It still surprises me that whenever I put out a poll on Instagram or Facebook asking what’s holding you back in your business the resounding response is the loneliness. More often than not I hear things like ‘my husband doesn’t get it’ or ‘my family don’t consider what I do work’ or even ‘I have no-one to talk to my business about’. It all adds up to the same thing, not feeling understood and that breeds loneliness.
It particularly hurts when things are hard or slow and it becomes even more pronounced when you work an online business from home where your nearest and dearest think you spend your days scrolling the socials for a bit of pocket money.
It’s demeaning and condescending and alienating. It drags you down and still you can’t figure out who you reach out to to share that frustration with. Business is hard and not always clear and it can burn you out in ways you never expected.
You wrote to me and shared your longing for someone to share a glass of something with at the end of those long days. You know the days, the ones where you didn’t know whether you were coming or going, where you felt unsure of where to go next or how to even start. Those days when you needed to feel less alone in this. You said you craved for someone who listened and laughed and shared their own wisdom with you candidly and with love. Not someone to blow smoke but someone to encourage, support, hold up when things were tough.
How do you find those people and what do they look like in your life? I certainly don’t have all the answers but I can share this. You can find and create those relationships, you can find them in people already around you and cultivate those friendships or you can search out new ones.
Existing relationships are worth the work but can definitely need a bit of finessing. I learned that I had to take the lead on these conversations. I needed to talk more candidly about my business but equally important was making my boundaries clear. I wasn’t seeking opinions from them but I was seeking kindness, consideration, support. My partner still unintentionally demeans the business, he thinks it’s banter and I take it personally. We’re working on it but it’s a process and he’s getting better.
My friends are great, they are my biggest cheerleaders and my mum tells me to go all in which is great. They don’t really understand though because they don’t want to build business in the same way as me and that can still feel isolating (I know, nice problems to have hey)
So I reach out to other people doing the same thing as me, experiencing the same things as me and so I am a part of some cool Facebook groups and I follow and engage with the women that I resonate with. When I can I attend in person meet ups and workshops.
I also figure, it’s good to have a place to go to meet so I’ve got my own Facebook group too.
Funny, being lonely in business makes you feel different but it’s not an exclusive feeling. If you’re there today I’d love to hear from you, email me firstname.lastname@example.org or come join my FB group, Entrepreneur.