What To Do When You Feel Alone In Your Business
Here’s the thing: it’s no secret that entrepreneurship / self-employment / owning a business or running a creative adventure, whichever you identify with, can be lonely.
There can be long hours glued to your laptop in the beginning with no-one quite understanding what you’re up to. There can be no-one to discuss your crazy ideas with, and as for your crazy self-doubts - managing them alone can get a little soul-destroying at times. And sometimes, you’d really just love someone to tell you ‘you’re just having a bad day, tomorrow will be better!’ (At which point, call your Mum.)
I’ve been there, many times. As someone who was used to being part of a huge company, arriving each day at a bustling office with an awesome social group of work colleagues - navigating the new world of working alone most of the time has been a real challenge.
But, of course there are a ton of benefits.
Like not having to spend time with anyone you don’t want to. (Yep, you know THAT person in the office you could do without listening to day, after day, after day.)
And so, in my navigation and learning of how to make this small but very crucial part of my life work for me, there are some things I’ve discovered that make life so much easier, (and ways I’ve found best to integrate into real-life with real humans!) Because that is really, really, important to your sanity, and to your life.
So before you ask yourself the question ‘Is the only way to have a social work life to find a corporate job?’ Try these nifty tips instead.
1. FIND MASTERMIND BUSINESS FRIENDS
Find people you click with who are at the same or similar level to you and make arrangements to check in with each other. It might be a weekly or monthly call to go through your top goals, it might be an accountability email you send to each other at the end of each week to share what you’ve achieved, or it might simply be a check in Whatsapp or Facebook message from time to time that you commit to sending. Surround yourself with people who know what you’re going through, and share the journey with them.
It doesn’t always have to be business goal focused, it could simply be committing to getting to that yoga class, or signing up for the gym, or meditating daily, or eating healthier food. Because, let’s face it, if you’re feeling your best, you’re on your way to achieving your business goals anyway.
Try these prompts out for size:
‘Here are the top 3 focuses I’m committed to this week.’
‘If I only get one thing completed this week, it’s going to be…’
‘A change I’m committed to making in my business this week is…’
‘This week, I’m going to try _________, because ___________’
‘I’ve been struggling with this ________, so this week I’m going to change this by ________.’
2. FIND SOMETHING TO BE PART OF
When you work in an office space you’re automatically given a ‘purpose’ within the company, you’re automatically part of a working system and hopefully, feel like you’re contributing to that. When you’re working solo, it can feel hard to be a part of something. One of our basic human needs according to Tony Robbins, is Growth & Contribution - so it’s crucial for us to feel like we’re contributing to something in order to feel fulfilled.
I’ve recently become a Founding Member of an amazing movement within my area called Girls Empowered - a community committed to empowering girls and women in their business or career. And it’s so great! I’m invested in something that’s bigger than me, it’s supporting others and supporting a bigger purpose. Proceeds and sponsorship for the company will eventually go towards supporting women in third world countries to start their businesses so they can make a better life for themselves and their families - and THAT gets my heart every time.
Of course, when you’re building your business, it can feel like there’s no time to spare to give to anything else, but volunteering or supporting local projects doesn’t need to take a ton of time. Start exploring what feels like a good fit for you, and reach out to see how you can help, set clear boundaries as to how much time you’re willing to give and what that might be in return for (it could be them recommending your business to their community, for example) and see what happens.
3. HIRE A MENTOR / COACH
Because basically, you never have to do this alone. There are many coaches and mentors out there who are there to challenge your self-doubts, to help you borrow their belief in you so you’ve always got someone in your corner, cheering you on, interested in what you’re working on, and there to help you work through what might no be going so well for you. You never have to do this alone.
If you'd like to find out about how you can hire me as your coach + business mentor and be by your side every step of the way, take a look over HERE.
4. FIND A COWORKING SPACE
This is one I’ve been meaning to do for forever, but I could never quite get round to it. I even got to the door of a local space one day, and then turned round and went back home again as I’d visualised how ‘awkward’ it might be…
But seriously, when I finally got over myself and actually turned up it was the most welcoming space, and exactly what I needed. Being surrounded by other awesome people who are starting or growing a business venture of their own is completely the reminder I need daily that I’m not alone. It also gives that feeling of working with a team, but without someone telling you what to do or having those annoying meetings about having meetings about meetings. There are friends to hang out with over lunch, and sometimes there are even after-work drinks too!
If you're in Leicester and would love to come along to a free co-working space, let me know!
I’d definitely recommend checking out local co-working spaces in your area - or even setting up a co-working meet of your own. Meet-up is a brilliant place to find places and people that fit with you!
5. JOIN AN ONLINE SUPPORT GROUP
There are tons of Facebook groups that are designed to bring business owners together, to share our struggles, triumphs, woes and wins! I'd definitely advise finding a couple you really love and sticking with them, as they can get a bit overwhelming, but once you find the gems they can be a wonderful way to connect with other like-minded people. If you'd like to join a supportive Facebook group for women in business who are self-employed, have a side hustle or a dream, and simply want to make a living doing what you love, I run THE COLLECTIVE over here. We'd LOVE you to join us!
I’d love to know…how do you combat loneliness when you’re self-employed? Is this something you’ve experienced, or is all that alone time your absolute dream?
Leave a comment below, I’d love to hear from you!