Not many entrepreneurs realize that signing up to work for yourself often means you’ll be working by yourself as well. Even entrepreneurs who hire teams to work with them claim that it’s lonely at the top. In addition to making relationships with the 5 Types of Friends That Every Entrepreneur Should Have, here are 4 other pieces of advice about how to feel less alone as an entrepreneur.
Prioritize your other interests.
Working for and by yourself can feel lonely. When your work and life are closely mixed, which is fine and natural, a certain tension can develop between you and your working self. It can feel as though you don’t having anything else to talk about with others or do by yourself. Try not to lose yourself - it’s still important to fill your life with other interests. Great ideas come from the most unexpected places. Open yourself to the world around you and your work and your emotions will benefit. Lastly do not accept the excuse that you don’t have time for anything but work.
Embrace your social self.
Find a way to meet some like-minded people, whether it’s through a networking group, a class, a volunteer opportunity, or even a coffee shop. Remember that human beings really are social creatures (there are very few true recluses) so that whether your social needs are low, medium, or high, it’s perfectly natural to want a connection to others and a sense of community. Accept this truth and find a few new people to get to know.
Invest in a hobby
I’ve found it helpful to have a non-work related hobby or activity that I did on a regular basis. When I started my coaching practice it was also around the time I was training for my first degree black belt in karate which was a fairly intense process with a huge time commitment. For me, it was nice to know I had to leave the house at least once (sometimes twice) a day to train. It got me connecting with others in a social situation that often mirrored office dynamics--seeing the same people on a consistent basis that I had positive relationships with. It was also a good source for business development and networking because everyone there had a wide variety of careers.
Get connected to something bigger than yourself
Sure you can go it alone, but you don't have to. For human beings to be truly healthy, we need to feel like we are a part of something bigger than just ourselves. A leaf off the tree has the advantage of floating wherever it wants, but once disconnected from the tree, it quickly dies. You have to be both an individual – to have a sense that you are fully unique – and you need to be connected to a bigger organism – a family, a community, a club, a tribe. There are people out there with invaluable information and experience who are eager to share it with you – all you have to do is pick up the phone. Research has shown that there is a direct correlation between our physical health and community. Having people around you who make you feel vibrant, alive and hopeful can literally add years to your life.
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