Solo-biz? How to Fight Solitude With These 5 Questions

Feeling lonely as a solo-preneur?

You love what you do. You’d never want to go back to your old job. Never.

But has the word “solo” in solo-preneur started to dominate your life?
Solo feels lonely. Forgotten. And without support.

Perhaps you tried networking. But meeting other entrepreneurs and business owners did not help much. Moments of loneliness keep appearing out of nowhere in your mind.

Before attending another fruitless networking event, ask yourself the five questions below. They will help you explore new solutions. So you can stop feeling isolated and start loving your solo-preneur lifestyle.

Naysayers make you feel crazy?

You‘ve taken your first steps on this exciting path to make your big dream come true.

But when you look around you, nobody cheers you on. The path is turning into a desert.

Complete silence.

You reach out to people but that makes you feel worse. Naysayers tell you it is a bad idea to start a business: “It’s risky! Are you sure that is a smart move to do that now?”

Others don’t take you seriously. It hurts.

Do you wonder if you lost your mind jumping into such an unknown future?

Instead of letting others tear your dream down, ask them where their concerns come from. Naysayers stumble over their own fear. They end up projecting their doubts on you.

Use what naysayers tell you as a fuel to get things done. Use their suggestions to evaluate your risks. Prove them wrong by reaching your goals.

A few years ago, a startup guru told me that I would struggle doing business in the US because I was French and English was not my native language. Thanks to that comment, I joined a Toastmasters club and surrounded myself with inspiring leaders. I now work in the US with professionals I adore. I’ve proved that startup guru wrong.

So consider your naysayers as your safeguards. But don’t let them stop you from designing the life you want.

Lacking support from your loved ones?

You wake up and go to bed thinking about your business.

Your eyes light up when you talk about your projects to your friends and family.

However, they don’t pay much attention. They fiddle in their seats. They change the conversation to the movie they saw yesterday or a birthday coming up.

Most of the time, you are fine with your friends avoiding your work discussions. You don’t want to hammer them with your business.

But sometimes, the unresolved questions, relentlessly knocking at the back of your mind, smack you down.

This is such a strange feeling. You know that you have people in your life but you also feel lonely.

Remember, your close circles do care about you but they can’t read your mind.

Externally, you seem so excited about what you do. When you feel down, don’t expect people to guess that you need help. Tell them.

Communicate with your loved ones about your feelings. Explain what you’re struggling with. Tell them what they can do for you.

Feeling lost?

You know the product or service you would like to offer to your future clients.

You’ve hit one major problem though: how to get in front of your raving customers?

The aspiring entrepreneurs you meet at business events tell you what you should be doing. But their ideas are overwhelming.

You feel left in the dark. What to decide? How to implement what people suggest you to do?

Look for someone ahead of you, who understands your struggle. Find a coach or a mentor. Or both. They will help you evaluate options and pick the best ideas. They will help you move towards your goals quicker.

Living the hermit life?

You know what you have to do. Your projects are exciting.

But does the pile of “things” to do seem bottomless? A never-ending list of tasks you must complete?

Your plan was to find a better work-life balance. But the truth is you spend seven days a week working. You’re spending nights and days with one companion: your laptop.

When was the last time you had a coffee with a human being?

Looking at your calendar, you realize that you haven’t had a social life for quite some time. You’ve not been to the movies for at least a year. You missed your best friend’s birthday party. And you can’t remember when you last had a beer at a pub.

Sound familiar?

This exile is ironical.

Your friends and family are precious. You care about them. You work hard so you can spend more time with them in the future. But why wait?

You know how to be present when you meet with your clients. Do the same thing with your loved ones. Block dedicated times with your friends and family in your calendar.

Spend quality time with your family and feel more energized when working on your business.

Unless you are living in a parallel world?

When your friends mention what they go through at work, you tell them there is much more out there. They could find more fulfilling activities.

You would be so happy to take your friends by the hand. To show them the new land you’ve discovered. To share excitement. To embrace freedom together.

But they have decided to stay on the other side of the river, despite their wish to live a better life.

You feel like you’re on vacation on a paradise island. You savor the view, the sunshine, and the good food. But you have nobody to share those precious moments with.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

If your friends don’t want to cross the river and you want them to be part of your life, meet them where they are at.

The same way that you would share photos and stories of your trip, share your insight with them. They don’t have to start their own business to learn from your experience and improve their current situation.

Instead of increasing a gap between your entrepreneurial journey and your friends’ life, build a bridge to exchange experience. Your two worlds can co-exist.

The secret is not (always) in meeting new people

When you feel lonely, disconnect from your work and go for a walk.

Switch off. Inhale some fresh air. Observe life around you.

Doesn’t it feel relaxing to step back for a moment?

Now, analyze what triggers your feeling of loneliness.

Do you need to attend networking events and extend your circle of like-minded entrepreneurs? Or do you need to be more present with the people you know?

Above all, don’t stay stuck in your lonely world.

Change your work environment once in a while. No need to plan in advance. Leave your home office for few hours. Work at a coffee shop. Go for a walk in a park while you brainstorm an idea.

Change context. Change your mind.

This article was originally published on momentumboutique.com.

About The Author

Thuy Pham is a technology strategist and business application consultant. Connect with her on LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook.