Dealing with loneliness when running a business
It can be pretty lonely running your own business.
It’s like parenting. Nobody really, truly and fully understands what you’re going through unless they are going through the same thing that you are.
I’ve gone through many periods of loneliness when starting my own business, and thankfully I’ve got some amazing support around me to help and to talk to when going gets tough.
The sleepless nights worrying about what’s going on in your business.
The sleepless nights worrying about what could happen.
Dealing with difficult customers, or perhaps difficult staff.
Financial worries of having to make payroll each month and keeping a roof over your head.
Not getting any time off because you’re too busy, and when you do take time off all you can think about is work.
I’ve been there, I’ve had those worries, mostly numerous times over, and still do get them to this day from time to time!
What can you do about it?
I will start by saying that I do have my own set way of dealing with this, which I appreciate may not be the magic fix for you – but it works for me and I hope it might help you in some way.
Make sure you make time to do non-work related activities. See your friends, spend time with the family – realise that there is more to life than just work!
I try to see friends at least one evening per week, and with family we agreed that I would go into work an hour earlier each weekday, and then take a half day every Friday so we can have an afternoon with the kids. I think I’ve only ever missed one afternoon off in the last year.
Who you hang around with matters. Try visiting some networking groups to find some fellow business owners you can relate to. You’ll realise that you are certainly not the only one going through what you’re going through!
Business coaches and Mastermind Groups
Personally, I’ve avoided business coaches as much as I can, because the majority of them, if you look at their actual credentials, don’t have a leg to stand on.
I’ll speak to a business coach after they show me where they have been so successful that they’re living the life they dreamt of. That they’ve ‘made it’.
Most business coaches I’ve met have nothing to show, no huge successes, no million pounds in the bank. Action Coaches, don’t get me started!
If you look to join up to any mastermind groups, particularly ones with significant financial investment as some can start from over ?1,000 per month, then my advice is to do your homework. Use credit checking software to research other members of the group – look for the year in which they joined the group and see if it’s made a dramatic improvement to their business or not.
I’m actually looking to start my own mastermind group with other business owners. A mastermind group where you don’t have to pay a fee each month to attend – because ultimately a mastermind group is full of likeminded business owners, who’s goal is to help each other to grow their business. So why should any of you have to fork out a monthly fee for the pleasure?
Family, wife, husband, parents, friends…Talk to them.
You’ll be surprised how good venting feels to get your feelings off your chest, and perhaps even more surprised at the advice you are given in return.
Do something that makes it physically impossible for you to even think about thinking about work.
Typically this may be a sport, it could be music, but generally an activity that keeps your mind so busy that it hasn’t a chance to talk shop to itself.
For me? That’s what Ice Hockey does for me.
There is not a chance in the world that I’ll be thinking about work whilst around 30 people are shouting at me, skating around a rink chasing a black dot. Trying not to fall over, being shoved around, shoving back, skating with all of my energy. I come back home even more exhausted – but I’m refreshed from not having the worry for at least the time I was on the ice!
What if it all goes to shit?
Sometimes, in all honesty – there’s nothing. You can’t really do anything about it. You’ve just got to ride the storm and focus on tomorrow, next week, next month – knowing that whatever you’re going through will come to an end, and just think about what incredible things you’ll be getting up to when that time comes.
I get it often when working late, or the rare occasions when something hasn’t gone to plan – instead of getting frustrated about my situation, I think about what I’ll be doing after all of this is over. Tomorrow morning I’ll have completed the work that took me hours the night before, with little to no sleep, but it will be over and I’ll be back with my family, eating breakfast.
Keep that in mind when you have those tough situations where you just can’t see a way out.