Wednesday, 25 November 2009


As we reinvent our work lives, more of us are working very differently from our parents’ generation. Lots of us don’t work Monday to Friday in offices anymore, we work from home, from cafes, we work ‘on the road’. That’s all very liberating but it does create challenges for the work-at-homers, the solo-entrepreneurs, the freelancers and the self-employed: yep, it can get lonely.

It’s like Phill Jupitus said to me recently. As a one-man stand up comedy act, gigging could be a lonely business. But now he’s joined the cast of Hairspray he’s really enjoying being part of a team of around 50, comprising crew and cast. And being part of a team feels good.

But it’s not just the social benefit. Teaming up with others is essential for providing more klout on a project or offering. I’ve spent the last week or so meeting lots of new people talking collaboration, thinking about areas where we can team up to develop and implement new projects and ideas.

Have a think about collaboration that can give you that social and business reinvigoration:

- organise a Tweet-up with your social media friends, or arrange to meet up next time you visit their city (I had a lunch last week in Edinburgh with two women I’d met on Twitter; great meeting new people and transferring online relationships into face to face ones).

- Start a neighbourhood coffee club for people in your industry or for like minded souls in your locality

- Collaborate with someone on running a workshop or event

- Partner with someone with complementary skills on an idea or project

- Join a co-working space or membership club to hang out and work alongside others

Remember, collaboration doesn’t have to be about making money; it’s always stimulating meeting new people and working in a team is often more fun than doing it solo. You can be more productive and it can fuel better ideas and results.


Judy Heminsley said...

Hi Ian
I couldn't agree more and what amazing synchronicity! My friend and mentor Nick Williams tweeted about this post just after I tweeted my new guide on starting your own Jelly!
Jelly is a casual coworking event for freelancers and home workers and achieves precisely what you describe. It's becoming very popular here in the South West and we're getting enquiries from people in other areas as to how to start it. There's a guide on my website that we hope will help many people working alone to find company and new projects.
Collaboration is the keyword for the new decade!
Best wishes

Ian Sanders said...

Thanks for that Judy, glad it resonated with you. Jelly sounds a great idea, and much needed for freelacers and home workers who find working for themselves - by themselves - a little too solitary