At the best of times, it’s can difficult to avoid isolation when you’re running a business; Don’t be the lonely entrepreneur. That’s what I’m here to share with you today.
You see, there’s been some serious stuff happening, in the world, in your backyard, hell right in my little tiny bubble. The underlying message is a strong one – NO ONE should be alone.
Please understand where this comes from. I’m an entrepreneur, yes, though prior to this I worked in a corporate office. It’s during the end of my tenure there that I met a man who would smash my self-confidence, ability to socialize, and self-sufficient to bits. He broke my foot and isolated me to keep me compliant. You are welcome to read more about it, suffice it to say that I escaped.
However, I escaped one type of isolation straight into another – being an entrepreneur. Do you know why they say that being an entrepreneur can be lonely? Because it drastically shifts your perspective, understanding, and habits. So much so that others who are not entrepreneurs and who don’t experience the same things struggle to understand or relate.
Recently, I have been feeling particularly alone. I imagine there are others out there who feel the same. There’s one thing I want to say to you. You CAN avoid isolation. Don’t be the lonely entrepreneur.
The Side-Effects of Isolation
It’s easy to see it after the fact, the many side-effects of isolation. Sometimes it’s hard to see in the moment. “Friendship is a lot like food. We need it to survive.” If you’re anything like me, missing hunger pangs is an easy slip, much like missing initial warning signs of social deprivation.
It’s easy to miss because, in proper measure, the symptoms are normal. However, compacted over time, loneliness can lead to hallucinations, social distrust, sleepless nights, a declined in the ability to remain positive, and ultimately lead to taking one’s own life.
For instance, there is a case of a woman who was alone nearly 10,000 hours and it destroyed her mind. I struggled with isolation on and off through my life and it’s left a lasting impression; Both physically and mentally. I continue to struggle with self-worth, compulsions and suicidal ideations. It’s why I urge you to recognize and rectify social isolation before it gets to that point. Don’t be the lonely entrepreneur!
You Must Recognize to Avoid Isolation
So how do we recognize and avoid isolation? The low-level symptoms can easily be dismissed as a bad day. Things like reduced appetite, higher blood pressure, and fatigue can plague any one of us at any time. I’m sure there are many out there, if not all, that can relate at some time or another.
However, it’s one thing to feel those things, and another to recede into it further. Everyone feels shitty sometimes. What’s not normal is squirming your feelings, and your presence, away from the world. Hiding it away and pretending it doesn’t exist. Avoiding social functions so that no one notices your pain. It seems practical and logical at the time though it’s merely a gateway to deeper isolation.
You aren’t protecting anyone, certainly not yourself, when you retreat into the darkness. Let me share how I find my light when it flickers and wanes.
Don’t Be the Lonely Entrepreneur, Find Your Tribe
It’s silly, however finding your people is so very important. You need people in order to avoid isolation. Plain and simple.
No, I’m not recommending you start bar hopping or hitting up every social function around. There is too much of a good thing. What I recommend is to find a way to connect with others who share your similar passion for business.
You need someone who gets it. Running a business means wearing all the hats all the time, especially when you first startup, and it’s easy to downshift friends and family who just don’t get it. Why would you want to talk to someone who has no idea?
This can apply to anyone – find a group to join and commit to it. There are online groups, Facebook groups, LinkedIn Groups, dating groups, mommy groups, you name it. The internet has allowed us to come together with those like us, even if they are in our local area.
I’m in a small place, less than 8,000 people. Someone I wanted to consider a friend made it very clear that there aren’t others around me LIKE me. If I don’t have a kid, I can’t fit in. Harsh buzz right?
I chose to channel that into creating a group where my people can hang out, chat, learn and grow in a safe space. It’s as much for Sacha, the entrepreneur, as it is to so many others out there who are on the same journey. If you need a safe productive space to shoot the shit about your business aspirations while still getting guided support, feel free to check it out.
The Moral of the Story
In case I haven’t said it enough… Don’t be the lonely entrepreneur! Seriously, it’s not worth it. I promise that when you are feeling low and like the world is against you, there is at least one person out there who will always have your back. Me. I live in this cycle, I survive in it, and dare say I am learning to thrive despite it.
None of which I could have done without having a safe space. So the next time you feel lonely, or you turn down that invite to spend time with someone you may be neglecting, think of this. Think of me. Because every one of you has something to offer and MY world will be less without you in it.
Big or small, we all impact each other. Cooperate, don’t isolate.