Research has shown that a sense of connectedness is essential for mental wellbeing. But for many entrepreneurs, this sense of connectedness is hard to find, and subsequently, loneliness envelopes.
It certainly is a tough job, being an entrepreneur.
You have to take on the pressures of starting a business and getting it running, you’re responsible for all decision making, you’re the leader, and you deal with any major difficulties faced. So it’s no wonder that loneliness is becoming an increasingly pressing struggle faced by entrepreneurs.
However, it’s rarely talked about or discussed… but it should be. Particularly when the relevance of female entrepreneurs is on the rise and a link has been made between entrepreneurial loneliness and burnout – something all entrepreneurs want to avoid.It’s no wonder that loneliness is becoming an increasingly pressing struggle faced by entrepreneurs. Click To Tweet
So, to all the fempreneurs out there… we need to look out for one another. If you’re an entrepreneur, it’s important that you act on the following strategies that I’m going to run through. Or, if you know an entrepreneur, why not share this article with them? You know that behind every successful woman is a sisterhood of other successful women who have her back, so make sure you have theirs!
Loneliness Prevention Strategies for Fempreneurs
Find an Accountability Partner
The wonderful and inspiring fempreneur Dr. Pragya Agarwal wrote an interesting article discussing some means by which you can combat entrepreneurial loneliness. In particular, she identified that “… one thing that many solo entrepreneurs have reported missing the most is having the accountability of working in an office or corporate team… [to] motivate and drive them forward.”
As such, Agarwal states that you should “find an accountability partner”.
An accountability partner can provide a magnitude of benefits, however, in particular, they can help you achieve your goals. Goals are a struggle to reach if we aren’t held accountable. But by taking on an accountability partner you will be held responsible, they will cheer you on, provide motivation and support, and they will help you celebrate the wins.
Accountability partners are also great for brainstorming, bouncing ideas off, and gaining creative input. Plus, they can challenge you! It’s all well and good to play it safe, but an accountability partner can push you forward to gain the momentum you need to take your business to the next level.
So, how do you find an accountability partner?
In general, it should be someone who challenges (not condemns) you and you should find them trustworthy. A business coach is a great option. They can help educate and train you, but will also hold you accountable and assist you in achieving your goals. It’s important that you meet with them regularly, such as once a week. These meetings don’t have to be formal, they could simply be a coffee date at your favourite cafe. But, make sure they’re regular because regular meetings will help keep you accountable and they will aid in mitigating feelings of loneliness.
Find Your Sisterhood
Agarwal also touches on the importance of being a part of a community (or, as we like to call it here at Fempire, a sisterhood) of like-minded individuals.
Being a part of a community goes back to basic human instinct and the notion of ‘safety in numbers’. So it’s only natural to feel lonely if you don’t have a community of people who are on a similar journey as you.
A community can provide you with support and motivation, as well as the opportunity to have fun and establish long-term connections and friendships. Plus, you can learn from your community members – and they can learn from you! A community may even give you the opportunity to find a mentor who will help guide you and your business.
A significant threat to entrepreneurs who are experiencing loneliness is the loss of inspiration. However, all entrepreneurs know that it’s important to remain inspired because it’s necessary to adapt to changes and grow your business. But this can become very challenging when loneliness takes hold – this is where your community steps in.
Community members can inspire you to keep the motivation flowing and they will be able to provide support when you are struggling or your business is facing a problem.Community members can inspire you to keep the motivation flowing and they will be able to provide support when you are struggling or your business is facing a problem. Click To Tweet
So, have you found your sisterhood?
Attending networking events is another great way to build your community and business network and prevent any feelings of loneliness. Plus, it’s a great place to make new friends too!
It’s easy to get started, a simple Google search will bring up a wide selection of opportunities. Why not try ‘Networking events near me’ or ‘Networking events in *your city*’ and see what pops up.
However, networking does not just address the issue of loneliness. There are a number of other values associated with networking. These include, but certainly aren’t limited to…
- Increasing your brand awareness,
- Building your list,
- Finding sales opportunities,
- Market discovery,
- Appreciation for the needs of your target market, and;
- Finding collaboration opportunities.
Before you start networking, it’s important that you have a networking strategy in place. Such a strategy will help you maximise your time and effort, and establish connections that will benefit you in the long-run, ultimately resulting in a much more fruitful networking experience.
A great way to grow your network is to regularly meet with like-minded individuals. This links back to your community! For example, you could join a networking group that meets once a month. These regular meetings will help you remain accountable and will aid in preventing loneliness because you’ll know that there will be regular opportunities to communicate with like-minded individuals.
If you can’t find a networking group, why not create your own? Reach out to the relevant connections that you’ve made through networking events. Simply pick a local cafe to meet at regularly, such as once a fortnight, and get the ball rolling!
To help with your group, it would benefit if you established a meeting structure. This will maximise the value of the meetings for you and the members. For example, in the initial stages, you could start the meeting by going around the group and getting each of the members to introduce themselves and their business. You could then select a member a week to have a more in-depth discussion about their business and what they do. This presents a great opportunity for you and your members to grow their public speaking skills!
Do the Little Things
As fempreneur Rhonda Abrams discusses in her article, Strategies: Fight isolation of running a small business, there are some little things that you can do every day to help mitigate feelings of loneliness.
Go outside, take a walk, and get some fresh air. Restore your perspective – there’s a whole world out there just waiting to reduce your sense of loneliness. And celebrate the wins, all of them! They are all a significant achievement, no matter how small you feel they are.
Also, if you work from home, why not try out a shared or coworking workspace? These spaces help to establish a sense of community and collaboration, and they are a great place for networking and meeting like-minded individuals! What’s even better is that some come with bonus amenities, such as a gym, childcare centre, cafe, and even a hairdresser!
Hopefully this article shone some light on the issue of loneliness faced by all fempreneurs. If you have experienced loneliness as a female entrepreneur, then fear not, Fempire can help! *insert Supergirl theme song here*
Our Fempire Certified Coaches are here to support fempreneurs so that they can earn the money they deserve, doing what they love. When you decide to work with a Fempire Certified Coach, you will be paired with an experienced female business coach who will provide you with knowledge, guidance, motivation and accountability. Plus, they intimately understand and have experienced the invisible roadblocks that women face in business, and they know how to navigate and overcome them.
If you’re interested in finding a Coach or becoming a Fempire Certified Coach, you can apply right now!
Have you experienced loneliness as an entrepreneur? Do you have advice on how to overcome it? Let us know in the comments below! And don’t forget to share this article with the other fempreneurs in your sisterhood!
This article was written for Fempire but was originally published in Women’s Agenda.
Anna Gratte is a marketing intern at Fempire. She has a keen interest in social media and content creation and is passionate about creating engaging content that inspires women to achieve success and live a fulfilled life.