3 Ways to Avoid the Loneliness of Running Your Own Business
Running your own business is like passing your driving test; one minute you’ve got someone sat with you advising, guiding and offering support and the next you’re let loose on the road, completely alone and making all the decisions.
So, be prepared for working alone. Self-employment and starting up your business can be a very lonely place once the initial excitement has worn off. When you suddenly find yourself sat at your desk (in the back bedroom that you’ve converted into an office) waiting for the telephone to ring with your nice shiny laptop at the ready. It’s then you notice the lack of interaction, you’re alone, apart from speaking to any clients or suppliers you may have. There were times when I went many hours without speaking to anyone at all. Below are just three of the things that I believe helped me during those initial lonely times.
How to avoid feeling isolated when working alone
Get yourself into a routine
It took me a while to realise this one, but basically all you need to do is get yourself into some sort of a routine, just like you did when you worked for someone else. I know; the thought of getting up and then sitting around all day in your dressing gown can be appealing, but the novelty quickly wears off and I found I wasn’t very productive. So, get yourself up, have your breakfast and start work at the same time every day. Break for lunch and finish at the time you would normally. Sounds simple, or obvious, but it really does help.
Access a business support group
This is by far one of the best things you can ever do to avoid the isolation of working alone. Get yourself out there and meet lots of other like-minded business people who are in exactly the same boat as you. I joined one and it’s safe to say I think it actually changed my life! I met so many nice people, willing to help, offer advice, support and as a bonus refer me to potential clients. Creating this support network really helped me; no longer did I feel isolated and alone. I would meet these people on a regular basis and many became good friends.
You don’t have to join your local gym (although of course you could if you like) – simply get yourself out for a walk in your lunch break. That’s all I did; it gave me some valuable thinking time, got me away from my desk and definitely helped me feel refreshed for the rest of the day. Do yourself a favour, give yourself some thinking time, enjoy the fresh air and the
simple pleasure of just having a walk.
Running a business can be a great adventure, but it’s important you don’t neglect your own wellbeing and health. Being alone and feeling isolated isn’t good for you or your business. If it does start to feel like it’s becoming too much, talk about it. Either to your partner, friend, relative or maybe a trusted networking associate.