I wanted to dive into a topic this week that I believe effects all of us solopreneurs at one point or another (or at many points…), and that is…
It’s the most requested topic from the SG faithful, probably the hardest part of being a solopreneur (from my experience) and also one of the topics that is talked about the least (ironic….).
Anyway, where do I even start?
There is an inherent part of solopreneurship that breeds loneliness, simply because being a solopreneur means doing a lot of work by yourself – at least at the beginning, as many go on to build out virtual teams, small teams, etc.
But if you don’t do that, or for the months/years it takes to get to that level, you spend a lot of time with yourself.
In your own head.
Wondering about your business decisions, life decisions, etc.
Wondering if you should even be doing what you’re doing at this moment in time….
Wondering if you should just go back to a nice, safe job…
And that’s just some of the wondering that goes on in my head on any given day.
Can you relate?
On a more positive note, over the years I’ve found some ways to combat the loneliness that have really helped in the long run. Part of combating it is growing your business enough so you can hire people, have more free time, etc.
But what about before you get to that point?
Or when you’re really in the grind, mostly working by yourself?
Here are the top 6 ways I combat loneliness on this solopreneur journey of mine:
1) staying social – seems obvious, but some weeks or months when I get really busy with work, I start neglecting social activities like hanging out with friends, playing sports, setting up phone calls with family/friends or even just going to work at a coffee shop. Don’t let those things slide for too long!
2) meditation – might not seem like an obvious solution, but meditation has really kept me grounded mentally and can help keep you focused on goals, motivations, etc. that will keep your mind in check when going through tougher/lonelier times.
3) eating well/staying active – this is one of the easiest things to let slide when you get busy. You start grabbing more fast food, stop working out, etc. etc. and next thing you know, you’re spinning down a dangerous, unhealthy rabbit hole. So I always recommend sticking to some sort of exercise routine and healthy diet… and activities/meals like these can be done with friends/combined with suggestion #1 as well!
4) picking a more social work environment – it took me a few months of working from home to realize that it wasn’t going to cut it. In the last few years, I’ve spent lots of time in coffee shops, co-working spaces, flexible work spaces and more. Even if you work by/for yourself, simply working in a space with more people, communication and energy around you can be a huge difference maker.
5) just talk to more people – this may sound stupid, but I find on weeks where I have more client calls, more networking events, etc., I’m more grounded and feel more “normal”. This likely has to do with the fact that we as humans are social creatures and not meant to be holed up for weeks on end, but I always try to keep this in mind.
If you’re having a down week… just start booking calls or talking to randoms!
6) gratitude – again, this may sound weird, but feeling lonely or falling into that lonely state can be dangerous mentally. One practice that has helped for anything, not just loneliness, is gratitude. And by that I just mean being grateful for what you have.
It’s easy to get caught up in the solopreneur grind and have that lonely feeling from all the time you spend alone, but don’t forget the upsides: working on your own terms, hours, location, doing what you enjoy, etc. Also think about what you’ve accomplished and benefited from in life, whether it be great family, friends, or anything else.
You can do this just by taking a few minutes a day to think about it, doing gratitude meditation, journaling, even talking to people about it. As always, it’s up to you to figure out what works or combine a few of the above items together.
Would love to hear if you use any of them in your life – feel free to shoot me a response with your favourite one, and make sure to join the email list to get more tips like these right to your inbox!