For some, entrepreneurship is a ticket to flexible working and the freedom to work how you want, when you want. Others choose it away from the stresses of corporate life. It can be your ticket to the kind of lifestyle that you’ve always wanted. But if you’re a so called ‘solopreneur’, it can also be a very lonely life. It can be hard to know who to turn to when you’re not sure which way to turn. Support from friends and family, whilst of course very well-meaning, can throw you off track. But don’t worry – we’ve got you! Here’s how to cure loneliness as an entrepreneur.
5 ways to cure loneliness
1) From the same four walls… to a change of scene
When we first start working from home, it’s really easy to see the benefits of this way of working. You can work when you want. In the way you want. But this makes it easy to start letting the proscrastination creep in. You start to get distracted by the washing machine or the dishwasher. And when you do settle down to work, eventually you start to feel like you’re climbing the walls. But there’s a simple solution – get a change of scene! Spend some time each week working in a different place – even if it’s outside in your garden if the weather’s ok! It’s also worth finding a virtual place to go when you need a change of scene aswell – even if it’s just for a short time. Our Facebook group is a great example of a virtual safe space.
2) From solitude… to co-working
It’s worth remembering that we humans are essentially social creatures. We need people around us. We need company. Both for connection and for support. This may also appear to be something of a given, but another easy way to cure loneliness as an entrepreneur is to go and be with people! If you’re just needing the background noise that being around people provides, go and work in a cafe. But if you’re wanting to actually work with people, try out a co-working space. There are plenty of permanent physical spaces to choose from, like WeWork, but equally you could try a pop-up coworking event, like our own, if you don’t want an ongoing commitment.
3) From mixed messages… to the right kind of support
When we need support or advice, our natural instinct is to ask friends or family. But what if that advice isn’t quite what you want to hear (albeit very well intentioned)? For example, let’s say you want to take your business down a particular route, but it’s risky… and then your partner or best friend (who is more risk averse than you) tries to encourage you to play it safe? We know that they’re trying to look after us, but what if playing it safe just isn’t where your heart lies? In these situations, you can end up feeling quite alone and misunderstood.
So how do you cure loneliness as an entrepreneur in this situation? Well, by finding the right kind of support. That support could come, for example, from a networking group. Or a friend who is in a similar situation. It could also come from something more targeted, like a coach or an advisory service like your local Growth Hub. But wherever you choose to seek it, finding yourself the right kind of support as you move through your business journey, is crucial.
4) From isolation… to having a team
When we work for ourselves, it’s very easy to feel like you need to be everything to everyone. To do everything from finance to marketing to web development, yourself. And in the first months, this may well be the case. However, when you can, it really is worth considering how you can expand your business team. We aren’t talking about hiring staff necessarily – but outsourcing, and working with experts where appropriate. Outsourcing frees up your time to work on the parts of your business that you love, which is probably why you chose to start a business in the first place! Choosing to work with experts can increase your knowledge of different subjects (training), increase the quality of your offering (commissioning an expert to work on an aspect of your business) and help you to push your business forward (coaching). In all of these examples though, you feel like you have a team working on your business, and that you are no longer alone.
5) From confusion… to clarity
As we’ve seen from the points above, the key to curing loneliness as an entrepreneur is having the right people around you, whether that be in a professional capacity, or simply providing ‘background noise’. Our final point here brings together both of these things. One thing that can really make us feel alone in our businesses is when we’re stuck. It can be really hard to work out how to move forward, either tactically or strategically, when you’re the only one working on the problem. Quite possibly because you end up being too close to whatever issue you’re trying to resolve.
Again, the key here is finding the right people! You absolutely don’t have to do everything yourself when you run a small business. There is plenty of help and support out there – and don’t be afraid to ask for it!
And if you’re feeling lonely?
If you’re reading this and you’re feeling lonely, we want you to know that you don’t have to stay that way. It’s also important to remember that by taking the time out to look after yourself, you’re equipping yourself much more strongly to look after your business.
This holistic approach to entrepreneurship lies at the heart of everything we do at Tabono, and as such, we also offer many of the support mechanisms described above. So our call to action for you today, is don’t be alone. Book a Discovery Call with us today and let’s chat about how Tabono can support you and your business.