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Do you work on your own?

Do you work on your own?

I work with one member of staff. We get on well and working is fun. She is off for a few days and may be leaving due to family commitments.

Working on my own is hell. It is so boring. My productivity has gone down. I feel down and need company. I cannot have conversations about my ideas and advise and help my staff.

How do you handle working on your own? (Keep it clean!)


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By thomas
14th Mar 2012 15:54

I work from home and on my own. It can be lonely.

I do a fair amount of networking, to build relationships but mainly to talk to people.

The worst aspect of working for yourself is the lack of an office environment, mainly not having any one to talk ideas through with.  Sometimes saying it out loud to someone clarifies things!

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14th Mar 2012 16:11

I couldn't do it

I worked on my own for a while and hated it, and I even hate it when my employee is on holiday but I tolerate it.

Are you considering not replacing her if she leaves?

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14th Mar 2012 16:15

It will not be easy

Shirley - I am so happy with her, I hope she does not leave. I will replace her if she does. It will be so difficult. 

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14th Mar 2012 16:24


I have music on - which I always switch off when the phone rings....

And then I spend far too long reading comments on accounting web when I get bored.

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14th Mar 2012 16:28


Lets sum this up ... 

1) You get on well and working is fun ... i.e. it doesn't feel like work

2) Your productivity has gone down while she is off ... i.e. you are daydreaming

3) You need company ... i.e. you miss her

4) You hope she doesn't leave ... i.e. you'll be heartbroken

5) You will try to replace her ... i.e. there are other fish in the sea


I hope she isn't married!!



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14th Mar 2012 16:29

It may not happen, but if it does ....

I would be distraught if my employee left, but I wouldn't pressure her, or expect her to put my needs before her own.

Have you chatted to see if a compromise can be made (different working hours or something that will help her) so you both come out winners?

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14th Mar 2012 16:48

Hangon here

She will get my full support in whatever she decides. They would be no pressure from me.

I do not fancy her. We get on well. It is fun working.

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14th Mar 2012 17:20


You are discovering things about yourself and Shirley that you did not know?

You always thought it was a working relationship....


Anyway I have also just started working on my own and it is boring. It helps when you are very busy, So get busy.

You can always shout your ideas out on this forum

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By Luke
14th Mar 2012 17:39

I work on my own

and vary very much from being very productive and efficient to the opposite extreme when I end up making a 1hr bit of work take 4 hours by the time I've read aweb, mucked around unncessarily with some spreadsheet or other, made a cuppa, quickly caught up with another item etc etc.  Pressure and deadlines are good to make me more productive but if that dealine is a couple of weeks away, things can tend to slip.

I find I go to clients more than they come here as it suits me to go out and about, I also talk to them more probably and I have to make sure I do something social in the week rather than just waiting for the other half to come home so that I have someone to talk to.

I also like music sometimes and have the radio on the PC as long as it's not something I really need to be super concentrated for.

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By Flash Gordon
14th Mar 2012 19:35

Love it

I love working on my own!

I really don't do people except in very small doses. For me a week is ruined if I have one single solitary client visit / courier turning up etc. When they were coming up with a description of an introvert they just wrote down all my characteristics!

I have dvds on as background when I'm doing 'non-thinking' stuff (silence when I need to concentrate) and 2 cats and a dog for company. I'll admit I do have conversations with them out loud where I provide their answers too but hey. I do surf the internet when I'm a bit bored but that's when I don't have much proper work on. Never had a problem motivating myself to work but I'd struggle now if I was in an office surrounded by people! The one thing I'd like sometimes is someone to bounce ideas off - I've got a good mate who's great at that but works full-time and has a busy life outside work so finding the opportunity to catch up doesn't really coincide with the need to splurge ideas. But then I write stuff down - out of my head onto paper really helps.

Maybe you should get an inflatable person to stand in for your employee while she's away (and I don't mean this in a dodgy fashion!) - you could sit them at a desk and have your normal conversation but just pretend they'd lost their voice or were a bit shy..... Well it would stop you being bored even if they weren't that productive themselves, but maybe don't arrange for any clients to stop by....

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By rslosek
to Tornado
16th Mar 2012 18:52

There is a specialist networking for introverts


They're on Meetup and Facebook and have real live meetings -

You also might like Lisa Petrilli's posts -

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14th Mar 2012 20:15

use webex or go to meeting to stay in touch

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15th Mar 2012 02:03

Why isn't accountancy enough?

I started my business working on my own, from home, and remember getting a real buzz from being in & out with clients & other contacts, or spending the whole day with a set of naff books at home trying to get the bank to rec.  I found building the business, the constant changes and learning new stuff fulfilling and don't remember being bored or at a loose end.

I've been through various partnerships & offices since and 6 years ago ended up again as a sole practitioner with 3-4 staff.  Next month I make my final staff member redundant and go back to working from home, with an online colleague who lives 50 miles away, and what you describe is what I fear because, basically, I've had enough, I've worn out accounancy & the commercial world and/or it's worn out me.

