Solopreneurs must create work/personal separation

by Michele on March 17, 2011

Solopreneurs must create work and personal separation

Solopreneurs must create work and personal separation

When I worked at a job outside the house, it was easy to separate my work and personal life.  I got up, got dressed in work clothes (which weren’t the clothes I wore outside of work), went to my job, and came home.  As soon as I left, there was no connection to work.  I never had a remote login or 24-hour on-call status, so it was easy to say “I’m done.”

Now that I work from home, it’s much harder.  It’s tempting to just check in when I’m enjoying a quiet Saturday morning or to go down the rabbit hole of checking email.  One way I manage this is by having separate work and personal email addresses.  I was surprised to learn at a recent Hubspot webinar on email marketing that 88% of survey respondents did not have separate work and personal email addresses!

This is something I’ve had as long as I’ve been self-employed.  When I’m out having fun, the last thing I want is work intruding on my time.  Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my business and tend to work too much already but I don’t want to think about work when I’m doing something else.  If I’m out hiking or visiting family on a weekend, I don’t even want to know about loose ends that need to be taken care of.  If I read an email and need to do something about it, I don’t want that hovering in my thoughts while I’m having fun.

As solopreneurs, we ARE the business and it becomes much harder to separate and take a break than for people who have a job with someone else.  But you absolutely have to carve out some time to disconnect or you’ll lose a lot of the biggest benefit of being self-employed – freedom.  I strongly recommend separate work and personal email addresses for solopreneurs.  Try this tiny step and see if  you feel more at ease when you’re “off.”

Do you have separate business and personal email addresses?  Why or why not?


  1. I couldn’t agree with you more. Without that separation I would have no peace of mind. I must admit that from time to time I fall prey to that email alert on my iPhone and automatically check my email. Sometimes it can really put me in a frame of mind I don’t want to be in. Do you have any suggestions how to overcome that intermittent habit?

    Thanks so much for touching on this topic!


    1. Michele says:

      Mike, I totally get that temptation to check email during my off hours. Truth be told, I way overdid the email checking for a while. One thing I did was shut off the reminder on my phone which helped because now checking email is a more conscious decision and I’m more likely to not check if it’s not an appropriate time.

      1. Well, that is easy enough, Done! Thank you so much.

        I know you had un-tweeted me because I was not being interactive. I do follow you and enjoy reading your tweets. You are a very practical person with tons of common sense. I would very much like to jump in again and I will be more responsive this time around.


        1. Michele says:

          Glad that tip helped! There was nothing personal in my un-following you on Twitter – I regularly unfollow people who aren’t following me back to keep my follower/following ratio in check. I do a big bulk un-follow without even looking at who I’m unfollowing.

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