Alone time can be a major perk of the solopreneur lifestyle. When I worked in an office, I always struggled to hold my focus with people in and out of my workspace, and it was difficult to regain once my concentration was thrown. Now, working from home gives me opportunities to fall into a “flow” with greater ease and for longer periods than ever before.
However, there are times when I miss having coworkers. I miss having someone’s office or cubicle to walk to when I want to blow off steam or am stuck on a project. And every now and again, I actually miss creating things with people. So, I actively seek out opportunities to collaborate with people on projects in my niche. It’s refreshing to bounce ideas off someone, challenge one another, and share a final product with multiple audiences.It can be refreshing to bounce ideas off a new mind...and share a final product with multiple audiences. Click To Tweet
If you’re a solopreneur craving collaborators, here are a few places to find your next teammate:
Meetups and Networking Events
If you live and work in a city with a thriving population of independent workers and solopreneurs, seeking out networking opportunities could yield interesting results. National outlets like WeWork, Creative Mornings, and General Assembly host events on a regular basis where you can meet new people. A quick hello before a session starts or an elevator ride after an event could lead you places you never thought you’d go—so even if you hate “networking,” it’s worth it to slap on a nametag and head in!
Another category of face-to-face encounter that I like to include under the umbrella of meetups: volunteering. Even if you sign up to share your time with a food bank, road race, or children’s center, you often meet likeminded people when you venture out into the world to do good. Strike up conversation with the people around you, see what they do day-to-day, and look for interesting connections.
Not the face-to-face meetup type? Worry not, there are virtual options for making these connections as well.
Hashtags and Twitter Chats
If there are hashtags specific to the industry or niche in which you work, browse the people who post in that space and reach out. Alternatively, if you want to include a differing perspective from yours on a project, look for people with something interesting but dissenting from you. Seek out their contact information to send them an email or private message to connect.There is such a thing as professional DM sliding, I promise! Click To Tweet
Done well, “professional DM sliding” can be the start of a fun and fruitful partnership.
Send Some Fan Mail
People love getting mail that isn’t bills, especially if those messages aren’t spam. After all, it’s always nice to know that your work is appreciated! So if you have a photographer that you follow on Instagram whose work always catches your eye, an artist whose work sparks something in you, or perhaps a blogger or columnist whose pieces resonate with you, send them a letter!
Now, it’s not a given that this piece of fan mail will yield an offer to work together. In fact, it’s pretty likely it won’t—but they do have the potential to start a relationship. Unlike the fan letters we used to send to heartthrobs as kids, these letters stand a stronger chance of standing out and making an impact. Relating on a professional and personal level could uncover commonalities that would be a natural fit for a joint project.
And ultimately, that’s the deeper purpose a collaboration is designed to fulfill. Whether the final product ends up being a podcast, joint article, shared promotion, co-taught class, or anything else you could choose to team up on, it’s about making the solopreneur world feel a little less lonely. Even when we know the work we do is important, it can be hard to feel that way with little interaction or feedback. Consider collaboration as a way to keep your work fresh, original, challenging, and rewarding.