I still have to run a home and so my way to cope is to keep on reducing the clients & workload till I "account" 2-3 days a week and can get fired up again with the rest of my time.

Sorry didn't mean to ramble but the bottom line is why is your job not enough to keep you fired up?

Thanks (1)
15th Mar 2012 06:36


Thanks. I always find your comments helpful even though I do not always agree with them. I hope you never retire from AW.

For me job alone is not enough since I need to share my experience and ideas with a human. I need someone to discuss my views on clients, new ideas,  marketing etc. AW is great and it really helps.  I also need a person who I can share my experience with.

In my blogs I have said that  I am happy with my own company. This is not the case during work days.

It is interesting to see  how different we are.



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15th Mar 2012 10:24

Working alone but not lonely

I work from home most of the time but I have an office I can use for meetings etc. The hardest thing about working on my own is getting started. I could easily spend the first hour faffing about on AWeb, Facebook etc. However, this was no different to when I was working in an office except it was other people encroaching on my time having chats about their kids, pets, other half and last evening's match.

Once I get going, I am super productive. I get more done working on my own in a quiet office than I did in a busy noisy practice due to the lack of distractions.

I do like going out to meet clients and to network. I come back to the (home) office buzzing with energy,

I don't know how long you are in business, but I am in the first few months. It is not a busy time of year and I don't have enough work to keep myself occupied for a full work week, even with all the networking and marketing work to do. I find the work stretches out to match the time available, so what I have decided to do is to reduce my working hours by taking say a half day on Friday to spend with family or a few hours off during the week to go to the gym etc. My productivity has increased and I know I am spending my time more wisely.

I recently stumbled across this blogpost about productivity for solopreneurs. I haven't set up a "Board" but the advice was a kick that I needed:


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15th Mar 2012 09:44

Luke and Cardigan

Thanks for your open response

Cardigan your link  is very helpful.

The blog raises a point I have been thinking about more recently - being accountantable to someone. Same as board accountability that I am so used to. I am thinking about my sister who is highly experienced would be a great help and keep me on my toes.

In terms of work - I have so far not been in a position where it is slow. I do not think I ever will be.That's just me (not showing off). I alway find things to do. Examples -Marketing, systems, paperwork sort, electronic files sort etc.



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15th Mar 2012 10:01

Peace & quiet!

Having previously had a room in someone else's offices, it did seem very quiet when I first started working from home but now I love it. I've had workmen in my house every week day for four weeks and have become desperate for a day on my own - even though they are great people and lovely to chat to. Today is the first day without workmen here - but my son is at home because he's not well! (mind you - he's so quiet I keep forgetting he's here). Although I am most definitely a people person - I'm also happy with my own company and that's crucial for working alone.

Re productivity, I can recommend having a plaster cast on your leg. This has increased my productivity dramatically as I can't be distracted by household chores, gardening, shopping, eating, the school run etc and am tied to my desk! It is also an excellent diet aid as it is too much effort to go and get food - and you can only eat what can be easily carried in one hand (as the other is needed to hold the crutch).

Like Cardigan, I take a while to get going in the morning - I have to read the news and Aweb before I do any work!

Hmm - time to hobble downstairs check my boy's fevered brow and make a cup of coffee, I think!


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By Old Greying Accountant
15th Mar 2012 10:45

I'm lucky ...

... there is just me in my firm and my office is in an annex so it is nice and quiet , but I share with another firm (it's complicated!), but if I need some company I can just troll over to the main building and collect the post or do some copying on their A3 copier, i.e. find someone to chat to and scrounge some biscuits!

Dog comes in at least once a week to give the wife a free day so we walk down to the bank and come back the long way round through the park.

When it's too quiet or if it is really mind-numbing work I put music on or catch up on tv/radio progammes, just catching up with last nights  'Archers as I type! 


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15th Mar 2012 10:48

I Love working by myself ....

and like Flash I tend to glare at the phone when it rings! Ok, none of us are perfect and I find myself on ebay or some car forum far more often that I might than if I was in an office with grown ups. BUT, that's the attraction of this job ... I can do what I want when I want and as long as the work gets done (it always does) then nobody cares how I get there. Sometimes Mrs H is here when between contracts and that's nice but in 11 years I have never once considered this anything other than the best job in the world!

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By Luke
15th Mar 2012 12:50

Not lonely

To clarify, I'm not lonely and generally like my own company.  It is just that I need to make sure I see others to avoid me retreating into my own world to the exclusion of others.  I know that company is good for me so make sure I have some company at some stage during the working week.

I just need to be consistent on the productivity side of it.

Cathy, I'm pleased to hear the plaster cast has that effect, I am having knee surgery in April/May so hope that will have the same effect here!!

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16th Mar 2012 06:37

website link

I have been trying to access the website below without success. Anyone know what the problem is?


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to Dummuth Erfar-Kerr
16th Mar 2012 08:54

Website down according to Twitter

The website is down according to his Twitter page. It was ok yesterday.


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16th Mar 2012 09:00


Thanks. I looked at it yesterday and it was okay as you say.

I hope it is back up soon. It had helpful information. It is a good website. 

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