About once a week, I will take my iPad and do some work at a coffee shop. I usually choose a busy one in the nicer part of town. I order a large coffee and sit and work. No headphones, because I still want to be approachable. Lots of smiles and eye contact with the baristas and the other patrons. It can be difficult sometimes to work from home. It can get lonely.
As small business owners, we need to be able to keep our people skills honed. We are a service industry, providing a specific product to a specific person. To do that, we have to be able to present ourselves in such a way that our clients want to work with us.
When I’m at these coffee shops, I like to sit in the high traffic areas where there is open seating. Usually, not at a table but on the couch or squishy chairs. Without headphones on, you are able to listen and talk to people easier. Moms with children and freelancers are the best. They are usually at the coffee shop for the same reason as you are: human interaction. They may be busy, but they also are willing to talk. Be the one to make a comment. Smile and make a silly face to the kids. Make a comment about the weather or an extreme person that just came in. Be ready to be turned down or ignored, but most of the time, you’ll have a moment. A breaking of the ice or at least a small crack will form. You can then talk about something. Chances are, you will be able to bring up what you do for a living.
Who knows, they may be looking for someone like you! They may have been searching for a portrait photographer. Or their friend may work for a company that is looking for someone to do exactly what it is you can do. Whatever you do, there is a human element. In order to access that human element, you need people. You’ll have a hard time meeting people just sitting at home. Get out there, be sure of who you are and what you do. Be strong and proud and share your love!
You are awesome. Be ready to shout from the rooftops what you do, promote yourself, and you won’t regret it.