5 ways to help feel less lonely in your entrepreneurial journey
Do you sometimes feel alone in your entrepreneurship journey? It can feel like an uphill battle that only you are fighting by yourself. But you aren’t alone, studies have shown that well over 35% of entrepreneurs and small business owners are feeling alone.
When it’s just you are running the business, you start to feel the weight being the only decision maker. You don’t have to be in business long before you begin to realize that people are relying on your capacity to make the best decisions, and that no matter what decision you ultimately make, bottom line you are responsible for the outcome. Are you the only entrepreneur in your family? This can also play a major role in feeling isolated and misunderstood. Often our friends and family just don’t quite understand why you would rather start a business rather than work a 9-5. It can feel like no matter what you try to tell them, they have not supported any of your efforts.
Unfortunately, loneliness in our business can also be brought over into many other aspects of our lives. This is way it is important that if you are feeling like you have no one else to go with you on your entrepreneurial journey that you get support from a community.
Get in a community of likeminded people
There are many other people just like you who are starting and growing a business. When you join a community of likeminded people you can ask questions, get information on some of the latest trends, and make new connections. No one else really understands your lifestyle like the other people who are living and working on a similar path. So, why not get the support and encouragement from those people? Whether it’s on social media platforms like Facebook groups, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, work alongside individuals with a similar mindset get involved in the community and send someone a message. You never know if you may make a new friend, learn something new, or even come across a new business partner.
” I measure the progress of a community by the degree of progress which women have achieved.”
–B. R. Ambedkar
Another great way to connect with other entrepreneurs is by enrolling in workshops and courses. Learn more about your industry, branding and marketing your business, perfecting your elevator pitch. Not only is the going to be good for your personal development you’ll be other people and perhaps work alongside them. If you’re a seasoned business owner, try applying to teach. This will help you build your network, creditability, and help a fellow business owner grow.
Stay connected with people you know
You will realize as a business owner there’s always more you can be working on, or another project that must be completed, or a last-minute client meeting. All these variables are competing for your time in some capacity. The demand for your time never stops growing.
That means you must make time for your friends and family. Sometimes this isn’t easy but choosing to schedule time out of your day for socializing, going to the movies, or regular “chill out time” rather than just working, is necessary to keep you motivated and more refreshed. That’s not always easy as your time increases in value but if you don’t do this you might get burnt out with the business.
Go to in person networking events
You should try to attend as many networking events as you can. Go to websites like MeetUp.com and or join organizations like BNI groups. Find local speaking events and seek out other people like yourself.
Remember, whichever groups you decide to join, that you are consistent. Often people give up after only attending a few meetings. Your priority should be to build relationships.
“The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members. – Coretta Scott King
Work in another environment
For a lot of new small businesses, renting office space can be too expensive. But you can find a lot of local spaces that cater to freelancers and small business owners. Try setting up your laptop at a café and answer emails or rent pay-as-you go hot desks at coworking spaces or consider working out of a public library. (a lot of libraries have new open design that allow more sun and it’s usually always quiet.)
don’t forget to eat
When we work from home, sometimes we forget to eat healthy meals. My meals sometimes consist of a bowl of cereal and half of a ham sandwich. Trying to come up with something quick to eat can become a bad habit.
Planning healthy meals can increase productivity, but it can also be social. Go out to lunch with a friend or fellow business owner. Get into a health sharing community or join on an app where you can share your health goals with a supportive group of people with similar goals.
You already know well that fresh air and nature are great for productivity and strategic thinking, but also remember that eating a good number of vegies can also help with feelings of depression, loneliness, and anxiety.
Put at least one hour aside to work out during the day and stay active. Instead of sitting around your computer make better use of your time by moving, walking and doing mini steps while you’re on your break. Try to keep fit! Many studies show that fitness improves concentration and enhances creativity, these are essential if you want to be a healthy functioning entrepreneur. Don’t want to do this alone? You don’t have to. Join a run club, hit the gym, or sign up for group fitness classes—anything that involves other people. This will give you that extra boost of energy, leaving you with a positive mindset.
Feelings of loneliness can occur because of non-existent social networks and consistent isolation. It can also impact people with large networks who feel misunderstood. Do your best to surround yourself with people who support your business and your goals. Make sure to make time to take care of your mental and physical health. And remember you are not alone.