More and more people are becoming entrepreneurs. They’re launching, marketing and running their own businesses, and they’re doing it all alone.
I myself have been working from my home office for three years. I studied online and now I work online. I also pursue a lot of my interests, like writing, from in front of a screen. And while it’s been absolutely liberating (I spent four months in Spain without missing a deadline) it’s also lonely at times.
My friends go to work, and they go to work parties, and they hang out with coworkers and I… I stay at home alone.
I love my freedom, but the rise of internet entrepreneurship has made it more important than ever for solopreneurs to reach out to one another and connect. Quite often years can go by while we’re building and then – suddenly – we’re not quite sure where to turn.
Loneliness can be so detrimental when it comes to solo businesses: we need one another to stay sane and sharp.
The problem of isolation
When we launch and manage and run our own businesses we soon run into a clear problem: no one’s there to help us. Humans are herd creatures! We need one another to connect with, bounce ideas off, and to provide challenges and motivation.
Entrepreneurs need entrepreneurs. We’re just wired a different way, and nothing beats brainstorming with like-minded individuals.
If your dream job has left you isolated there’s no reason -or need- for you to stay that way. And you don’t need to return to mainstream work in order to maintain a social life!
While working via the internet can leave us lonely, it also provides ample opportunity to find people nearby who are just like us.
Upskill and fight loneliness
Do you want to gain new skills and meet new people? A class could be the perfect solution.
There are so many great coaches and courses which can be found online. A quick google just showed me that in Dublin (where I’m based) there are over 35 courses I could sign up to, right now, to start upskilling various things which interest me.
If you shift your search from local to virtual classes that number explodes. And no matter where your course is based, online classes can be a great way to network and connect with people who are doing exciting things in your industry.
Connect with masterminds
Mastermind groups have been around since 1925; they’re peer-to-peer mentoring clubs which are designed so that the people in them can learn from each other.
Many of them meet weekly, twice monthly or monthly and they’re a fantastic way to connect with other entrepreneurs and fight loneliness. Through programs such as Skype and Slack -or by meeting up in local venues- you can meet business owners with all sorts of expertise.
If you’re looking to join one a quick google will let you know what’s available, or you can ask the entrepreneurs you already have in your life for recommendations.
Join local groups
If you want to connect with people in person on a regular basis consider joining a local group. A quick Facebook search can let you know if people nearby with your interests have formed clubs.
For instance, you could search for ‘photography group Melbourne’, or ‘photography club Melbourne’. If Facebook isn’t your cup of tea there’s also a site that’s designed for people who want to connect: it’s called Meetup.
It offers meetups based on all sorts of criteria, it’s easy to navigate, and it’s a fantastic way to find people near you to connect with. If you can’t find a group on meetup you’d like to join, you can always create your own!
Human contact is essential for us and our businesses. Other people can inspire us with new ideas, challenge our old ones and give us the energy we need to keep going. Our businesses may be one person jobs, but our life doesn’t need to be one person shows.
- Lena Klein