Tag Archives: independent contractors

On the Perils of Working Alone – and a strong suggestion

I am, like an ever-growing number of Americans, a free agent, an independent contractor, piecing together my income in a multitude of ways – in other words, I mainly work alone.

Oh, I have all sorts of alliances.  Karl Krayer and I conduct the First Friday Book Synopsis, and I do many things under the umbrella of Karl’s company, Creative Communication Network.  And I work with Larry James of Central Dallas Ministries, especially on the Urban Engagement Book Club.  And I have a growing life in and among non-profits, all through connections made through Larry James, and the expanding circles within these connections.

But if I am not in front of an audience speaking – in other words, when I am sitting at a desk, in front of my computer, or with a book in my lap, I am working alone.  Literally, there is no one else around me.

I-work-alone.

(OK – not quite alone.  It is a home office, and in another part of the house is another home office, where my wife also works alone.  But she works with other Real Estate Agents, so there is not a lot of “working” together, there’s just together together.

So, last week, I was telling Jeannie (that’s my wife) about the book Mastering the Rockefeller Habits.  Especially its counsel to have regular meetings – daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly or yearly.  Here’s the purpose of these meetings, from the book:

• meetings overview:
• daily & weekly – execution
• monthly – learning
• quarterly and annual – setting strategy


• the daily meeting, an imperative — the agenda:  what’s up, daily measures, and where are you stuck?

• the weekly meeting
• more issues oriented
• to succeed, it must be after a week of daily meetings
(they need each other/feed off of each other)
• five minutes:  good news
• ten minutes: the numbers
• ten minutes:  customer and employee feedback
• 30 minutes:  a rock, or single issue
• closing comments

• the monthly meeting – agenda is learning

A little later, she came back in and said, “so I guess I need to have these meetings every day/week/month – with myself.”

And I thought – that is really right.  If you work alone, you still need to practice the habits and routines that successful companies practice – even if you have to do them alone.  So, I need to get intentional about having meetings with myself – daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly or annually.

Yes, there are ways you can bring others into this mix.  For example, the monthly “learning “ meeting could be at an event with others.  (I think the First Friday Book Synopsis might be perfect for this monthly meeting).  But I suspect that the daily, and weekly, meetings have to be with yourself.

So – I’m going to start.  Next Monday morning.  I’m going to try to master this particular Rockefeller Habit as a sole practitioner.

I welcome any suggestions on how to do this most effectively.