The Truth about Being Alone

There is something to be said about reflection and the new energy it generates.

Regardless if the reflection is about something positive or negative, it is another opportunity to change or explore the possibilities of change.

This is not a personal story about being lonely or a love breakup, but about working alone. It is more about discoveries that have generated business growth and expansion of my network. 

This post is part of February’s Word Carnival under the tasty leadership of the Word Chef. Please take time to review all of the other posts written by the other carnies under this months topic.”The Single Most Important Thing You’ve Learned Last Year“! It is always a delight to read the various perspectives under one topic. This month will be really good!

The most important thing I learned in 2011 –  is that it’s OK to BE ALONE…but it’s not ok to STAY ALONE. It was time to do things differently, be confident, and not complacent. A spark was needed.

Stop, Reflect, and Shift

One of the first things that started my shift is when I drove alone from Georgia to California. I learned that determination WILL take you places.  There was plenty of time to be with self and think!

I had nothing but time.  Each day I drove, there was a beginning, a destination, and an end.  Point A to Point B..

Relax…

Enjoy where you are and look forward to where you are going.

Meet the RIGHT people 

I actually love working from home and if I get lonely or need to shift my energy, I head to my office  - Starbucks. 

But my true lesson came as a result of joining and engaging in groups on social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn.

I began to realize that the paid groups I was a part of had not yielded any valuable partnerships.  

I never felt connected.  I met a few people, learned a few things, but nothing that made any long-term impact.  

As a result, I kept it pushing, going it alone.  

Shortly before my departure for LA, I joined a group on Facebook that I really enjoyed.  The group was helpful, friendly and engaging.  

Their energy encouraged me to engage as well. 

A suggestion was posted to sign up for a beta course titled the Test Kitchen.

This course was exactly what I was looking for.  

  • I needed something that would help me re-define my niche.
  • A course that would force me to truly dig deep as to who I really wanted to work with.  
  • Most importantly, uncover who “I” was in my business…what was different about me vs. others.

This was going to be a lengthy commitment and I needed it badly.  The timing worked out because it began a month after I was scheduled to arrive in Los Angeles. 

The course was great. Not only did it meet expectations, it exceeded them.  The connections that manifested, motivated and inspired me like never before.

I learned once again,  that we have to invest time IN ourselves if we want to EXPAND who we are, even if we don’t have time. We must open up.

Support Others

It’s key that those we connect with are supportive.  One connection will lead to another and so on. Supporting others that support you is a winning situation for anyone.

Opening up, admitting that something was not working and and a change was necessary, being vulnerable, allowing new energy, and stepping out of the norm was scary. BUT……it feels pretty damn good right now!

How has joining groups on any social network helped your business? If you have not explored that yet, why not?

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Michelle Church

Marketing Support Specialist at Virtually Distinguished
As a marketing support specialist I help entrepreneurs implement and maintain marketing strategies that enhances their online and offline presence. I build and maintain wordpress websites, blogs, email marketing and more. I am passionate about helping others accomplish their goals and taking on the tasks that consume time and money.
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  • http://blog.emilysuess.com Emily Suess

    I’m learning so much from all of the Word Carnival posts this month. (Go figure, huh?) My default is to want to work alone without distractions, but I can’t discount the great strides I make when I open myself up to learning from colleages and peers. Thanks for sharing your experience with Test Kitchen. I’m going to have to bookmark it for myself in case it opens up again.

    • http://virtuallydistinguished.com Michelle Church

      Welcome Emily!  This is a great group of people and I look forward to this time of month…(except for the pressure of writing the post! :) ) But it is such a welcome challenge to come up with something so cool how everyone is so different on the same topic, I just LOVE that.  Looking forward to reading yours!  THANKS!

