The Net Can Be a Lonely Place
By: John Calder
© 2004, John Calder
That sounds strange, doesn't it? With more surfers, marketers, and potential customers coming online everyday, how on earth can the Internet be considered lonely?
For busy marketers working at home full-time, or new marketers who aspire to that, it can be that way. The marketing forums are there, and they're great places to give and receive information, bounce new ideas around, and even occasionally engage in off-topic discussions. Email is perhaps more focused and personally relevant, but in the end, the electronic display isn't all that different from a forum. And you may have an email list with many thousands of subscribers, built through relationship marketing. But even that is done by email or your web site, and there's still no real personal relationship there. If you have a "name" within the Internet marketing community, you may do business over the phone or a voice over IP service, which at least gives some live interaction with another person. But very few are in that position, and most Internet marketers do very little business if any by phone.
Besides all that, marketers are often very busy, especially those working on their business after working at a full-time job. This leaves little time for socializing, and it's all too easy to brush aside opportunities for non-business social gatherings. This can be detrimental to our long term well being. Humans are by nature social creatures - we apparently have a deep-seated need for true social contact with others. Not everyone needs the same amount of contact of course, but even the misfits and loners among us still have a need for personal interaction.
This problem doesn't apply just to marketers - anyone who works exclusively from home may run into this problem too. And the need for direct contact can be particularly important when there are problems, whether business-related or in other areas of life. A bad situation can spiral downward into a much worse situation if you don't have a means of emotional support during those times. Even marketers with spouses or partners can run into this, if they don't receive the needed support at home.
The key is to learn ways to deal with potential isolation and loneliness. It's best if you can create routines and rules for yourself from the very beginning, but if not, it's never too late to change. You should try to get some exercise every day, even a brief walk will do wonders. And trite as it sounds, eat well-balanced meals and try to avoid unhealthy snacking. Long hours sitting in front of the computer need to be countered with movement and a break for your eyes.
Beyond that, see if you can find a group of people that meet regularly. Whether at or through a church, continuing education, a local networking or mastermind group, even volunteer work through civic and charitable organizations, try to find something that interests you, and gets you around happy, positive people.
When working at home alone for long periods of time, it's all too easy to focus inward on ourselves, our business, and our problems. Try to find a way to be around and possibly serve others regularly, in person, to counter that, and you'll be both a better marketer and a better person.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
John Calder is the owner/editor of The Ezine Dot Net. Subscribe Today and get real information YOU can use to help build your online business today! http://www.TheEzine.Net
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