Overcoming Loneliness When Working as a Solopreneur
One is a great number. It designates a first-place standing, often means you don’t have to share and is, well, easy to count.
But one is also a lonely number—the loneliest number, as some might argue. And if you’ve ever been or are currently a solopreneur, you know this all too well.
When operating outside of the normal 9-to-5 corporate world, what you gain in freedom and flexibility, you lose in collaboration. Keeping the ship afloat becomes your main priority. And social interaction—and showering—tend to fall by the wayside.
If isolation has become the name of the game recently, it doesn’t have to be the new working norm. Explore these avenues in overcoming loneliness as a solopreneur.
When you work for yourself on a budget of limited time and resources, you tend to give yourself less leeway. Rather than working smarter, you work harder—pushing yourself to fill up every hour of the day with a task.
Turning to-dos into to-dones, however, is all about balance. You have to be a priority from a well-being standpoint, so take a walk, go to the gym, or grab a coffee. Take breaks as you would in an office setting and engage with people you meet along the way.
Get Out of the House
This is a big one. Working from home is a plus for both cost and convenience, but it definitely puts a damper on the social life.
Leave some room in your weekly schedule to get out and explore new working spaces across town. You can opt for a coffee shop, hit up a library, or even join a co-working space.
Dress the Part
Loneliness can be a downward spiral. The more lonely you feel, the less motivated you become. You begin to fuel your own isolation, which can end up impacting other areas of your business.
As silly as it may sound, the act of getting out of your pajamas and dressing for work can do wonders for your mindset. The same goes for finding and adhering to a routine. Build structure into your work day and it’ll become easier to make room for times when you want to be social.
Find an Online Community
Social media can be a great tool for solopreneurs looking for support. LinkedIn and Facebook host professional and interest-based groups for those seeking collaborative opportunities.
For example, LinkedIn’s Career Advice is a great way to find like-minded mentorship opportunities. You can build relationships with others in your field and leave the door open for business development opportunities as well.
Networking can be a great way to meet new people and hone your selling skills. Join a local organization or check out upcoming events at nearby co-working spaces.
Additionally, set aside some time and budget for a conference or workshop of interest. Invest in your own professional development and build a network you can turn to for ongoing support.
Set Up Virtual Coffee Dates
Staying in contact with people is less about having the time to do so as it is making the time. Get some recurring virtual hangouts on your calendar with former co-workers, mentors, and friends.
This will give you the ability to garner second opinions on major business decisions. It will also leave you feeling more connected to more than the daily grind.
Leave Room for a Social Life
One thing to remember as a solopreneur is that the world will not end if you close up shop early for a happy hour—or even, *gasp*, take a day off.
As with any job, there are times for work and times for play. So cut yourself some slack and make room for the loved ones cheering you on from the sidelines.