it also gives you a chance to be part of a bigger picture. You get the chance to support someone else and be an inspiration for others – leading you to live up to that supportive, inspirational role you’ve been given.
And sometimes we don’t need them to do anything except be there. It can simply be reassuring and rewarding enough, knowing that there’s just someone out there who is cheering you on and who has your back, if ever you should need it.
Do you have a support network in place? If you haven’t, who could you approach, to start making it your reality? If you already do have a support network in place, how can you be a more effective member of the group? Why not share your thoughts and experiences in the comments box below!
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