"When I thought about becoming an entrepreneur, it never occurred to me just how lonely it would be. I wouldn't trade it for anything but sometimes, I just need someone to bounce an idea off of or share something I'm really excited about."
I remember when I started one of my first businesses. Entrepreneurship was becoming a sexy term. It was like being a movie star. I had always been interested in starting a business, and now I could be famous too! It was a no brainer. I soon realized that it was not quite as glamourous as I had hoped. I would wake up and question if what I was doing was a waste of time. Then I would sit in my house and work on the business…all day long. I often found reasons to stop working on the business and definitely did not know what things I should be doing. If I had to create an analogy of what my days felt like it would be like someone getting out of bed, leaving their blindfold on and walking by themselves to find a location that they did not know existed or where it was. Then fall asleep and do it again tomorrow…
Some people are the type of breed who can go in alone, love it and rock it! I am not one of those people. It is incredible how much I have personally changed now that I work with a team.
For those of you like me here are 5 tips to overcoming the lonely of being an entrepreneur.
Get a team
I know what you are thinking…there is no way I can afford to start hiring people. In many places, there are many government programs to help pay for employees that you can check out. If this still doesn’t work, no trouble there are other ways to establish a team.
Bring someone on as a founder
Make other entrepreneur friends that you can sit with and talk about business
Find a mentor
Personal satisfaction and engagement in work is increased by having a team to share it with. For the longest time, I carried a pride about “doing it by myself.” Once I decided to work on something with a team, my job became much easier because we had many brains to solve problems, people to keep us on track, and people to have fun with.
Alone, I remember going through phases where I would work 18 hours a day and then all of a sudden stop and not do a thing. Not because I didn’t have work to do, it was because I was scared of a step or became so lost that I felt trapped.
Don’t let this discourage you…looking back I could have improved a lot on my process to get things done. I was running around like a chicken with its head cut off. It is so obvious that we need to set goals to keep us on track and yet, very few of us do because it is more important to “add a new feature” or “create a new program.” The truth is that when we create goals for ourselves we can start to develop more order and focus.
Make yourself accountable
When you work alone, we tell ourselves it is okay if you choose not to do something. You don’t have anyone that you are letting down. Once you have established your goals, share them with someone you don’t want to let down; maybe it is your business coach or mentor. This way you have someone else that is counting on you to get what you need to be done. The goal is to create an environment that is the closest to working with a partner as possible.
Get a coach
One of the scariest and most exhilarating things about being an entrepreneur is the fact that a lot of the time we have no idea what we are doing. Since we are paving a new path, we encounter many new situations that we are not sure how to deal with. In my experience, when I faced a situation that I really didn’t know what to do (and before I had mentors or business coaches) I would shut down. Long before I was hired at Momentum I remember calling Corey and Joanna to dump all my problems on them. I was lucky enough that they would listen and talk me through every problem I had. The value that bringing an outside perspective that you trust into your business is unbelievable.
Remember to enjoy life
Just like entrepreneurship became a buzz word, so did the idea of a work-life balance and many entrepreneurs find it difficult to combine these two words together in a sentence. When you are the person running the show, it appears to be very tricky to take a break because you want the show to go on. The truth is that we as humans are quite bad at understanding time. If we tell ourselves that we have 18 hours to work in a day we will use it all and it will feel like we are going all out to get it done. When we reduce the number of hours that we allow ourselves, we somehow manage to get the same amount of work done. I know it is hard to believe if you are in the 18 hour a day mode, but just try it! We are crazy creatures! The key is to ensure that we have something that we are looking forward to doing instead of work, otherwise we will become bored and probably start working again.
If you're ever feeling like it's all too much, feel free to reach out. We are always up for a chat.