Like so many female entrepreneurs who have set up their own small business, I work alone. As an online life coach and NLP practitioner, I have no need to rent an office or a desk at a co-working space, neither do I need to employ staff. I fly solo and I hold the fort on my own.
Masses of women work this way today, handling the various aspects of their business themselves, just calling on other solopreneur experts for additional services or help that they may need. When I look at my closest female friends, they do the same, working from home or in cafes and booking a freelancer for the odd job.
My office is now an island
When I decided to leave the corporate world and set up my own business, I chose to pursue a career in coaching for two reasons. Firstly, after my own profound and life-changing experience with a coach I wanted to help as many women as possible realise their own potential and create the life they really wanted to live. I am happy to say this has come to fruition and it is incredibly rewarding work.
Secondly, I wanted to be a location independent business owner. I love to travel and I wanted my work and business to allow me to be anywhere in the world. Having travelled and worked as a digital nomad for a few years, I am now settled on an island in the Gulf of Thailand. There are other business owners here, but it is a different energy to being in the city and very alternative to operating in a ‘typical’ working environment.
Human connection is key
I find endless benefits to running my own business singlehandedly, yet there are some things that I – and most solopreneurs I have met - miss; namely the valuable human interaction and connection that comes with being part of an organisation. We miss running the show with other human beings and having the chance to bounce ideas off one another, share concerns and find solutions, brainstorm a new concept, discuss how the week has gone on a Friday afternoon and share our successes (and failures); plus having someone (like a boss) to hold us accountable for our output and deadlines and someone (like a supportive colleague) to take our work woes to the wine bar with after hours.
Finding the treasure
My own experience - and subsequent research into how I could fill this growing void - led me here to DrivenWoman, a global accountability club for ambitious women. On a recent visit to see family and friends in the UK, I signed up for a Lifeworking Workshop in London hosted by DrivenWoman founder, Miisa Mink. A friend in PR came along with me as she too works alone at home.
Oh the joy of sitting with likeminded women in a similar boat to me! All of us at the meeting feeling the need to be part of something, to have a ‘team’ around us. We shared our stories and our goals and offered support and connections. Miisa led us through some valuable exercises which provided insight and guidance on our own individual next steps.
Being a remote worker, I still wanted to be part of the DrivenWoman group and am now a happy member of their online Academy, an online portal and group for women like me who cannot attend a regular in-person meeting. It is perfect for my location independent lifestyle.
This online network has given me back much of the human interaction that I have missed out on. Even though I do not see my fellow members in the flesh, there is connection and support between us and an openness that if I’m honest, only women with women can share.
1. I finally feel part of a team again
Despite us all running our own businesses and doing our own thing, the DrivenWoman Academy online group has given me the support a team would have done back in my office days.
2. I have an accountability partner
The Academy teamed me up with a great partner to hold each other accountable. We share our weekly SMART goal with each other on a Sunday and report back on a Friday. In between, we share messages of support and inspirational quotes.
3. I am in a community
I check in daily to our Facebook group and vibe off other members’ activities and enthusiasm.
4. I am encouraged to grow and develop
The organisers regularly set a weekly challenge which keeps me on my toes; it’s akin to a HR personal development program.
5. I am happier and more content
Knowing I have this support network to turn to has reduced any worries or anxious feelings that would have escalated had I stayed in my own bubble.
Faith Hill is a life coach and NLP practitioner, and a DrivenWoman Academy member living in Thailand.
DrivenWoman is an accountability club that helps ambitious women to achieve their goals and dreams. Thousands of women around the world have joined our program and are achieving their life goals, which range from entrepreneurial dreams to career change or simply being more confident in their own skin and enjoying life in the present moment.
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