Along the entrepreneurial journey, there are a good number of successes to share with your team, stakeholders, and your customers. However, there are plenty of times where there are a ton of failures and setbacks. There are also a ton of people who are jealous and envious of your journey from your seemingly successful life. You start turning inward and can mostly rely on yourself, but solitude can turn to the more corrosive loneliness.
The entrepreneurial journey can be lonely, but always remember there is value in the process. The Friday nights you spent in the office working may one day become something that helps millions of people. It could solve an industry's problem. It could save lives. But in pursuing this, you must brainstorm ways to find a balance to cultivate healthy relationships, fun hobbies, and stable mental health.
An easeful peer community of shared assumptions and base experience is increasingly rare in our balkanized society. The soulful amelioration of business loneliness is not something that any entrepreneur should repress or shove aside lightly. It shouldn't be ignored.
Entrepreneurship's dark side is the psychological toll that can put any business owners at higher risk for mental health issues, and loneliness is a slippery slope.
Here is how to overcome loneliness of entrepreneurship:
1. Find an entrepreneurial community
There is often no greater remedy to entrepreneurial loneliness than finding a community of fellow entrepreneurs. Whether you cultivate these friendships in person or virtually, building a community with other founders will help bring a positive remedy to loneliness. Other entrepreneurs will understand the feeling - and know the importance of investing time and energy into a startup. You will find friendships that respect the dedication to your business and understanding of the challenges you are facing.
At Treehouse Society, we have a community of entrepreneurs where you can find respect and understanding of your entrepreneurial journey.
2. Change the Scenery
For a lot of startups, renting office space can be too costly. But there are happy-medium alternatives to the little workspace wedged into the corner of your kitchen. Try answering emails from a cafe or get a membership at a coworking space. Treehouse Society provides lounging spaces similar to cafes and a professional setting as an office. Come take a tour!
3. Stay in Shape
Think about it this way: as an entrepreneur, you might have the advantage of a very short commute - a slippered shuffle from the bedroom to your home office. As a busy entrepreneur, that extra hour of going to the gym could be put to good use: fulfilling orders, working on a social media strategy, answering customer service emails. But since you have an extra hour since you have a short commute, it might be an hour better used to stay in shape. Studies show that fitness improves concentration and enhances creativity, which are essential attributes of a great entrepreneur.
There are numerous gyms around Treehouse Society so you could take that extra hour of work break to stay in shape.
4. Work with your mentor
When you need help to find balance or to combat loneliness as an entrepreneur, consider talking with your mentor. Mentors can be a great resource for tactical topics of entrepreneurship and are invaluable resources for learning how to live as an entrepreneur. Most likely, they have been lonely - and hopefully, they've overcome it. Talk with them about strategies for balancing a healthy life at work and out of work. If you are close with your mentor, they may feel like they are in your community too. And maybe a good phone call to make when you are in the thick of loneliness and need advice.
5. Remember who you are
You might lose friendships because of your dedication to your business. When this happens, you may question your decisions or focus on your startup. Remember, your gifts are different than the gifts of others. The insatiable desire to innovate and create is both a curse and blessing of an entrepreneur. Recognize your gifts and remember other entrepreneurs have been there.
Related: 7 Podcasts Every Entrepreneur Should be Listening to