There is a growing trend among professionals wanting to leave their corporate careers to start a business. I’ve been there. I know how exciting the thought of being your own boss is but there is another side to it that isn’t talked about enough. The emotional side.
After the euphoria of registering your company and receiving congratulatory messages has subsided, the realization that you are on your own can hit hard.
The joy of working from home, away from office politics, can quickly turn to loneliness.
There are certain times you may feel it more than others, such as when you want to go out for a long lunch but your friends only have time to grab a quick bite because they need to be back at work.
And while they attend team meetings, office parties and travel for conferences, you sit in front of your laptop eating cup noodles alone.
The clock is ticking and money is running out. Stress levels have increased manifold and you know it’s now or never but figuring everything out on your own is so much harder than you had imagined.
In my experience, these 3 strategies work well in combating startup loneliness.
1) Choose Your Timing :
It’s natural for your friends and family to ask how your new venture is coming along? What is your back-up plan if this doesn’t work?. Hard hitting questions that are bound to come up and possibly annoy you.
They ask with good intention but when you have to answer the same questions over and over, you may think of avoiding your friends and family altogether.
Don’t do it – social interaction is vital to your development and when you are starting a business on your own, you need to make every effort to get out of the house and interact with other humans.
So instead of avoiding people, I suggest you announce your startup when you feel confident enough to take any questions and criticism without feeling upset.
2) Find Your Tribe :
This is an exciting time in your life. You have followed your heart and done what most people only talk about and you should be incredibly proud of yourself.
It is important to retain this positive energy so seek out like-minded people who are on a similar journey as you. Attend local meet-ups and industry events so you can bounce off ideas, share challenges, and network.
When you start talking to other new entrepreneurs, you will discover that startup loneliness is very common but not spoken about openly.
It is in this group of people that you will likely find the support, inspiration and friendship you need so I suggest investing the time and energy to develop relationships early on as it will take you a very long way.
3) Don’t Tune Out :
It is easy to get wrapped up in your startup and lose track of time. Working from home gives you the luxury of working in PJ’s, showering and eating when you feel like but, on the flip side you may miss important occasions and be distracted when your partner and children talk about their day.
If you are not mindful, your relationships and health may start to suffer.
I cannot stress enough how important it is to be disciplined with your time and intentional with your focus. Your new lifestyle requires new habits.
Even though you are your own boss, I recommend forming a routine that gives you a sense of balance eg. wrap up your work before dinner time, wake up an hour earlier to exercise or make Friday nights a date night with your partner.
Making time for the people and things you love is more important now than ever before.
Entrepreneurship is exciting but more than talent and hard work, your success depends on your mindset.