Studies found that entrepreneurship can become a lonely endeavor. But the worst part is that it’s rarely discussed, with most people preferring to ignore them. Even though loneliness tends to make the world feel like it’s bleak and drained of color.
Solitude isn’t the same as loneliness. The latter is the aching feeling of being alone while craving companionship, talking, and accountability. With this fast-paced world, loneliness is working its way on becoming an epidemic.
Loneliness can lead to various mental illnesses, such as depression, anxiety, and stress. Most people live alone, often away from their extended families. Add that to the fact that we’re living longer while focusing on our virtual lives, a lot of entrepreneurs become more vulnerable to loneliness.
Take note, the Gallup Wellbeing Index showed that around 45% of entrepreneurs say they’re stressed. It’s a little higher compared to other types of workers, which are at 42%. Also, more entrepreneurs reported having a lot of worries at 34%.
Another survey reveals that around 50% of participating CEOs report experiencing loneliness with their position. Also, a small number of first-time solo entrepreneurs had more acute feelings compared to people with other roles. Isolation is one of the biggest hindrances experienced by these people, with around 30% of them saying that it’s a “big problem”.
It’s difficult to be the leader since you’re the person who’s in charge of all the decision-making process. Combined with all the pressures that happen at the beginning of a business, sitting at the top spot is tough. If you’re working at home, you’re most likely isolated, meaning you’ll most likely miss all the social interaction happening at a typical workplace.
Most people starting this journey often say that they lacked the time and energy to make new social relationships. In some cases, it’s difficult to cultivate existing relationships, whether it’s friendships or professional partnerships. No one is there to share the efforts, as well as the joys of milestones and successes.
Another thing that makes entrepreneurs feel more isolated is financial-related worries. This increases their levels of anxiety. That’s why it’s better to do something before it’s too late.
Here are some things that can fight loneliness:
1. Grow and Nurture Online Communities with Like-Minded People
Social media exists not only for marketing and selling your products. Instead, use it to make connections with other individuals using Facebook groups and other communities. You can also use Instagram hashtags and Twitter lists.
A lot of entrepreneurs formed close relationships and collaborators using these online networks. It’s effective even if some studies claim that social media can cause loneliness. A recent survey showed that more than 59% of respondents became less lonely when spending time online.
In that same study, almost 82% found it much easier to state their loneliness on the internet. Take note, admitting that you’re lonely is a good starting point to seek aid. Don’t hesitate and start networking whenever possible.
2. Don’t Forget Real-World Human Connections
Solo entrepreneurs should also start forming connections in the real world. A simple catching up with old friends over a cup of coffee can do a lot. If you’re fond of networking events, make sure to use it to get a better sense of community, not just to build connections for your business.
Set proper expectations since it will most likely take a while for the right network to appear. Also, not all networks will work out for you. A lot of entrepreneurs are introverts, so it’s often daunting to go out and be in a room full of unfamiliar people.
You’re often liable to make excuses since you’re pressured by work. But you must put yourself out of your comfort zone now and then. This is beneficial since you’re likely to get a renewed sense of vigor with your interactions.
Attending events will give you more ideas and gain new connections. Most of all, you feel a strong sense of belonging. If you don’t have a community in your area, take the initiative and start one.
3. Celebrate Achievements While Focusing on To-Do Lists
Most of the time, you focus on the list of things you need to do when you’re starting. It means you’re always looking forward, not thinking or focusing on the present. But to avoid loneliness, you need to celebrate your achievements every week or month.
That way, your sense of focus grows anew, giving you the energy to sustain yourself for the rest of the week. It will remind you of the reason for starting the business, especially when things are at their toughest. That way, you’re filled with a sense of wellness.
Loneliness can come in lots of forms. Physical symptoms like panic attacks and low energy are common. Recognizing these will help you start following the abovementioned tips and lead a healthier life.