Loneliness in Business
Reading an article in this month’s FSB magazine First Voice, which highlighted the late Joe Cox and her belief and drive in the need for everyone to be involved in tackling loneliness, prompted me to reflect on what the Society means for its members.
I have been in business for over 30 years and being self-employed can be a lonely existence and can force many people to ‘give up’ simply because they lacked support or had no one to talk to or bounce ideas off. I was fortunate in that my wife Paula, we are celebrating our 45th wedding anniversary this year, that she and my children not only supported me but encouraged me to develop the business, at times going without whilst the Society was in its early days ensuring we could meet our commitments and goals.
When I was invited in 1996 to take over the Society as the Director General, having been with the SWW from the start, the one area I concentrated on primarily was to encourage the creation of local groups where members could meet on a regular basis, talk to likeminded people and give support to each other at local level. Today the Society has twenty groups around the country, and the chairpersons give their time and energy freely for the benefit of the membership.
Central Office in Lincoln is still the main source of information and advice, but we cannot from this, or any location, give the help and support in the running of their businesses, in the same way as one can in a face to face meeting with colleagues, that need to be supported.
The Society, now in its 24th year, is seeing more members retiring or coming up to retirement, that we want to utilise the enormous experience and skills that could be lost, not only to those new members coming into the profession but also as a source of inspiration and knowledge to those already in practice.
The new membership grade of Life Member is free for life to any member who is looking to retire but also keep their hands in and participate in groups and events, loneliness affects badly those that do retire and suddenly find their lives empty and possibly without a feeling of little purpose, most of us have families but seeing them only occasionally is no substitute for meeting clients old and new and maintaining relationships that have been built up over many years, and talking to colleagues.
The SWW is committed to helping members establish their future, not just whilst they are working but also when they retire.
Joe Cox was a huge inspiration to many, and as is all too common had her life cruelly and brutally taken from her, when she had so much more to give.
For more information on how the Society of Will Writers can help you, please contact us on 01522 687888 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and ask to talk to the DG.