While 2020 was pretty isolating for all of us, now that salons are open and people are heading back to work, the feelings of disconnection can linger for this of us whose ‘normal’ working arrangement has us spend most of our time without colleagues.

“When people decide to hop into customer-focused business as a sole trader, they can often assure themselves they won’t be lonely because they’ll be around clients all day,” says workplace psychologist Annie Preston. “But what many quickly find is that there can be a lack of support of camaraderie that really mostly comes from having workmates around.”

With 62% of Australia’s small businesses being made up of solo entrepreneurs, here are some tips to help you feel connected and supported.

Join social media groups
A quick squiz around your favourite platforms will turn up groups of people in similar situations as yours, says Annie. “Facebook is especially good for having forums where people can bounce ideas off each other, ask for advice, or run ideas past each other.” Just be careful not to share any information that you wouldn’t share in person, like your financials, addresses or personal information.

Network…in person
With COVID-19 mostly under control, people are heading back into the world, and networking events are kicking off  again. Not sure where to start? Check out the Federal Government’s online networking tool, to help you find out what’s on in your area, and aligned to your business interests.

Find a mentor 

Perhaps it was your first ever boss, or one of your teachers. Whoever it is that you look up to, having a mentor ensures that you’re connected to someone that can help you steer your beauty business in the right direction. “When we work alone, we can sometimes lack the direction or discipline that we would have working with others. Having a mentor that knows us and has our best interests at heart is a great idea,” says Annie. “Have a regular catch-up booked in, where you can brainstorm ideas, run through anything that’s bothering you, and really feel invigorated to keep going.”

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