I’m starting this week with a little pep in my step and much of it has to do with a lovely Saturday spent at the library. There was a lot wrapped up in this day: venturing out of my city (and all the way into downtown Vancouver), a backpack full of some of my favourite things (binder, paper, highlighters, post-its, pens, my planner), a full day dedicated to my business and best of all, the company of my friends Salma and Jamie who I’ve met through blogging.

As a mom, I juggle a lot of everyone else’s stuff in my daily grind. My own business is in there, somewhere, but brainstorming sessions also double as showers, writing time is known as the nap-time hustle, and I consult like 5 people’s schedules before committing to a meeting. But this past Saturday was 6 hours of me: the writer and entrepreneur.

As someone who works alone, the highlight of Saturday was sharing space and ideas with two other women whose work and friendship I truly value. As much as I love the fact that I do much of my work alone (barring anything too technical for which I gladly hand over the money – haha!), I also love sharing ideas and expertise with other women. And these women get me. They understand my vision and my roadblocks. They know what I’m faced with in trying to push my dreams out into the world and they also see beyond whatever small way I may be expressing myself, and remind me to get back to who I truly am.

We started the session by sharing our goals for 2016 and then with Jamie’s mantra Do Less, Focus More in mind we helped each other pare down those goals to set ourselves up for more productivity (and sanity). We also identified the time-suckers in our lives and came up with ways to kick them to the curb. The beauty of this process was that each of us is working on something totally different, but we could offer fresh perspective on how to move forward in our businesses.

By the end of the day we each had some concrete ‘next steps’ and now an accountability circle so we can support each other through the process. Some of these next steps go beyond the business and into self-care…because after all, without that, how can we thrive in any area of our lives?

If you’re a solopreneur, I encourage you to grab a couple friends who also work alone (even if you are all doing different things) and set up something like this. I mean, some of us aren’t even used to talking out loud during the day, let alone conversing with another adult who gets all the things we juggle. It really does help to talk things through, listen to suggestions you might not have thought about and know that you have a source of support for this ‘solo’ part of your life.

Once we were done, and I had mentioned food about 10 times, we sauntered down the street  ran in the rain to a restaurant on the next block, had a delicious dinner and caught up as friends. I feel really blessed that even though I choose to work alone, through it I have made some of my most kindred connections. When it’s soulful living you seek, it comes to you no matter what.

I’d love to hear your thoughts – have you done something like this regularly? Tried it once and it wasn’t for you? Please leave a comment! Thanks for reading!

taslim jaffer, let me out creative