Navigating Loneliness as an Entrepreneur / Entrepreneurship / Last Modified: March 2, 2018
Image credit: Dragon Images/Shutterstock

People often discuss the excitement of starting a business, but few address the challenges that come with being alone in the world as an entrepreneur.

If you’re a freelancer or solo entrepreneur who is always "on the grind" to make the most of their life, I’d like to let you know that you are not alone. However, the road to success may not be an easy one.

One of the biggest reasons people fail or give up as entrepreneurs is the inability to deal with the social isolation incurred when an intense level of commitment is required. I’ll never forget the first time I started losing friendships and relationships due to my unwavering passion for success. Having worked in retail for years, where I enjoyed great conversations on a daily basis, loneliness hit me hard, about two weeks after the excitement of my new venture fizzled.

Unless your partner accepts your lifestyle or shares your ambition, you may be forced to deal with being single for a while, until you learn to establish your business and attain a level of consistency. But that's life – at least, it is if you genuinely want to be an entrepreneur. 

Entrepreneurs who give up on their venture due to social rejection often opt for that desk job, so they can have a steady paycheck each week to keep their spouse happy. Don't give up and don't give in; just find ways to stay motivated.  

Focus on Personal Development

As an entrepreneur, one of the most important things you must do is actively develop your mindset. It is your mind’s courage that will provide you with the ability to push through the adversity and obstacles that are sure to plague you on your journey. I recommend the three following ways to develop yourself as an entrepreneur:

  1. Consume success stories of people that already have what you want.
  2. Diligently study how to become a specialist in your chosen occupation.
  3. Connect with other entrepreneurs who are in a similar situation, through a mastermind.

They say a CEO should read a book every week. When you’re getting started, you may find yourself pressed for time, but I highly recommend you spend at least an hour a day consuming content that makes you a better person – things that make you wiser will provide you with the ability to have a deeper understanding of life. This will attract what you want in life. People respect you when you add value to conversations. Eventually, you will become an authority in the marketplace. 

Find Resources to Connect with Others

As a startup founder, I am always looking to connect with other like-minded individuals. Creating connections is a fundamental skill you must learn to combat your feeling of loneliness. The first time you have a passionate conversation with a complete stranger dealing with the same challenges is when you realize that you are never alone.

Attend as many networking events as you can, and if you work in the startup space, find your nearest StartUp Grind Organization. Go to MeetUps and speaking events, and seek out other people like yourself. Trust me, they’re out there, if you are willing to find them.

If you work in e-commerce like I do, try joining some of the active e-commerce groups on Facebook. Besides the great mastermind value, some of the contacts I have made have stayed as friends for years, and I have even made the effort to travel half the world to meet a few of them.

Remember Why You Started

Dan Lok, an entrepreneur and online consultant, created a video in which he discusses the most critical quality of a successful entrepreneur. The answer is not what you would expect. It was not vision, specialized skills, persistence or the ability to lead people.

The answer was this: "The ability to endure pain for a long period." That is what is going to separate you from everyone else. How will you manage your expectations and your disappointment when things do not go according to plan? Lok's final bit of advice is probably the most important: Create your "why," and hold to it, no matter what.

For any solopreneur who is feeling down or wondering whether they will be successful, I urge you to rejoice. Every day, you wake up with the decision and purpose to create your reality, which is a blessing. 

I believe that everyone has the hidden talent and skillset to be a solopreneur in whichever occupation they choose. I know for a fact, however, that the majority of people do not possess the mindset to endure the solitude, loneliness and frustrations required to achieve success as an entrepreneur.

If you are still here, I commend you. You have what it takes to endure the pain. Stay strong and go well.

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