As a business owner, you take pride in showing up and doing the work. You know how good it feels to look back and see just how far you’ve come — all by yourself.
It’s amazing, isn’t it? But, truthfully, that “all by yourself” part can start to weigh on all of us...
Sometimes, it can get downright lonely.
If you’re where I was when I first started, you might not have a local community of amazing business owners and women who can relate to your triumphs and troubles.
You might not even have friends or family who understand what you do or the work it requires. So there you are, doing the work and wishing there was someone who could understand.
I want you to know, my lovely friend, that it’s not just you.
We all feel lonely sometimes, even when we’re doing what we love most. That’s why I’m sharing a few things that really helped me when I was feeling alone in my own business, in hopes that it helps you, too.
1. GET OUT OF YOUR HOUSE.
If you’re like me and you work from your home office, it might be time for a chance of scenery.
Part of working for yourself and writing your own success story is choosing where you work, so don’t feel like you have to be stuck in one place!
Even if you have your own office or utilize a coworking space, you might consider mixing things up so you are in a more open area where you can see (and interact with) other people.
For me, my spot of choice is the children’s section of my local library.
No, it’s not glamorous. No, there aren’t many other business owners setting up shop there.
But it doesn’t cost a dime and I feel much more connected to people simply by working there. Plus, as a mom, a little bit of (quiet) kid noise in the background makes me feel right at home.
Take a minute to think: where could you go to get a dose of human connection?
2. FIND YOUR VIRTUAL COMMUNITY.
I know just how hard it can be to find “your people” in real life.
In my specific area in Tennessee, and back when I first started, I couldn’t find any groups or local business organizations that offered what I needed — support and sisterhood.
So, like any self-made woman, I did my homework. I found an online community of women I connected with and felt supported by and it changed my life.
That’s part of why I’ve created a virtual community of my own with the Inner Circle, because I know the power these groups have.
It gives me hope knowing that there are other women out there like us and, even though it’s not the same as having that in-person connection, it makes a huge difference if you’re feeling lonely.
If you can’t find your people in your area, you can always find them online. Thank God for technology, right?!
3. MAKE LOCAL IN-PERSON EVENTS A PRIORITY.
If you’re craving connection with fellow business owners and entrepreneurs, I’d highly recommend looking into local events.
Especially if travel or overnight stays aren’t possible for you right now, there are usually local events right in your own backyard!
You can also just pull up a Facebook or Google search bar and type “women business groups in [your city]” or search based on your specific niche (i.e. craft-based businesses, eco-friendly business owners, etc.).
Your local Chamber of Commerce may even have events to help you grow your business and your immediate network. I’ve even made it a personal goal for myself in 2020 to get more plugged in to my local chamber and community.
If you have a convention center in your area, you can also search their event/conference schedule to see if anything catches your eye.
Google is your friend: search for local, in-person events and put yourself out there!
4. BE SELECTIVE ABOUT LARGE EVENTS.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that you can absolutely feel alone in a large group of people.
Have you ever been to a large conference or event and struggled to find anyone you really connected with?
Networking and cocktail hours at these big events can feel forced or sales-y, and you might go a whole week without finding anyone who does what you do (or understands what you do).
Talk about feeling alone!
That’s why I always seek out more intimate events, and why I always search for events that meet a specific need or skill I’m looking to grow.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with large conferences and events, but they might make you feel less connected if they’re not the right event for you.
5. FIND SMALLER, IN-PERSON EVENTS THAT MEET YOUR SPECIFIC NEEDS.
Local events and conferences are a great place to start if you’re feeling alone in your business. However, they might not be exactly what you’re looking for.
I myself have signed up for these events, thinking they’d help me feel more connected to my fellow business owners or to help me learn something new… only to feel let-down.
Whether it’s just the wrong group of people, “not your style,” or you feel like the people you meet are on a different track than you, finding your people at a larger event might be difficult.
Instead, why not search for events that meet your specific needs?
Maybe you want to grow your network, so you can search and sign up for small business networking groups.
Maybe you want to meet fellow female entrepreneurs — search for that!
Or maybe you want to find an event that helps you learn something new like social media photography or website design.
Whatever it is, make sure you’re searching specifically for that. Side note: it never hurts to check out events that might require some travel, too. I like to have my learning paired with a little getaway destination from time to time. 😉
Search for an event that fills a specific need. It will make your next event much more impactful, and increase the odds that you’ll connect with someone on a deeper level.
The cure for loneliness? Inspiration, connection & growth!
I know how hard it is to grow a business by yourself. I know it’s even harder when you don’t have anyone who gets it — really gets it.
I’m a firm believer in the power of understanding and connection; I’ve seen them work their magic in my own life and business.
That’s why I created Inspired Retreat.
Inspired Retreat offers a one-of-a-kind opportunity to rest, connect with women on a business (and personal) level, and to learn how to take your business to the next level.
It’s a 24-person event, which means that you’ll get to know your fellow guests and speakers (and me!) on a deeper level.
Unlike a big conference or an hour-long in-person event, Inspired Retreat allows you to step out of your daily life, out of your routine, and into a refreshing and energizing environment. An hour outside of Nashville, it’s the perfect opportunity to fill your cup and connect with your people.
Yes, you’ll learn how to market and grow your business.
Yes, you’ll absolutely walk away feeling inspired to do amazing things.
But you’ll also find your sisters — women who get you and want to support you (and who you want to support, as well!).
If you’re ready to feel inspired and connected, learn more about the May 2020 Inspired Retreat. Remember, there are only 24 spots and as of publishing this, 1/3rd of them are already claimed. Don’t wait!