6 Action-Steps Entrepreneurs Can Do To Prevent Loneliness

Lonely Woman Staring out Window

When we heard that entrepreneurs are the loneliest group of people, it really struck a chord with us.

Even though my business partner, Karen Halseth, and I know that we are blessed by our friendship and professional relationship, we still recognize the trap that so many entrepreneurs fall into.

Perhaps, without the seeming security of structured employment (a J.O.B.), an entrepreneur feels unable to say ‘no’ to what ever is offered or perhaps feels driven to work around the clock?

I know that this was our reality in the early days.

Work was the priority and intimate relationships and friendships suffered as a result; harder to spot were the health risks of loneliness. Dr. Sanjay Gupta says, “Loneliness is an invisible epidemic that affects 60 million Americans. Everyone feels lonely at times in their lives, but chronic loneliness poses a serious health risk.”

These health risks include: increased stress and aging, the risk of early death increases by 45%, and the onset of depression.

Another reason for choosing to isolate oneself may come from feelings of shame or vulnerability.

You might think you should be able to figure out how to make your business successful on your own. This may be a holdover from corporate life where male values of autonomy are used in goal setting.

Another masculine value of competition versus collaboration may also be getting in your way.

There are numerous benefits of collaborative learning such as increased retention, the development of social interaction and higher self esteem, but let’s talk about collaborative creativity.

It’s a well-known fact that by optimizing the value of a cohesive team we can accomplish breakthrough performance.  In fact studies show that the mere presence of other people stimulates creativity and performance!

Just bringing introverts and extroverts together, or different age groups, left and right brains, and both sexes, can stimulate the expansion of an idea or outcome.

So why do we resist?

Well-known author, Carolyn Myss, said, “We evolve at the rate of the tribe we are plugged into.” Put another way, “Whom you hang out with now has a lot to do with where you’ll wind up later.”

Here are some suggestions you can do to overcome entrepreneurial loneliness:

  1. Find your tribe: It can take a while to find your tribe but it’s well worth the effort. You’re looking for a group of people who are interested in what you are interested in, and an environment where you feel seen and valued for being yourself, that encourages conversation and connection.

    Be courageous and curious as you visit different groups in your area and be willing to tell the truth. The body doesn’t lie! If you feel dread in entering the space or find yourself judging everyone, trust yourself – this is not your tribe!

  2. Seek out mentors: It’s also tricky to find a mentor if you are an entrepreneur. Essential in a mentor is the ability to see you as an individual and not to try and ‘cookie cutter’ you into their model. Take time to get to know the person you are considering.

    Ask questions to determine who they are, how they do things, and if possible, watch them in action. The biggest factor for us is, “How do I feel before a session with my mentor, during and afterwards?” At the end of your session, you should be feeling strengthened not depleted.

  3. Reconnect with your friends: It’s not about the quantity of your relationships, but the quality. The antidote to loneliness is the level of authentic sharing. Most of us only have a small handful of close friends.

    Research shows that it is the deeper level of talking and connection that positively affects well-being. Reach out!  Yes, it’s one more thing to do to make the effort to connect with your friends but if you feel heard you feel better and your work is enhanced.

  4. Make new friends: If you have lost touch with past friends or have moved away from one another, there are places where it’s easier to connect with others. People bond more easily as students, for example, so join a writing class, a personal or professional growth course. See who is drawn to you and whom you are drawn to. Notice how you feel around their energy. Take your time. Allow relationships to grow organically.

  5. Be a part of something bigger than yourself: Explore one of your favorite causes by asking how could you get more involved. It’s interesting how we get by giving!

    Who knows who you will meet as you invest a percentage of your time in giving back to others.

  6. Don’t hide out! It may be a stretch to break old habits but as we all know, if you do what you’ve always done you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.  And, as we’ve often said, “This is not a going it alone lifetime!”

If you resonate with the information shared above, you are ripe for change. Pick one or more of the six suggestions and take the plunge!

If you feel like sharing your ideas for overcoming entrepreneurial loneliness, we’d love to hear from you!

Aimée Lyndon Adams

About the Author, Aimée Lyndon-Adams

Aimée Lyndon-Adams is both a seasoned corporate executive and a metaphysician practicing spiritual energy healing. She has provided coaching and healing sessions to individuals, couples and groups and has offered an energy management curriculum of training classes for many years. She is an articulate and charismatic speaker and facilitator.

Visit www.WhatTrulyMatters.com to claim instant access to your free gift for your juiciest life EVER!

  • Svava

    Thank you for an insightful and meaningful blog post. As an entrepreneur I very much relate. I have felt alone a lot and stubbled with why can’t I figure this out by myself. I love Carolyn Myss and am happy to recognize that I am doing better since I am building a tribe. I liked the list and can see that I am still working on 5 and 6. This year I think is the year I stop hiding. Thank you again for a great post. Sharing it with my tribe!

    • Aimee Lyndon-Adams

      Thank you Svava! I’m delighted that you found value in my blog. It’s an easy trap to fall into when we are faced with a never-ending to-do list! Socializing feels frivolous and yet, nothing could be further from the truth! Get out there and shine your light!

  • I can also relate to feeling isolated and lonely at times when I’ve really bogged myself down with work and projects. I do run a household and I do have two kids, but when they are away at school, I can get lonely. I’ll consider reaching out more and join local groups. I do attend church three times per week and I’m active in my daughter’s Girl Scout troop, so I do have some human contact and interaction, but sometimes, that’s not enough. Thanks for a great post! You’ve reminded me one of the downfalls of being an entrepreneur!

    • Aimee Lyndon-Adams

      Thanks for your post, Aletha. You might consider it a part of your self-care regime. We are social beings and need that contact to feel connected. Start by taking one simple step to expand your community and commit to it! Good luck!

  • DeeDee Daniels Harriott

    This is a really informative blog post. Many times we tend to get so absorbed in our projects that they become all consuming and we let our personal relationships take a back seat when doing so. It’s very important to create a balance in order to avoid this. The old saying, “The more the merrier..” truly does pack a lot of punch with this issue and building a tribe is indeed an important need for that balance to exist. Good read.. Thanks for posting!

    • Aimee Lyndon-Adams

      Thanks for posting a comment, DeeDee. We lead a monthly live event called Developing Alliances: Professional Gatherings for Extraordinary Women and it took a while for our tribe to recognize that building relationships is the way women network. Getting out of your own environment is essential to stimulate new ideas, even over a cup of coffee with a friend.!

When we heard that entrepreneurs are the loneliest group of people, it really struck a chord with us. Even though my business partner, Karen Halseth, and I know that we are blessed by our friendship and professional relationship, we still … Continued