Entrepreneurship Can Be Lonely – Here are 5 Ways to Get the Support You Need to Thrive
Being an entrepreneur or solopreneur has many benefits. You choose to work from wherever you are, whether that’s at home or at the beach; you choose your hours to suit your night-owl or early-riser tendencies; you can even pick your clients and your colleagues.
But working independently can leave you feeling unsupported. A lack of camaraderie, mentorship, or socializing can lead to loneliness. And having to wear the many hats that are required to take care of every part of your process can shake your confidence and undermine your progress.
Everyone needs some support – especially when it comes to running a small business. But how do you get the help or encouragement you need if you don’t have access to the deep pockets and big offices of alarge organization?
We talked to dozens of entrepreneurs and solopreneurs about their most important sources of support, and these five habits consistently came out on top:
1. Join a regular networking group
Give yourself something to look forward to on a regular basis, and in particular, make it a social setting at which you know you’ll be in the company of like-minded people! Not only is this a great way to meet people who could become business contacts or referral sources, it’s also a guaranteed “water cooler” appointment in your weekly or monthly schedule.
2. Enroll in a mastermind or think tank
When you’re on the brink of a big change, the support and commitment of a mastermind or think tank can be one of the greatest factors in your success. Becoming part of a tight-knit group of highly motivated people in the same kind of business as yours makes for intimate connections with super-smart people who are all rooting for your success as much as you’re rooting for theirs. Not to mention that often masterminds can lead to lifelong friendships with business besties!
3. Hire a virtual assistant
When you’re at the helm of your business, it can be hard to let go of tasks, even if they’re not the best use of your time or zone of genius. But the tasks that you find menial, detail-oriented, or time-sucking might easily be delegated to a part-time or project-based virtual assistant. For a very reasonable fee – and without having to hire full-time staff – you’d save your sanity, your time, and your energy while getting the support you so desperately need.
4. Set yourself up in a co-working space
Fluffy might be a great (if distracting) officemate, but sometimes you need to get out of the house! Not your home office and not a coffee shop, a co working space helps you get out of the rut of “catch as catch can” and helps you dream bigger for your business. Often, co-working spaces offer a variety of hot desk and office rental options in a space that has other perks like onsite member events and networking opportunities.
5. Attend conferences
There are great reasons to attend conferences regularly. Upping your skill set and being the expert in a room full of potential clients are just two of them. Perhaps the most fruitful outcome of attending conferences is the conversations and connections you can make that help keep you going all year round. You might even find some “conference buddies” that you can meet up with at various events!
Entrepreneurship doesn’t have to be lonely. It’s just a matter of finding the kind of support that you need. Which of these five types have you tried? Have we missed any that have worked well for you?