In yesterday's post, I mentioned the fact that as an "@ home" entrepreneur, many of my colleagues are "virtual". This means that I have close working relationships with co-workers and managers who are spread across a variety of time zones and geographical settings. Therefore, you might find it surprising that I'd list my "co-workers" as one of the greatest benefits of my current work @ home situation.
Part of the reason for this good fortune is the exceptional generosity of the folks with whom I work. Far from being subjected to an environment of competition, we actually tend to frequently collaborate, to share ideas and success strategies and to turn to one another for support and a knowledge base when we're stumped. Here are a few of my "go to" strategies when I need help:
- If I need "geek" help, I turn almost reflexively to my circles at Google+. I have trusted friends and co-workers there who are responsive, creative and incredibly knowledgeable.
- If I'm writing and require a quick quote for an article, I know that in most circumstances I can get help within five minutes from my networks at Twitter and Facebook.
- For more long range collaborative efforts, I have been using both Skype and Google+ hangouts to hold planning meetings, conference calls and even just "hangouts". These opportunities to connect "face to face" with virtual co-workers often yield phenomenal results.
Remember that in order for these online collaborative relationships to be effective, you must try to be on the giving end of help more frequently that you're asking for it. This means adapting a "listening strategy" and acting quickly and generously when you see the opportunity to help a virtual co-worker.
Your turn: Who are your colleagues and where do you go to learn or get help?