Can working for yourself be lonely?

🎧 This week’s podcast episode was inspired by all of you that responded to my recent LinkedIn post about feeling lonely when working for yourself.

With so many freelance professionals or people setting up businesses saying that they have struggled with feeling lonely at times, I was overwhelmed by the response. So I decided to expand on the topic and record a podcast episode on this.

Last summer, I wasn’t getting out and about much. I only had one client at the time and used to spend most of my working days working on my own, doing client work and creating blog and social media content for my own business. And the truth is that I was lonely. I missed the interactions, the banter, the fun, and the human connections.

Our health and wellbeing as founders, freelancers, employers, and business owners are important, and we all need human connection and support.

Tune in, and you will learn…

Business Greenhouse small leaf Why can running a business feel lonely?

  • If you’re running your own business, and especially in the startup stages where you have no team and perhaps no suppliers, you may have no one to bounce ideas off with. There’s no one to turn to when things are going wrong or when you’re facing a business challenge. You have no real support or network around you, and that can feel really lonely, even though most people don’t tend to talk about this side of running a business!

Business Greenhouse small leaf What can do to combat the loneliness? 

  • Join a networking group. Whether face-to-face or online, you get to meet like-minded people who are in a similar position to you. They’re probably solopreneurs or running small businesses, just like you. Build relationships with other people, and they can quickly become your support and friendship network. By joining The Athena network, I’ve made friends and met fantastic strategic partners. I’ve been referred to their contacts, and I’ve been able to help others too. So have a look at any networking opportunities in your local area – search for freelancer or entrepreneur meetups or look for workshops organised by other business owners. These are often cost-effective and a great chance to meet local people who are going through the same things as you.
  • Join a mastermind. These are great for meeting groups of people you can connect with and who are going through similar challenges. You get to know each other and get support and accountability.
  • Structure your days so you get to go out and about. Connect with friends or business contacts – you don’t want to be sitting at your computer all day. Make some time to exercise or simply go for a walk or a catch up with a friend. Sitting at home thinking about work all day isn’t just going to unproductive, but it’s also not going to support your mental health in a positive way.
  • Wherever you can, go and meet your clients or suppliers in person, rather than having Zoom calls all the time. You’ll enjoy the face-to-face interaction and get more value out of the relationship. If you need to factor in travelling time and expenses, perhaps you can look at changing your pricing structure.
  • Work with others. Once in a while, consider getting together with other business owners (at someone’s house or a cafe) and work together. Or find a co-working space near you.

Related podcast episodes

#7 – The benefits of networking.

#32 – What about strategic partnerships.

Related LinkedIn post

More about me

I hope this episode gave you some ideas on how you can get more interactions with other business owners. And if you’d like to work with me to help you grow your business, check out my Work With Me page.

You can also book a FREE 30-minute discovery call. And together, we discuss the challenges you’re facing and talk about how I can help you grow your business!

And if you have any questions for me, get in touch via my website or connect with me on LinkedIn, and I’ll aim to cover questions on the podcast.