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Isolation Busters
   Kids are great isolation busters for those of us who work 
   from home. I have to get out with Meghan all the time. We 
   have playgroup, new moms groups, swim time at the pool and 
   more. But here are some more suggestions to get you out of 
   the house and refocused on what you're doing:
   1. Find networking opportunities, both official and 
   unofficial. For example, join your local Chamber of Commerce, 
   Small Business Association, Networking Club or a volunteer 
   organiziation. Use their meetings both to help your business 
   grow and as an excuse to get out of the house. Unofficially, 
   take yourself to the pool or the park, just to get out, and 
   pledge to yourself that you are going to meet at least 1 
   (or 5 or 10, whatever you are comfortable with) new person 
   while you're there. Introduce yourself to them (comment on 
   their dog, their child, the weather, whatever) and then just 
   chat. If you can find a way to work your business in, great. 
   If not, you met someone new, started a new relationship and 
   expanded your comfort zone. That's enough for the day. (And 
   it got you out of the house)
   2. When you are feeling cooped up, give yourself "permission" 
   to go out. Shop for supplies, go to the printers, check out 
   the competition by visiting local shops. Give yourself a day 
   off to just relax.
   3. Make a date with your spouse for lunch. Make a date with 
   a friend you haven't seen in a while. You HAVE to eat, so 
   you're not really taking much more time for yourself, and it 
   will break up your day and give you a new perspective. Allow 
   yourself that time.
   4. Make a date with a prospective client for lunch. Get to 
   know them better. Wine and dine -- and have fun!
   5. Consider doing home sales parties, at least once per month 
   (for those of you in sales). It gets you out, helps you meet 
   new people and possible customers and lets you work your 
   business while having fun.
   6. Find something you enjoy doing -- that gets you around 
   other people -- during the week and then do it once a week. 
   See a movie matinee every Monday. Or go to a mid-week church 
   service. Or eat your lunch in the park. Or call a friend. 
   The possibilities are endless.
   Just implementing one of these suggestions each week will 
   help you feel less cooped up and will give you some time to 
   relax. Take advantage of it -- you can only run your business 
   if you can think straight!
   (c) Marybeth Henry, 1999
   Marybeth Henry is the Director of WAHMfest TM, dedicated to 
   helping moms stay home by bringing them face-to-face with 
   business opportunities and resources. Visit our site for more 
   information on working from home and be sure to check out our 
   Resource Library for helpful information. She is also the 
   Editor of The Backyard Fence, a FREE weekly ezine for parents 
   that offers money saving tips & recipes, and a place for 
   parents to call their own.



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