  • Pingback: Biggest Business Lessons of 2011 | Word Carnivals

  • http://www.thewordchef.com Tea Silvestre

    Um. WOW. Thank you for sharing your story (and the Test Kitchen), Michelle! It’s so important for us solopreneurs to find a way to stay connected. We humans are social creatures, and need the feedback and interaction of relationships if we’re going to have any chance at growing and getting better (personally and professionally). I heart this post!

    • http://virtuallydistinguished.com Michelle Church

      Thanks Tea…You are the queen of connecting and  very grateful each day to be in this journey with you!

  • clarestweets

    Loved you comment that we need to conenct with supportive people. I have also joined (and left) networking and leads groups that were all about the “gimme” and the “what can you do for me.” Care and sharing is what it is all about and you do it so well! I agree with Tea — I heart this post too.   

    • http://virtuallydistinguished.com Michelle Church

      Thanks Clare…I try…It is about sharing…I had a line in there originally about the selfishness of some that gets to me and I have a serious pet peeve about being pitched to when you haven’t tried to know me.  I just love the getting to know part…it is time consuming but so worth it in the in.  Thanks for being so supportive Clare!

  • http://twitter.com/parkrideflyusa Sharon – ParkRideFly

    Love this, Michelle – so often we go it alone when we don’t have to and there’s value in knowing when you need support and how to use that support. Thanks for sharing this lesson.

    • http://virtuallydistinguished.com Michelle Church

      Hey Sharon…Thanks mucho

  • http://www.thenumberswhisperer.com/ Nicole Fende

    As an extremely extroverted person, I *need* that interaction.  Michelle you did a great job of pointing out why some groups work and others don’t.  The biggest take-away for me – if I join a group I need to be sure the people in it aren’t only out for themselves.  In the end they become psychic vampires, not business boosters.  

    • http://virtuallydistinguished.com Michelle Church

      Thanks Nicole.  I have been in some groups that were true psychic vampires…I love that phrase! You rock!

  • http://www.facebook.com/netbillboards Tom George

    Michelle I am happy to have partnered with you, after all true networking is a partnership. You have a winning attitude and an indelible spirit. Your future is bright and your many talents will be and are much appreciated. So with that said, let’s let the good times roll.

    • http://virtuallydistinguished.com Michelle Church

      Wow Tom…your energy is enlightening and I happy to have begun a new partnership with you. I am always willing to lend a hand.  I am so ready to let the good times roll…things are happening and I am very grateful to have you in my circle!

  • http://www.IAmNickArmstrong.com/ Nick Armstrong

    Michelle, 

    Great advice – I love your very first point: it’s not beneficial to stay alone.

    My favorite Trek is Voyager – and Janeway had no support. She was the captain and had to be in that role with no peers, alone, for seven years. There’s this great episode where she and her first officer are marooned, and just as she learns to let her guard down – they’re rescued. While through the rest of the series, she had her first officer as a sounding board, the lesson was always (and almost always) it’s lonely at the top.

    The truth about freelancing or owning your own business is that you just can’t do that. Even with your competition – you have to know the players and have relationships with them to stay alive. I call it co-opitition.

    One of my favorite mentors was a counselor. He’d give away as many of his secrets away for free as he could think of – to his competition, no less. His reasoning was that there were more than enough crazy people for everybody to be able to have a great living – and he lived very comfortably.

    Thanks for the great article!

    • http://virtuallydistinguished.com Michelle Church

      I so love how you bring in Star Trek! Appreciate your comments greatly and especially co-opitition! Thanks Nick!

  • Psychedradio

    Ms. Church: I appreciate your work.  Ms. Hicks

    • http://virtuallydistinguished.com Michelle Church

      Thanks you…I appreciate that!

  • http://learnit2earnitwithlynn.com Lynn Brown

    Good advice Michelle … stop, reflect, shift.  I have learned to accept change in a positive way.  And having others to support you through times of difficult change is very positive.  Social groups can provide that and give you that sense of working through things with others just a keystroke away. 

    • http://virtuallydistinguished.com Michelle Church

      Thanks Lynn!  Appreciate your comments greatly!