If you work for yourself, you probably have experienced a little bit of entrepreneurship blues. I’ve been a freelance photographer for 5 years now. 40% of my job involves interacting with my clients at shoots and such (which is my FAVORITE part) and the other 60% is me behind the computer answering emails, sorting through photos, editing, etc.
For the first few years of my freelance life, I didn’t have many friends that were freelance as well, so my 60% was spent alone at home, with a movie or music on getting to the work. After a while, things got lonely and boring. I started introducing cafe’s and that helped because at least I was then surrounded by other people working, but I started missing the interaction I had with my co-workers.
I remembered that we would chat about the highs and lows of work. I had someone to ask for help, or someone to cheer me up when I was felt like quitting. Someone to bounce ideas off, share resources with, and someone to laugh with when random work shenanigans would pop, off. Someone that was in the same field and understood and shared my struggles. I missed that.
Instagram really helped me to meet new freelance friends. Meeting up in person over coffee was great, the conversation alone was so instrumental in getting through some tough freelance challenges. I remember I hit off with one friend in particular and we would meet-up weekly. She became my accountability partner, soundboard, idea-runner-offer, and much more. Sometimes we’d be working at home and be on facetime simultaneously until we just decided we’d bring our laptops to a local coffee shop and work together in-person.
I’m always documenting things in pictures, and so I started to dub out meet-ups “Office Hours,” on Instagram. For about 4-5 hours a few times a week we’d be clocked in together in our little cafe office, getting our work done. It was a nice thing to look forward to and switched up the pace from ONLY working at home. More of our friends wanted to join in, experiencing the same loneliness we were, and so Office Hours became a “thing.”
In June, I thought it would be cool to extend the opportunity to our online audiences and thus Office Hours was born. The first event hosted over 40 female business owners, and it was such a great experience. So many business friendships were formed, and I’m keeping things going.
Be sure to follow the Office Hours Club on Facebook to meet some new ladies and hopefully have some Office Hours hangouts of your own and sign up for Office Hours Club Newsletter to be alerted to when the next Office Hours will come to your city!