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Episode Info: Isolation can be a double edge sword for the freelancer. Because of it’s very nature, solitude is needed in order for work to be completed. There are times when you can be working as part of a team but the majority of time is spent in seclusion. This can be when creativity and thought process comes forward but it can also cause psychological effects. There is an old saying that it’s lonely at the top when you are in a management position. You have to set yourself apart from the people you lead. For a freelancer they are often the only one and are in control of your business. You don’t even have the benefit of people talking to you behind your back at the water cooler. Some people can thrive in an environment like this because of the independence. It is important to remember to not let this define you. There is a simple reason why many freelancers struggle with the concept of isolation in their work. Many studies have shown that people are naturally social and rely on interaction and human interface. Detaching ourselves from others means less stimulation and challenge. An active social life brings physical and mental health and comfort. Interactions stir the senses and improve inspiration and the thought process. A great example would be the historical figure in freelancing, Benjamin Franklin. Franklin was the consummate entrepreneur who spent hours in isolation in writings and new ideas of inventions. However he understood the value of interaction and networking. In the book The Startup of You, Reid Hoffman describes how Franklin in London founded the Club of Honest Whigs, where intellectuals got together to discuss and brainstorm topics on science, theology, and politics. In Philadelphia he formed a similar group called the Junto. Prolonged isolation can have a detrimental effect to individuals with outside stimulation. A large part of any freelancing is the creative process to produce a product of value. Without the creativity productivity suffers.  Sometimes there is a lack of inspiration of what to create. Isolation may also cause stress that must be released in some way. Doing the same process over extended periods of time gets people into a rut. Isolation can also produce a lack of motivation. Freelancing can be a lonely existence that causes people to develop a slump in their work. There is no socialization outside the four walls of your home office. Familiarity and comfort in your surroundings can constrain the impulse to get things don
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