By February 10, 2011 Read More →

Isolation – the biggest dream killer for home workers

Home workers meeting for coffeeI’ve worked from home for over 20 years and found that being able to pick and choose my time with other people suits my tendency to introversion. Despite being happy with my own company, however, I’ve always been surprised by how often I need to ‘top up’ by getting out and talking to others. But often I’ve abandoned plans for trips out because I felt I couldn’t afford the time or the expense involved.

I changed my mind recently, as I’m currently on Daniel Priestley’s Key Person of Influence programme and as a way of preparing for joint ventures and partnerships he encourages us to pick up the phone and invite someone we’d like to know to meet up for coffee. The people I wanted to meet are all in London so I went up for a couple of days – and lots of coffee!

I was blown away by how much energy and inspiration I got just by talking to people who have clever ideas and run successful businesses, and I’m sure the investment will repay me many times over. I’m so convinced of that I’ve made a resolution to repeat the trip regularly.

I was recounting all this to a friend and he replied, ‘Ah yes, Barbara Sher says that isolation is the biggest killer of dreams.’ I had only vaguely heard of Barbara Sher, but those few words hit me right between the eyes.

It is a fact of life that left too long in its own company (and everyone has their own limit) the human brain seems to circle inward on itself, making horizons narrow and possibilities disappear. The danger is that the process is so imperceptible that you may not even realise it’s happening until something happens to bring you up sharp.

My resolution for 2011 is not to let my dreams be killed stone-dead by too much time on my own, tempting though that may be. They need to get out there just as much as I do, encounter other thoughts and ideas, and start to find expression in the big, wide world.

This post was first published on, the site for people who work out of coffee shops, hotels, airports and their homes every bit as much as the office.

Posted in: Isolation

2 Comments on "Isolation – the biggest dream killer for home workers"

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  1. Claire Melvin says:

    hi Judy,

    This is so true. I’m a 5-9er so I do at least have human contact during the day, but I have gone for whole weekends and not seen a soul! I have a big project coming up and all of my energy will be taken up either in my kitchen or on my laptop and despite being able to communicate on Twitter, Facebook, etc, nothing quite makes up for spending time with real people.

    It is easy to get lonley / isolated and I do sometimes have to make a conscious effort to meet up with people.

    • judy says:

      Hi Claire, great to hear from you (and thanks for your comment on FB too, which I haven’t had time to reply to). I didn’t realise you’re a 5-9er, your social media profile suggests a full-time cakemonger 🙂
      Yes, it’s important not to let guilt get in the way of going out and seeing people or you can soon grind to a halt.